Must Be The Music manages to disapoint on every level

Here’s a thing: If you’re going to launch an X Factor inspired talent show (read:knock off), you probably shouldn’t do it less than a week before X Factor is due to begin. That’s not smart, Sky 1.

I’d like to say that I had high hopes for Must Be The Music, but I didn’t. Even though Fearne Cotton managed to tone down the more annoying parts of her presenting style, there was a distinct talent vacuum. Over the course of two hours, a string of mediocre acts passed by this conveyor belt of awfulness. There were some good acts, but shockingly they weren’t given enough exposure and I find myself at the end of two hours of programming not remembering the names of any of them.

What I’m not going to forget in a hurry are the repeated recaps of the show’s prize and who the judges are. I estimate this drivel was repeated at least 8 times. Once at the start of the show, and once after every commercial break. Sky need to realise that this isn’t new format. We understand how these types of shows work by now.

And we didn’t need the gratuitous puff pieces about the judges either. Once would have been enough, but Sky repeated a “warm up” show ad nauseum last week showing us who the judges were. An inexcusable amount of filler there that could have been used to promote the good acts.

Where they got it right

OK, I’m gonna say it. Fearne Cotton was positively bearable as a presenter. She’s got previous experience on X Factor, obviously, but she’s not bad, and she does love her music.

And what a difference it makes to have judges who are all musicians and have sold records. The advice from Dizzee, Sharleen and Jamie is sympathetic and useful to the acts. And I like how they deliver their yes or no verdict before they give comments. It takes a lot of the fake tension out of the situation and prepares the auditionee for their reasons It’s not sensationalist it’s honest and straightforward.

The problem

The problem is that there hasn’t been enough focus on the acts.

For Must Be The Music to succeed – or even to compete with X Factor – it needs to prove that it can find some good talent. There were a few glimmers on tonight’ show  – FDM, Missing Andy and Kyanto name a few. But now we need to know more about them. We need to become invested in the contestants.

More importantly, tonight’s premiere was a missed opportunity. Must Be The Music should have showcased its best talent while it had our attention. Next week, it’ll be airing a day after the X Factor launch. Will we be so concerned about Must Be The Music‘s talent when ITV’s juggernaut has started rolling?

I’m frustrated. I haven’t made a secret of it lately, but I’m getting tired of reality TV promising the best talent and delivering lame ducks. We should be excited about discovering the next big pop act instead of yawning through tepid auditions. On some level, I’d hoped that Sky 1 would deliver a good show and put Simon Cowell to shame. So far that hasn’t happened – but I recommend they go back a re-edit the next few episodes of Must Be The Music to push the talent to the fore. Forget the ‘hilarious’ Goth acts and Christian rockers with anger management problems.

Give us the good stuff.

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  1. Ageing tart

    The real problem I see is that X factor is still the main juggernaut show and unless sky can come up with a show that is as big as the X factor its not going to be in a position to compete.

    In all honesty we just need a break from reality based talent shows. A good year out and maybe the search for something else a good screen writer a tv presenter etc.

    More actors to replace the ones that are soon to be written out of Coronation and Emmerdale.


    AGeing tart

  2. rrhill

    Hello Maureen,

    A good year out maybe a good idea, but ITV and the producers make good money from the show. Yes, the X-factor and BGT have become more of a soap, then a a talent contest. The real stars are the judges, and not the participants.

    Still I really look forward to Saturday’s auditions, discussing and gossiping here at the unrealityshout blog.


    Robert from Amsterdam

    PS: It’s easy enough to find this beautiful new site, but how do I post a topic on this page?

    I noticed the links, but I don’t see an option: all-things-x-factor where I could post a new topic. I have eyes but don’t see. Could you please give me a hint?

    1. Gerard McGarry

      Hi Robert

      Hopefully I can be of some assistance! Let’s ignore the Wiki Page option for the moment, since that’s not important, and focus on Blog entries and Forum topics.

      A blog entry is handy for a longer form post – like a review or an opinion piece. A forum thread is good for shorter posts that are intended to start a debate.

      Probably best to go with a forum topic for your first time – go back to the menu at the top right hand side and underneath Write something, click Forum topic. Give your forum topic a good title, then from the drop down list, choose a board to put the topic in – probably Telly Chat for stuff like X Factor. Then, in the box below, just type what you want to say in your topic. When you’re done, just click Save and your topic will be created. Simple as that.

      Looking forward to Saturday and reading your thoughts!

      1. rrhill

        Hi Maureen,

        I managed to create a new forum entry in Telly chat titled: who’s ready for the X-factor. Did you watched the X-factor?

        Today I read the response from Past my sell by, “but I can’t help but wonder if it is all orchestrated?” I think she hits the nail on the head, but what I do love are those thousands of people that give it a go. They are real and it’s so much fun to meet them.



  3. Gerard McGarry

    For anybody who didn’t read this week’s Must Be The Music review – I thought the talent was far better this week. Some real possibilities on the two shows.

    One complaint though – it was a full three hours of television. That’s too much for any show. They had two normal episodes back to back and then a “Meet The Finalists” programme. Did anyone else think it was too long.

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