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As another season of "American Idol" closes, performance gameshows are
at an all-time high. Reality shows in general have overshadowed sitcoms
and have overtaken a generous percentage of the broadcast channel
Those fed up with this phenomenon will love "Superstar USA." It's everything you've heard (the "Anti-American Idol, etc.) plus much more, and it all makes for excellent television. Of course, it IS a reality show, so I guess that makes the entire idea hypocritical to the idea that reality shows should be downplayed. Regardless, it's tremendously addictive entertainment.
The central idea of "Superstar USA" - and I must deviate from the flow of the review here to explain the premise a bit - is that the show attempts to find the worst singer in the US. They do this by gradually putting the better singers on the cutting room floor, and they mask the ruse/trick of the show by staging the performances in a "solo" fashion. The contestants don't mingle and can't see the other performances, so as far as they know, they are up against the best vocalists our great country has to offer. At the end of the season, they reveal the joke. Yes, it's that evil.
The comments are oftentimes better than all other performance gameshows. When you hear stuff coming from the judges like, "I have to be honest with you. If I wasn't, I'd be dishonest," or "You slithered on that stage like a sexy snake," you can't help but admire this show's wit and charm.
Yes, this show is cruel. Yes, the winner and contestants will be heart-broken when the revelation is made prima facie. Yes, this all makes for spectacular entertainment value.
Thousands line up for hours for the hope to become America's first
"Superstar USA". It's sounds great but the show is looking for the worst
singer in the country and the auditioners don't know this . The three
judges find the worst of the worst and send them off the Hollywood for glitz
and glamour. However, that dream will eventually become a trashing down
when they realize the awful truth: this whole competition is a total
The singing is so bad it will make you bleed out of holes in your body like the Ebola virus. It's really hard not to be curious with this show even if your a total anti-talent show vegan. However, this idea is cruel and utterly embarassing. I can't even imagine how the "winner" is going to react when he/she realizes this whole thing is a joke.
The show is a hit but this kind of thing won't be around for long. Why? It's litterly impossible to do a second season.
I know I am a little late in commenting on this show but for some odd reason I began to have flashbacks about it. And I guess I shouldn't say this-but I really do wish they would do another season of this show. Yes, in a sense it is cruel to the contestants but maybe this show served as a dash of reality for those who were being fooled. Someone or something had to wake them out of their delusions. But in another sense, this show really was entertaining. For instance, I agree with Dragonfly about the comments and quips from the judges as being downright funny. Vitamin C would deliver them in such a deadpan manner...OMG, I would laugh so hard. So, yes, I wish to see Superstar return to the airways.
This show was just so darn funny, but how can anyone expect it to have gotten good ratings on the WB? If the WB HAD taken the time to advertise the show more, it would still be on all the time. Nevertheless, for those who saw Season 1, it is very easy to remember many of the awful singers who auditioned for the judges on this show. Each one was a character in his own right, and the winner of this show was extremely deserving of being called "WB's worst singer ever... I mean, Superstar"! But, at least he and the other contestant's gave it a worthy try. They really wanted to win the talent competition that they thought they were in. Even better was the judges on this show. Whereas, you hate all three American Idol judges more each season, the three judges for this show did an extremely wonderful job just being able not to burst out laughing at the contestants. I must say, this show is one of my favorite shows of all time, and it DESERVE'S a time-slot on the upcoming CW schedule. If you could see just one episode of it, you would no doubt agree with me.
I got to watch every episode of Superstars U.S.A. which during it's month one I got to watch more than 20 episodes which I got to see two hours on one station in Toronto which made me me enjoy the show even more. Some may look at it as a novelty spoof of American Idol, This show is something you can watch if you have nothing to do just to keep you away from being bored. WB Superstars U.S.A. was one show that kept me watching during these two hours and I enjoyed every moment of it. Some of the singers may have been bad but for the most part some of the ladies were gorgeous. My favorite panelist is Vitamin C (Colleen Fitzpatrick) She seems to be the kind I would like to hang around with even though she never had a hit record since the early 90's but still she was favarable to watch. I'm looking forward for next years WB Superstars U.S.A.
In an elaborate hoax, The WB's Superstar USA held auditions and only
accepted the worse of the worse to compete in this bizarre joke of a
competition. The show's panelists, Tone-Loc, Vitamin C and television
producer Briggs judge have the toughest job of lying about each
contestant's singing voice and react seriously.
12 Unsuspecting contestants are accepted into the competition and given makeovers to compete to be the WB's Superstar USA. Unable to hear each others voices, the dozen believe they're skillfull, but how will the final two react to each other's "special" singing?
The heat's on in the WB's Superstar USA.
Some people can take the moral high ground when reviewing this show and
sniff and snipe at how mean-spirited and cruel it was. I, on the other
hand, lament that there was only one season produced, and that the
"new" CW hasn't seen fit to resurrect it.
In my own not-so-humble opinion, SUPERSTARS USA wasn't just another reality show, but a wickedly brilliant, twisted commentary on reality shows in general...and one in particular.
I mean, let's be real, folks. "American Idol" has been decried and downgraded for playing to the basest level of what passes for entertainment, yet it continues to be phenomenally successful year after year. And what part of the show draws some of the highest numbers? The 'city auditions', of course, when the search commences for the finalists, and we have the opportunity to see some of the best and WORST that America has to offer. Randy 'woofs', Paula gushes incoherently, and Simon...well, you know what he does.
We eventually breathe a collective sigh of relief, having come out the other side of about six weeks' worth of pure hell, and get to cheer on the remaining contestants all the way down to the finale, our guilt at the public humiliation of all past castoffs forgotten.
If SUPERSTARS was guilty of anything, it completely stole the chronicle of IDOL'S first six weeks and ran with it, standing the concept of a talent search/singing competition on its head.
So, you love to watch delusional people who believe that they're God's gift to the music world? How about a show that plays right into that delusion, and makes you a co-conspirator? It isn't anything you weren't already doing when you laughed at William Hung, or what's going on right now during the current IDOL season, with the whole Sanjaya controversy.
It was just appalling yet amazing by turns, the lengths that the producers went to with SUPERSTARS. For those who have no idea what it was about, the concept was shockingly simple: hold auditions for the competition, but instead of conducting a search for the best singer in America, as IDOL professes to do, you look for the WORST.
It made for jaw-dropping, great television. Magnificent singers were told that they "weren't right for the contest", while some of the most appalling screechers, screamers and out-of-tune warblers were given verbal pats-on-the-back, told how "amazing" and "marvelous" they were. A lot of them had even been part of IDOL'S worst offenders.
Then these 'singers' were given the full treatment, just like on IDOL. Vocal coaches, stylists, time in a recording studio, sightseeing and shopping sprees, professional staging complete with fully orchestrated backing tracks AND backup dancers; the whole works.
And the contest went on exactly like IDOL'S competition, knocking down contestants to the Final Two. Only thing is - they were booted from the stage for IMPROVING, not for getting worse.
And here's where a lot of people think the show went too far: the host, judges' panel, the crew, and even the studio audience and the viewers at home were all in on the hoax. The "contestants" never heard what their competition sounded like until about the very last few episodes, when the remaining four participants were paired off to perform 'duets.' And the eventual winner was never let in on the joke until the very last minute...with everyone holding their breath to see what the reaction would be.
To my estimation, the whole thing was not quite as bad as "Carrie at the prom", as someone once commented about the show. Yes, it happened in front of millions of people, but then again, so do the 'bad' auditions on AI. And not too many reality spoofs award $100,000 for being the worst at anything. So the winner and the runner-up of SUPERSTARS took their money and ran, never to be heard from again, but this show stands in the reality firmament as one of the most genuinely entertaining of its kind.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Reviews on the internet are supposed to be pithy, entertaining, and
glib. Alas, regarding The WB's Superstar USA, I am unable to produce
such a review.
In 2004, millions of dollars were spent by the Warner Brothers network to produce this show, handsomely compensating its host and celebrity judges, following which the show was sent to millions of homes throughout the United States.
The WB's Superstar USA sought to find the worst singer in the United States, just as "American Idol" tried to find the best. At the same time, the show's intent was to humiliate its contestants and, by doing so, entertain its audience -- not in the style of the old game show "Beat the Clock," where people would perform outrageous stunts for money. No, singers here were manipulated and given ambiguously clever commentary, but were never told what was actually happening to them.
It's true, most of them sang very badly, but they were also led to believe that great things were ahead, during which the host winked knowingly at the TV audience. In the end, all contestants but one were eliminated. The final result was announced three minutes before the closing credits rolled, probably to avoid showing the intense pain which must have resulted once the winner could figure things out. As it turned out, she was an apparently sweet young woman who suddenly realized that she had been deceived from the beginning by everyone she had come into contact with.
While this was going on, producer and idea man Mike Fleiss sat in his office, grinned, and raked in more money than most of us will ever see. In executive meetings, I'm sure, and by the water cooler, people slapped him on the back and told him how brilliant he was and how utterly ridiculous all those contestants were.
Hundreds of work hours and untold numbers of emails and phone calls went into Mike Fleiss's project, one designed to humiliate people.
No, I wasn't one of those contestants or a friend to any of them. No, I'm not a singer. Nor am I a member of any church, political party, or organization that espouses any kind of moral rectitude.
I'm just a person who feels that the anonymity of being a viewer, one far from Hollywood, is no excuse to participate in humiliating someone. And that there is no excuse for a man like Mike Fleiss to take pride in reaping such rewards, or in fact any rewards, for the cruelty he inspired.
As it turns out, you see, money isn't everything.
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