|
|
Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
Columnist and author Melissa Crawley writes about what's hot on TV.
Instant gratification but little else on ‘Rising Star’
email print
About this blog
Melissa Crawley has a PhD in media studies from Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. Her book: Mr. Sorkin Goes to Washington: Shaping the President on Television's \x34The West Wing\x34 was published in 2006. She has also published work online ...
X
TV Reviews
Melissa Crawley has a PhD in media studies from Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. Her book: Mr. Sorkin Goes to Washington: Shaping the President on Television's \x34The West Wing\x34 was published in 2006. She has also published work online at PopMatters and Flow as well as chapters in the edited collections: The American President in Popular Culture and The Great American Makeover. Her weekly syndicated television column, Stay Tuned, is part of GateHouse News Service. Follow her on Twitter @melissacrawley
Recent Posts
Aug. 17, 2014 11:25 p.m.
Aug. 11, 2014 5:25 a.m.
Aug. 3, 2014 11:25 p.m.
July 26, 2014 5:10 p.m.
July 21, 2014 11:15 p.m.
By smal3082
July 14, 2014 12:01 a.m.



I can’t imagine it’s easy to emcee a live show and Josh Groban works hard to keep things moving on ABC’s new reality singing competition “Rising Star.” If only he’d stop telling me how “revolutionary” the concept of the show’s instantaneous voting is. The deal is that viewers use an app to decide a singer’s fate in real time. Competitors stand behind a wall and perform a song for a minute and a half. The audience and expert judges, Ludacris, Brad Paisley and Kesha, see them. In the early rounds, all they see is a black screen with tiny lights imitating a starry sky.

Viewers download an app, check-in before a contestant performs and then swipe right or left to indicate a yes or no vote. A graph on the right side of the screen charts the percentage of votes as they happen. If the singer earns seventy-percent of the checked-in viewers’ votes, the wall rises and they move to the next round. As the count takes place, profile pictures of people who voted appear on the wall. It’s either motivation or a real time reminder that America is just not that into you.

“Rising Star” isn’t revolutionary or innovative. It’s more like a few people thought: How can we fool the audience into thinking our singing show is changing the face of TV? I know. Make them feel like they’re in charge. Right. Now. Power to the people!

Here’s the thing. The people already have the power of the vote in singing competition shows (and dance shows and talent shows). Did I miss the meeting where we all decided that waiting a day for a results show was an outrage? If I take the time to vote for a singer on a TV show, I’m guessing I can wait more than ninety-seconds to find out the results. My vote doesn’t become more exciting because I can see its impact happening in front of my eyes. It just becomes a gimmick—an app game that I play one week and grow tired of the next.

The chemistry of a judging panel on a reality show is as important as the opinions they give and “Rising Star’s” experts have next to none. Paisley’s jokes, some at Kesha’s expense, are awkward and sort of sleazy. Ludacris often jumps out of his chair and urges the studio audience to vote no when he does while Kesha rarely changes her expression. I can’t really work out the point of them. Their vote carries the weight of seven percent so it could determine a contestant’s fate. But if the judges’ vote pushes someone through aren’t they circumventing the will of the people? And if all the experts vote no and the people vote yes, why do they need to be there? They only offer an opinion after a singer’s fate has been sealed which is kind of like a doctor giving you the diagnosis after you’ve decided to have the operation.

Sorry Josh Groban. This revolution should not be televised.



“Rising Star” is on Sunday at 9 p.m. EDT on ABC.

Recent Posts

    latest blogs

    • Community
    • National