In early June, on the Italian State TV channel RaiUno, a brand new talent show was aired and it easn0t the same format we have seen so far.
Actually the applicants are former one-hit wonders, that is musicians who had only one hit (the Crew picked them up off the 1980s, the 1990s and more recently, in the 2000s) and in this format tragic(omi)cally named “Now or never” these former stars have coaches and later judges, who are current long time pop stars, who have the task to help them to re-gain their credibility and success. You have to know this format isn’t new: in early 2000s RaiUno TV had aired the same format, but the name sounded less “drastic”: “Music Farm”: the winners even got better luck.
I was watching the first round-up and thought “Years ago smash hits and big pop stars now into the future,…. but really?”
The scariest things at first to me are: the coaches are designed to be first ”friends”, then judges who have to eliminate them from competition;
It did touch me to see today important and affirmed stars being called to be their coaches, so “friendly” people on their side, always smiling and then during the TV airing they have to rate them judge them and possibly so brave to keep away from nominations of the others their own protégé. The unfortunate former stars here have already tried on their skin the “real” competition, they still have the scars on their skin from the music world they were left outside alone. I do not think a competition, with a final prize (a music contract with a major label) is the thing they need right now.
It is so sad watch this music competition used as a sort of “rehab” place for these once-pop stars. What kind of rehab/help do they really need? They are guys who once enjoyed a terrific commercial success, popularity and later fell into dark, suffering from solitude and depression. One of them even confessed she was diagnosed with brain cancer and had to give it all up!! Their real rehab had to be made OUT of TV, never through a Talent show. I guess the Talent show crew thought that the newer generations can see them on TV as “new icons” (keep in mind that younger people new heroes are mostly from Talent Shows, they must have thought, cynically), but I personally think that they come from the past and would have to do their best to fit again to the newly structured music business. I do not think it is a matter of music skills, the rehab has to be psychological, first.
Their new “life”, their new future isn’t just a music contract. Their new dimension would be to be again with trusty people, who believe in them, in this new 2.0 recording industry.
The mistake is the artists involved accepted genuinely to take part to this competition, thinking about how to approach musically and tactically to the rules of this Talent show, but, alas,, they underrated the “day after” this Talent show: if years ago certain record labels had a cruel approach, they aren’t better replaced with Talent shows.
Now the original question would be: years ago OR into the future?
DD TV xx