In each pulse-racing "Fear Factor" episode, contestants (sometimes solo, often paired with spouses, siblings or best friends) recruited from across the nation must decide if they have the ... See full summary »
Twelve finalists and/or future singers (six men and six women) who were selected from America, compete in a talent contest in which they were asked to sing any song they like on this "Star ... See full summary »
Heidi Klum hosts a reality series where aspiring fashion designers compete for a chance to break into the industry. Each week, a designer is eliminated from the competition after exhibiting their work in front of a judges' panel.
The dancing is engaging but it is given too little time and the rest is just an unimaginative retread of the American Idol formula
Lifting the formula from Pop Idol (or American Idol I suppose) this show uses dancing instead of singing as the party piece in this extended reality talent show. This show takes on the different skill and tries to produce the same audience buy-in that Idol has globally succeeded in doing (although why so many millions have gotten the bug I'm not sure) but, although it has its merits, I must admit to being left quite cold by how unimaginative it is. The dance element is actually quite good because, after the early rounds the skill of those involved is impressive and I found myself really enjoying the dance sections the different styles and adaptability of those involved.
The problem is not the talents of those involved but the majority of the programme and what it actually does. The amount of dancing is a problem because the routines are very short and the vast majority of each show is taken up by other things which I disliked because I don't like the formula and I was only there for the dance talent. Sadly the show talks and talks too much, with far too many moments of analysis and chat where really they should have spent more time pushing the contestants to their limits rather than trying to squeeze an emotional hook out of them. The problem isn't helped by all the contestants being pretty bland, having great teeth, smooth skins and the inability to talk for 10 seconds without welling up with tears. None of them really engaged me as people or characters as they were all pretty much vacuous teenage types but again the dance was what I wanted.
The presentation of host Sanchez is also to blame I know American shows require smooth perfection but she is the definition of dull, looking constructed and plastic. She doesn't bring anything of value to the show I never thought I would find myself wishing for a bit of Ant & Dec! This is matched by the judges, who are mostly quite uninteresting. I hoped that they would give more insight than a layman but generally I don't think they did they may use the correct terms when critiquing the dancers but they aren't able to really justify their opinion other than saying the sort of things I found myself saying. Sadly too long is spent on them and I would have liked to see them and Sanchez really edited down to the barest of bones.
Overall then, this show hangs too heavily on the coattails of American Idol and almost seems afraid to do anything too differently. The dances and mix of styles is interesting and mostly I kept watching because of them, but they are alarmingly brief compared to the chat of the judges, the host and the contestants none of whom are even half as interesting as the dance moves.
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