Paying homage to their roots, Little Mix goes in search of a new pop group in this song contest that should be a hit with their fans.
The idea of a TV song contest seems a bit outdated these days The X Factor takes a year off to lick his wounds The Voice walks endlessly without ever discovering a star Britain’s Got stop-start series Talent proves less in entertainment than Ofcom complaints At least latest attempt to turn the tide comes with celebrity seal of approval Welcome to Little Mix: The Search (BBC One)
Nine years ago, teens Jade Thirlwall, Perrie Edwards, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Jesy Nelson were Tulisa’s ‘little muffins’, becoming the first band to win The X Factor Now they’re part of the bands best-selling girls of all time, having moved 50 million records worldwide
Now the artists formerly known as Rhythmix (they had to change their name after a legal dispute with a Brighton-based charity) are repaying the talent competition favor by running this brilliant new series Their mission? Looking for new faces to follow in their footsteps and form an act of support for their next tour
Confusingly, they decided to create six different groups, which will then compete for the ultimate prize The half-dozen categories were (deep breathing) Boy Band, Girl Dance, Girl Vocal, Mixed, Vocal & Instrument and Rap R&B A sign of the times in itself, with bands playing their own instruments considered a niche genre And surely girls should be able to handle dancing and singing at the same time?
After sifting through thousands of audition tapes online, the opening episode saw them put together a boy band made up of hundreds of hopefuls The Likely Guys were individually auditioned, screened for ‘test alongside their rivals and finally tested on the road in front of an audience This audition stage was filmed in February, before the lockdown, and will be followed next month by Covid-safe studio shows
Still baffled? You would be soon Girls often seemed to invent the different phases – Social Wall! Last look room! Music room! Concert audition! Deliberation! – as we go We hope everything falls into place as the series progresses
Five reached final training Electrician Adam had « a Justin Timberlake vibe, » though he had never heard of him or his N’Sync band. The shy worker Lee was a « diamond to the raw ‘despite his mannered vocal twang Talis of Port Talbot had a rich, almost lyrical voice Rapping ex-footballer Kaci brought “gravy and flava” Zeekay (who once had a pep talk from his idol Stormzy in a fried chicken store) was considered « a naturally born artist »
Today’s boy band enthusiasts certainly have a model All wore steamed up jeans with ripped knees, sweatshirts and gold chains (very Connell from Normal People) while singing Lewis Capaldi’s soppy ballads, Ed Sheeran or former One Direction members Their fingers in their ears try to harmonize Popstars, a historic talent show recalled in 2001 Unfortunately, there was no sign of Darius
In many ways, it was a strong and confident start The quality of the talent was surprisingly high The soundtrack of the show and her knowledge of social media should make her appeal to a young audience Especially, since their names are on the box, Little Mix made to hire mentor-judges
Their interactions were extremely warm. Pleasantly, they felt like strong friends There was no sign of those annoying tales of « catfight » rivalry that are invariably forced upon women onscreen The Awesome Thirlwall became the de facto leader, with Edwards as the group’s resident vocal technician, Pinnock as the peacemaker and Nelson as the villain.
The energy and excitement of the quartet was contagious After being there and doing this, they had credibility when they demanded something « raw » with « advantage » and « booty » It was also refreshing not to watch a panel of middle-aged men claiming to always be up to date with pop trends
However, The Search suffered from the familiar curse of the BBC talent franchises of being a little too dignified – a fate suffered by Fame Academy’s previous flops at The Greatest Dancer The auditions were nicer than many. equivalent shows, without hiccups or freakshow element All this is very commendable but it led to a pleasant sweetness, draining the process of endangerment
There was also a whiff of hypocrisy Jesy Nelson spoke of being traumatized by cyberbullying after winning The X Factor.She made award-winning documentary, Odd One Out, about the cruelty of new-fame Little Mix promised more favorable aftercare to applicants, but that still begs the question: why host your own talent show if it’s a double-edged sword?
This new series had its flaws, but it was buzzy and contemporary A breath of fresh air in a dying genre Young people and Little Mix fans are probably going to love it Everyone will feel awfully old We’ll stick with it to Strictly and Bake Off, thanks
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Little Mix, Jesy Nelson, The X Factor (UK) Interactive, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Perrie Edwards, Jade Thirlwall
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