An impressive line-up in a mostly enjoyable and worthy show
As part of Breast Cancer Awareness month and to recognise the significant amount of work done in the UK, this show was put together with an invited audiences of, well, in celebrity terms "nobodies". The audience was predominately women who had worked and sacrificed to raise money for breast cancer charities and with this in mind it is hard to be mean to it even if the premise of yet another musical show on ITV on a Saturday night really doesn't excite you.
Indeed at first glance this is pitched at the audience who are waiting for the results part of X Factor to come on and indeed it even has many of the products of Pop Idol etc involved. I'm aware these shows are popular and that everyone seems to love karaoke and dancing, but I don't really want to associate with such if I can avoid it. However my interest changed with a simple glance at the list of those performing because while it has plenty of impressive names, what is more impressive is that they are all together on one bill. OK you have your local UK names such as Jamelia, Leona Lewis, Girls Aloud and such nothing wrong with that but certainly put Celine Dion, J-Lo, Alicia Keys and of course Chaka Khan on the same bill and it is worth checking out. The show starts with an air of Royal Variety Show about it that is a bit of a shame; it is most obvious in the "bright eyes, lots of teeth" dancers that kick around of stage too often and I did think this cheapen proceedings and worked against the performers at times.
Myleene Klass presents which I suspect is part of the quota system currently enshrined in UK whereby she must be present on television or radio for at least one hour out of every five. At times she is charming and stunning but here she a bit too clunky and unnatural and annoyed me. OK she fits the bill in a "big bright extravaganza " sort of way but she smacks of insincerity and her puppy-eyed fawning in her duet with Chaka Khan was a bit sickening. The presence of the stars almost makes up for the variety in quality of the performances and material. Khan is the "big" name of course but she is not great "I'm Every Woman" is a little off tune, while I found her new song grating; hell even on "ain't nobody" she seemed to drowned out by the music. Keys was very good; strong performance and real class in her delivery. Dion is not to my taste but no faulting her performance (or, as Klass comments, her legs) but she lost points by being one of the few to blatantly come out with a sales pitch. Lopez is not there but her recorded performance is good enough to make up for it. Jamelia is typically stunning. Drop dead gorgeous with a great presence. What a shame then that someone lumbered her with a song that she was never going to make her own. Outkast's Hey Ya is a perfect party song and the only cover I have heard done well was Will Young flipping it on its head and slowing it right down. Jamelia has to try and jazz up a song that is already there and it doesn't work that well. Bedingfield is what she is and Leona is solid, which is praise for someone who is sharing the stage with such big names.
Overall then an impressive line up produces and enjoyable show. The clips of money raising could have been dropped for the limited value they offer (they are not that inspired or inspiring) and some of the performances are not as good as the performance suggests but still for a 50 minute Saturday night show on ITV it is much better than the shows around it.
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