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 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.