Normally I would avoid a TV talent search show like it’s the plague because they’re all the same. From American Idol to The Voice what the judges are really voting on is if the contestant is marketable based on looks and if their “talent” can be “coached” in production. But when I heard about Rising Star my interest was peaked.
Leading up to tonight Rising Star promised that the viewers would decide. If the viewing audience likes the contestant than the “wall would rise” and they’d move on in the competition. The idea of using technology as simple as a smartphone app with America having the key vote sounded amazing. Hell, I’m writing this from my own smartphone thanks to an app so why couldn’t it merge America with TV.
Unfortunately Rising Star wouldn’t get enough votes to actually be a TV show if we all knew how the show was actually going to be before it aired. All the elements were there for a great interactive experience but it’s loaded with problems.
Expert Used Loosely
Even though it’s supposed to be a show based on America’s votes the still have three “experts” as key deciding factors. Hip-Hop & Rapper Ludacris, Pop singer Kesha, and country star Brad Paisley are on board as “experts” for the contestants. Kesha and Ludacris are far from experts. Both were well marketed well by labels for sales so to call them “experts” is laughable.
This title was just a ploy to fool the Honey Boo-Boo generation that these three are celebrity judges. Especially since their each individual vote equals 7% towards the overall 70% needed to raise the wall. That’s 21% “expert” decision process meaning America on has 49% of actual voting power. Not exactly even once you do the math.
Stories Equal Sympathy Votes
I’m all for know a contestants back story and why they are there but there’s a time and place for it. That time and place is AFTER the performance IF America votes to raise the wall. By sharing these heartwarming and heart string stories prior to the performance they audience has already so kind of predetermined voting response before the contestant even sings a single note. And your proof is in tonight’s show with the second contestant, Lisa Punch. Her performance was not going to raise the wall but Kesha’s 7% vote put her over, especially once all Kesha fans voted with her. And the reason Kesha voted for her was because of her story. Not her talent, HER STORY! If it’s a show based on talent shouldn’t that be the reason you vote for them?
Mute The Audience
While the live audience does bring an added tension to the performers and makes it feel more like a show the truth is they too swayed votes. Every time the audience cheered during a performance the voting jumped. News flash America, if a studio audience cheers it isn’t necessarily a good thing. Studio audiences are often coached or prompted to cheer. Several times during the show the “experts” would motion to the audience prompting them to cheer and thus swaying the viewing audience. Not exactly fair and equal voting.
A TV Show Or Infomercial?
The fact that each contestant gets one minute and thirty seconds to perform and win over America would make you think there would be tons if performances during the 2-hour show. Well you thought wrong. In 40 minutes of TV tonight there was a grand total of two performances. Yes, 2 in 40 minutes. That’s pathetic. The rest was commercial time. That can definitely hurt this show long term. Many people on social media said they lost interest in the show completely due to the abundance of commercials. And that was in the first hour of a weekly 2-hour show.
Rising Star had so much potential to be the anti-American Idol but it just couldn’t. Deep down the producers knew they NEEDED judges to make it work and they NEED to show you back stories for some who are good for ratings but not really talented. And so while the interaction is unique it just falls short of truly rising high and setting a new bar for talent related shows.
Will I still watch? Why not, doesn’t America like watching a train wreck?