Can Sky 1’s Must Be The Music create a real star?

Here’s the thing: reality TV talent competitions are a dime a dozen now. The format has reached its saturation point. In the last week, I’ve watched P Diddy’s Starmaker, Five’s Don’t Stop Believin’ and the pre-launch show for Must Be The Music. If you’ve read my posts on Unreality TV and Unreality Shout, you’ll know that even the big guns like The X Factor are no longer piquing my interest. In fact, I breathed a sigh of relief whenever the rumour broke that X Factor would take a break in 2011.

Now, I’ve got plenty of criticism to level at Five’s Don’t Stop Believin’, and I’ll do a separate post about that show. Starmaker actually seems to be a fairly decent show, borrowing heavily from American Idol format, but from what I’ve seen they’re focused on the talent at least.

Sadly, Sky didn’t deign to show us any actual talent in their teaser show. They ‘entertained’ us with Fearne Cotton being thoroughly annoying (what she’s famous for, I suppose), and puff pieces about each of their esteemed judges.

I guess the judging panel should be something to brag about – three entertainers who’ve made it in the music industry. I like Sharleen Spiteri, but it’s been a fair few years since Texas were dominating the charts. Can she bring a contemporary edge? Jamie Cullum…sorry, don’t rate him. Dizzee Rascal, I love. He’s the big gun on that panel – a contemporary rapper who’s still selling records and clearly knows how to write a hit single. I’d almost hope that Dizzee might attract more urban artists instead of the tedious Whitney Houston cover-versions that we see every time X Factor comes to town.

Still, these shows live or die on the strength of the talent they attract. Can Must Be The Music pull in worthwhile artists and make us want to follow their progress each week? Well, I don’t know, since I don’t remember seeing anyone actually perform during the countdown show. It wouldn’t have hurt to showcase a few auditionees to give us a taster.

Instead, Fearne Cotton killed off any magic Dizzee Rascal had in my eyes by making him write a rap for her. I’m not sure he was entirely comfortable doing it, and his lyrics were abysmal. Well, he did write Bonkers, I suppose.

I kind of trust Sky 1 with a talent show though – they did a decent job of turning Got To Dance into a fairly watchable show and kept it focused on dance (as opposed to Britain’s Got Talent, which is a mixed bag at best). I’m just hoping they remember that the key ingredient is talent.

Refreshingly, the prize is £100,000 and the opportunity to sell your music on iTunes. No schmaltzy contracts that last for a year and then disappear. They give you hard cash to invest in your own musical career, which might be better than being signed to Simon Cowell’s label and getting dumped as soon as public perception turns the slightest bit cold.

Will you be tuning in? According to TVGuide, the first episode is this Sunday (15th August) at 7pm. In my opinion, there’s room for a reality TV show with a clear focus on talent. I just hope that Must Be The Music can deliver!

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  1. Ageing tart

    No two tv reality based shows should ever have the same format.

    In my view the X factor has taken to long to make changes to its existing format year after year. Its only now that some changes are taking place and next year it looks like its been shelved.

    The reason why the shows shouldn’t have the same format is because each show needs to offer something different to keep the viewer interested. Otherwise they are just cheap copies of the original.

    I do think the 100k prize is in some ways better than a million pound contract as it is then up to the individual to invest in their own career. I would go so far as to say we could have a show which offers a 100k prize plus a small album run or a single run, just to see how it goes. Aswell. We could even have a show which has a prize of an alternative music career with a years insite earning placement in a recording studio or on the road with a pre-existing band.

    I’ve suggested these two latter options because the uptake of these areas seems to have been slim over the last few years. Soloists and Band singers need to learn the trade from a number of angles as no stone should be left unturned.

    What do you think?


    AGeing tart

  2. Marcel

    What isn’t made clear by the producers of the Sky 1 Must Be The Music is that virtually ALL the acts were INVITED – via researchers at Princess Productions (the production Company making the show)..and they had already passed an intial audition hosted and judged by the production company… So if some of the acts were ‘terrible’ (according to Cullum) blame the producers – not the acts…they didn’t apply, they were invited and judged good enough by Princess Productions.

    1. Gerard McGarry

      I don’t have a problem with them inviting acts on. Maybe they need to be more upfront about that though. The fact is, opening auditions up to the public doesn’t seem to expose more talent to the producers – most X Factor auditionees will tell you that the producers barely looked at them as they sang – the only reason for the wide net on X Factor is to say that 500,000 people applied, because that’s a big, sensational number.

      I have no issue with headhunting up and coming acts and giving them a platform. It’ll give us better performances and more competent musicians. Hell, I wish other shows would ditch the charade of finding a diamond in the rough or a needle in a haystack, or whatever else they want to call it!

  3. Ageing tart

    I’m not aware of any real musicians coming through the X factor.


    Those who can write or play there own material have always been discouraged from entering.



    Ageing tart

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