The music is wonderful, from Eugene Onegin, La Fille Du Regiment to L'Arlesiana, it is a musical treat really. And all the finalists are excellent, each showing personality, a distinctive voice and a willingness to succeed. I enjoyed the passion and poignancy of Michael Fabiano's performance of Lensky's aria and the bravado and easy going charm of Alex Shrader's Ah Mes Amis, yes the aria with the notorious 9 High Cs, but I was the most moved by Ryan Smith's E La Solita Storia Del Pastor, not only because the performance was so poised but Smith sadly succumbed to cancer in 2008.
What I also loved was how the staff Marco Armiliato, Carrie-Anne Matheson and others treated the finalists. There is no pressurising(into saying someone will be eliminated), malice or exploitation, wants these finalists to succeed, treat them with respect and warm nurturing and remind them that even if you don't win you are still a winner. Plus when they do give any sort of constructive criticism, they are firm, honest but polite, none of the hyperbolic and verging on insulting tactics you find on TV. Not only that, but for what goes on behind the scenes. It is all very interesting and informative for anybody whether you want to aspire to be like these talented singers or not.
As for the stories of the finalists, these are genuinely poignant, (especially with Smith)interesting and heartfelt, with no manipulation, forced sob stories or distorted truths in sight. Instead they are honest and as far from artificial as you can come, and you root for not one of the finalists but every single one of them. As far as I'm concerned, they were all wonderful and all winners in their own way. Overall, a truly terrific documentary film. 10/10 Bethany Cox