Must Be The Music isn’t just another X Factor-style talent show

Keith Watson – 15th August, 2010

TV Review: It goes to show how low our expectations have dipped on the TV talent front that Must Be The Music (Sky1) could trumpet itself as ‘a brand new type of music talent show’ without a hint of irony. So what exactly was new?

It’s about acts who can sing, play… or do both!’ trilled Fearne Cotton, taking time out from dribbling over Peaches Geldof and Paris Hilton. Now that’s what I call groundbreaking.

Yet though it overhyped itself to an absurd degree, there is something refreshing about Must Be The Music. First up, there’s the judges: though I’m not a major fan of Sharleen Spiteri or Jamie Cullum, there’s no denying they know one end of a chorus from another. And Dizzee Rascal, continuing his transformation from moody boy in the corner to everyone’s favourite cheeky chappy rapper, brings a contemporary edge to proceedings.

What’s best about these three is that they’re not Piers Morgan and Amanda Holden and aren’t on hand simply to fluff Simon Cowell. They appear to genuinely care about the groups and singers competing for the £100,000 prize, which means Must Be The Music has less of the ‘be mean to the delusional freaks’-feel that fuels The X Factor/BGT auditions.

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Needless to say, it’s shamelessly manipulated to kid us about who will make the final and it will all go heroically wrong when it’s thrown open to a public vote and a fiendishly efficient under-sevens Twitter campaign ensures a cute blond boy singing Flying Without Wings leaves the death metal, rap and indie contenders trailing in his wake. They should have two winners, one picked by the judges and the other by the public, to ensure some semblance of sense.

Heavens above, it sounds like I care about what happens in a TV talent show. It’s quite an alien feeling. Come on, you Essex geezers singing Made In England – one of the top contenders – I’ll be charting you right through to the finish.

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