With American Idol heading for the exit doors (at least until January), what’s a reality talent junkie to do? Well, starting Thursday night on FOX, there’s So You Think You Can Dance. For those who aren’t into the dancing contests, however, there are some interesting options in the singing arena. One, NBC’s The Voice, is already underway. Once that show has concluded the last of its “Battle Rounds” (next Tuesday at 10 p.m.), we will handicap the race with all 16 finalists.
On deck is Bravo’s Platinum Hit, which showcases singer-songwriters with the reward of $100,000, and contracts for recording and songwriting. Former Idol judge Kara DioGuardi and former Nashville Star judge Jewel are the judging headliners for that show, which starts Monday, May 30 at 10 p.m. Bravo has already identified the 12 finalists for that show, and the list includes Idol semifinalist Jackie Tohn, who was cut loose after the Top 36 in Season 8. (I was not much of a fan of Jackie’s, as you can read in my review at The Trades.) Without having seen anything of the show, it’s hard to predict its quality, but it should be worth at least one look.
Of course, waiting in the wings is FOX’s X-Factor, the latest and maybe greatest creation of former chief Idolmaker Simon Cowell. This is the show whose British version delivered Leona Lewis as its champion in its third season. The voting format for this show is quite a bit different than Idol’s, as the fans only help decide the eliminations until the Top 5. Still, if Simon had given a Free Parking pass to Scotty as did this season’s judging equivalent of Moe, Larry and Curly, he still might have won. After all, he never went to the Bottom Three even once. Hopefully Simon and his new crew will be a bit more discerning than the Idol judges.
In any event, there’s no need to fear a withdrawl from lack of reality talent shows. With Idol out of the way for seven months, you’ll have plenty of time to peruse one or more of the other shows. Who knows — you might just end up finding a competition that you like much better.