Two new reality shows geared toward performing arts are scheduled to air next month: “The Dance Scene” premieres on E! on April 10 and “The Voice” airs on NBC on April 26.
Will they be worth seeing or will the shows just flop into the worn track of reality TV?
“The Voice” is a singing competition modeled after the popular Dutch show “The Voice of Holland.” Probably the first question that pops into your mind is ‘how is this any different than “American Idol”?‘
The panel of celebrities coaches is a youthful group of well-established vocalists, including Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Blake Shelton and Maroon 5’s Adam Levine. They serve as coaches instead of judges like on “American Idol” or “The X-Factor.”
Four celebrity singers will compete by forming teams of contestant singers. With mentoring from the coaches, the teams will compete. Members will be eliminated until there is one member left on each team.
As the name suggests, “The Voice” focuses entirely on the vocal abilities of contestants. The initial audition is blind. The celebrities can only hear, not see, the contestants to guarantee the decisions are made purely based on the voices.
“The Voice” will premiere on April 26, a move that makes it a direct competitor against “American Idol.” Examiner.com predicts that the new show can steal viewers who are dissatisfied with Idol.
Produced by “American Idol’s” Ryan Seacrest, “The Dance Scene [trailer]” follows celebrity choreographer Laurieann Gibson as she trains five assistant choreographers and dancers to work with high-profile stars.
Gibson has worked with big-name artists, including Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, P. Diddy, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga. If you had the opportunity to see Gibson in “Making the Band,” you would expect her over-the-top attitude to make for a considerable amount of on-screen drama.
Even though it’s different from competition shows such as “So You Think You Can Dance,” “America’s Best Dance Crew” and “The Wade Robson’s Project,” “The Dance Scene” is not original. MTV has done this type of show many times.
In 2007, Jennifer Lopez produced a brief eight-episode series called “Dancelife,” in which six dancers struggled to make it big in Los Angeles. “Taking The Stage,” which ran for two seasons (2009–2010), portrayed the journey of up-and-coming high-school-age performers from SCPA (the School for Creative and Performing Arts in Cincinnati).
Neither of those MTV shows became big hits. They both had the same motif of letting drama play out slowly and ending with scenes of artistic expression that symbolize the emotional climax of each artist.
Judging from E!’s reality style and Laurieann Gibson’s personality, “The Dance Scene” is bound to be more bubbly and loud. However, it can only attract a niche audience at best.
“The Voice” is likely to draw audiences at least for the novelty and rivalry among the celebrities. “The Dance Scene” may gain less sympathy because it focuses on an elite group of celebrity choreographers.