As opposed to other singing competition TV shows which feature a cast of celebrity judges, Rising Star features a cast of celebrity experts and considers the viewers at home the judges. During each performance, the audience at home is able to decide in real time whether or not a contestant is sent through to the next round by using a mobile voting app.
While the viewers at home are considered the “judges”, the expert panelists (Brad Paisley, Josh Groban, Kesha and Ludacris) also influence the vote.
Each performance begins with the contestant singing behind a screen (“The Wall”). Once the contestant reaches 70% of “Yes” votes, the screen opens and the contestant goes to the next round of the competition. Alongside the viewers’ vote, three of the panelists (excluding the host) have 7% of the vote each, which will be added should they vote “Yes”. Throughout the season, competitors are eliminated if they fail to raise the wall, until reaching the final stage of the competition, wherein four singers compete to win the title of “The Next Rising Star”.
ABC has been rallying this as “the one that would change the way we watch television”. But Rising Star got off to a low-energy start.
The idea of an enormous wall separating the contender to his shot to fame, lying on the hands of the public vote via an app is such an amazing thing to see. Creative and innovative, Rising Star is definitely a star on the vast pocket universe we call television, in a constellation of singing reality shows. But will all these keep us glued every week?
Groban, in an amateurish hosting style, almost forgot that he has television viewers watching. Tolerable, he can be the next Ryan Seacrest.
The celebrity experts (judges) lack enthusiasm as they look forced to do the task. The banter between the judges fell flat and Ludacris is bordering to overacting.
Since most of the judging belongs to the audience at home, there will be a tendency that it could somehow affect the winners who’ll get through the Auditions. Example of which, since avatars of the voters will be flashed on the screen if they pressed “yes” on the app, they’ll be tempted to push it anyway for the heck of seeing their face on the screen, regardless how good or bad the contender was.
I don’t think the Wall is helping them enough. There’s still more room for improvement as they were on their 2nd live show.
My rating: ★★☆☆☆
Catch the first episode here: