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Thursday, July 3, 2014

5 Reasons ABC's Rising Star Singing Competition Is Fucking Terrible

Posted By on Thu, Jul 3, 2014 at 2:00 PM

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Last week, ABC proved they'd learned absolutely nothing from the gigantic failure that was Duets (remember that nonsense?!), and launched a brand new singing competition called Rising Star, starring Kesha, Ludacris, Brad Paisley and Josh Groban. And it's fucking terrible. Here's five reasons why:

1. It's Tired and Derivative, But Thinks it's Revolutionary

Presenter Josh Groban opened Episode 1 with the following statement: "Welcome to Rising Star. It's a completely new concept, unlike anything you've ever seen. Tonight, we're going to change the way you watch television... We're about to do what no show has ever done before." Lies! All lies! Here's what Rising Star actually is: a singing competition, voted for by the public (what a crazy new concept!), that has stolen its theme tune from X Factor, and its division between performers and judges ("The Wall") from The Voice. Only the whole "Wall" thing doesn't make any sense, because even though the performers are behind it, a video screen on the other side shows the judges and audience everything the singer is doing. WTF is the point?


2. No Chemistry

You know how on The Voice, the judges take swipes at each other and it's fun and entertaining and a little bit heart-warming because you can tell they all get along so well? Rising Star is the opposite of that. The four stars here repeatedly accidentally insult each other, making the live show awkward as fuck. Like when Groban asks Kesha if she's ever hung out with a President, she replies "Not yet" and Brad Paisley chimes in "I think Bill Clinton's her type" in a sexist, snarky manner. Or when Josh Groban makes a self-deprecating comment about his nerdy-white-guy-ness and says "You can call me MC Tiddlywinks" only to have Ludacris flatly respond "I'm not gonna do that". These people are exhausting.

3. Over-complicating Things as a Ploy to Seem More Interesting

The rules for this competition are overly-complicated from the get-go. Josh Groban had to spend, like, ten minutes of the first episode, explaining how to vote. You have to download an app, sign up with Facebook, register to vote, state whether you want your face on "The Wall", check in before every performance, swipe to vote. There are time zone issues! There are percentage calculations! And crucially (since apparently there are people willing to wade through that insane voting process) there are absolutely no reasons for the judges to even be there! Seriously. They're just one slightly bigger vote in a pile of public ones. It kind of makes no sense. Oh, and just to add more levels of stupid, the contestants don't know the order they'll be performing in. And there are singers in the audience who didn't know they'd be asked to perform at all. What is the point of all this?!

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4. Rising Star is Ruining Kesha For Us

You know who shouldn't be forced to behave herself on live television? Kesha. Because all of the fun, free parts of Kesha that make her such a shining beacon of slightly-shambolic awesomeness are lost when you take away her ability to swear and talk graphically about filth. What's more, Kesha is basically the worst judge on earth, due to the fact that she has built a career on preaching a message of acceptance, self-love, support and all-inclusiveness. Put simply: Kesha ain't the kind of girl who's going to shoot down young hopefuls on live television because she's too damn nice. And when they're so bad that she has to, she looks like she's going to cry. Look, Rising Star, just admit this was all a mistake and let Kesha go home and do something useful.

5. Where the Hell is This Going, Anyway?

At the end of each performance, each contestant has a percentage of votes from a combination of the judges and the public. If they get over 70%, they raise that stupid fucking Wall gimmick-thing and stay in the competition. If they don't get 70%, they (invariably) get told off by Ludacris and sent home. But for all the math here, this is terribly unstructured. Unlike X Factor, the performers aren't being divided up into categories, or onto teams like The Voice. How will this hodgepodge get sorted? When does the audition process stop? And what happens after that? Truthfully, we'll never know because we're never watching this nonsense again.


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