TV Review: Rising Star

RisingStar logoAnother summer means another round of summer programming. Reality shows like Amazing Race Canada often take the place of prime-time TV shows, like The Big Bang Theory, for example. Music-competition shows are often aired during this time. Sometimes, these shows are successful, but sometimes, they don’t make it past one season.

Take the newest “contestant” in this genre, Rising Star, for example. This show premiered in June, and airs on ABC (in the U.S.) and CTV (in Canada). In contrast to other singing competitions that feature a panel of celebrity judges (like The Voice, or The X Factor, for example), Rising Star is different. It features a cast of celebrity experts and considers the viewers at home the judges. During each performance, in real time, the audience at home determines the outcome using a mobile voting app (which is mentioned frequently during each episode).

When I first heard about this show, I thought it seemed interesting, so I decided to watch the first episode when it premiered a few months ago. I thought I’d like it, but it ended up not making it onto my list of “favourite music shows.” In fact, I didn’t really like it at all.

The series is hosted / presented by Josh Groban, who’s better known for his talent as a pop-rock/opera singer. This is his first time hosting a reality TV show, and I could tell he had never done it before. Although his performance was awkward, I appreciated the fact that he actually worked with the contestants. Which brings me to the next point…

Unlike other reality shows like this, the celebrity “experts” (Kesha, Ludacris, and Brad Paisley) didn’t even work with the contestants… and they didn’t seem all that interested in the competition. Compare it to NBC’s popular singing competition The Voice, where the judges not only mentored the contestants throughout each season, but also were enthusiastic about the competition.

The talent was also mediocre. Yes, The X Factor also had some singers who weren’t amazing, but most of the contestants weren’t that good. For example, the boy-band Beyond 5 (I believe that’s what they called themselves), was not as talented as X Factor alums, Emblem3. But, all that aside, I appreciate that the contestants tried to achieve their dreams… if they work a little harder on their talents and persevere, some of them might have a chance at auditioning for The Voice.

These days, there have been many singing competition shows like this, where the shows end up either: a) canceled after one season; or b) stick around for a few seasons, but go downhill with each season. There’s a reason for that. The ratings tend to be really high for the first episode, then they gradually decrease with each episode. I think this show will last for the remaining 3 episodes (ABC has ordered a 10-episode season, and 7 of them have aired already), then it will be cancelled. It will end up like CW’s The Next, or ABC’s other attempt at a music show, Duets. These shows lasted for one season each. Even the US version of X Factor, which proved to be a success for its first season, was cancelled recently.

Honestly, I don’t think this show will make it past the remaining 3 episodes. And if ABC does renew Rising Star for another season, I won’t be watching.

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