Rising Star, the latest entry in the singing talent shows from ABC, has been on the air for two weeks and it’s great. For what it’s worth, I thought the show wouldn’t live up to the hype that was built in the television spots from the past few months. Now, the show isn’t perfect, there are some kinks that need to be ironed out in order to become ‘American Idol successful,’ like, for instance, host Josh Groban can come off as wooden or just plain corny. Rising Star has the elements of becoming the perfect talent show with integration of live voting. However, it couldn’t have come at a worse time when the ‘talent show’ show is losing traction and becoming a fad of the past.
When American Idol premiered twelve years ago, there was a wave of fresh air that hit the faces of television viewers. Here was something that was near novel with three personalities and a fantastic host. American Idol was a giant, a force to be reckoned with. Of course, though it was followed by a surge of copycat competition shows that tried (and failed) to gain market share. Nashville Star, The Next Great American Band, The One: Making a Music Star, X-Factor, and more all, at one point attempted to bring in an audience and failed. With shows like The Voice, which is growing to become a worthy contender against dying giant AI, there has been an oversaturation. No one really cares anymore, and by no one I mean me.
Skeptical, I decided to check out Rising Star. I downloaded the app, made myself a large tub of popcorn and sat and actually enjoyed the show. The judges, Ke$ha, Ludacris, and Brad Paisley, aren’t the greatest; at times they can be one-dimensional silhouettes of stereotypical ‘good-guy’ judges. What’s fantastic about the show is the level of interactivity. Surely, you can vote for two hours after the show has ended with The Voice and American Idol, but Rising Star lets you, with the addition of the free app, vote live to save or ditch competing singers. Don’t like the way the constant is singing, simply vote negatively and call it a day. On the other hand, if you think they’re great, vote positively and hope that the community agrees with you.
In a perfect world, this show would be a record executive’s wet dream; the fans are (to an extent) in control of who stays and who goes. We’re doing the work while A&R and sitting pretty in a large comfortable seat with their feet crossed over on desk.
Rising Star is trying to fulfill an insatiable need for people when no one really asked for this show at all. ABC is just trying to slaughter a dying breed and takeover with a reversed-engineered American Idol.
What’s preventing Rising Star from moving forward? It’s what makes the show fresh: live voting. In order to participate and make your voice heard (or Facebook profile photo seen) is to vote in the two-minute time frame given to each singer. This society is already soldered to their phone, checking and posting to Twitter and Facebook minute to minute. However, it’s a concept that won’t last; you have to download an app in order to participate. There are many people who are lazy who won’t want to sacrifice five megabytes of storage space to send Mary Jane on to the next round.
Rising Star isn’t perfect but it sure is entertaining. Will it last for another season? It could and it should, however, I don’t feel that it will. With American Idol and The Voice returning, Rising Star is the optimistic younger cousin that won’t get the respect it so rightfully deserves.
What are your thoughts on Rising Star?Google+