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Colin Hogg: Talent losing its appeal

By Colin Hogg

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Nine weeks on and the show, the contestants and the judges have all lost their charm, writes Colin Hogg.

New Zealand's Got Talent judges Jason Kerrison, Rachel Hunter and Ali Campbell. Photo / Supplied
New Zealand's Got Talent judges Jason Kerrison, Rachel Hunter and Ali Campbell. Photo / Supplied

Funny how you can go off things. Like NZ's Got Talent, for instance. When the local version of the foreign franchise show launched nine weeks back, I thought it was the bee's knees.

Though, of course, bees don't have knees and neither, really, does NZ's Got Talent, which is now looking quite stiff-legged.

After seeing the series launch way back at the beginning of September, I called it sweet, good-looking and likeable. I even hailed the judges - ex-model Rachel Hunter, and crooners Ali Campbell and Jason Kerrison - as splendid. I said presenter Tamati Coffey was the new Jason Gunn. I raved.

But nine weeks in television is a lifetime and on Sunday night (7.30, TV One) the talent quest series was showing its age - even Tamati's suit was showing its age.

The show had lost the wiggle in its walk, worn down, perhaps, by the repetition that holds these wretched format series upright.

In the end, they are all wretched. And quite a large part of the wretchedness of these shows is that their ends are often a very long time coming.

NZ's Got Talent still has four weeks to run. The awful endless The Block Australia has been running three nights a week on TV3 and it's still not done with doing itself up.

Now NZ's Got Talent hasn't much zip left by the time it's done with reprising last week's show and previewing next week's. They've barely got room to bang through another bunch of semi-finalists. And what a bunch they were on Sunday night.

There was a boy called Fletcher Oxford with a guitar singing a grotesquely sugary song he wrote to his dead cat. It ended with the line, "Why did you have to go?" Which isn't how I felt about Fletcher. I don't think it was the first song he'd written about that departed pet.

There were cheerleaders - "You guys are awesome," declared Rach - a young guy in a suit trying to channel Tony Bennett, a pair of intense salsa dancers and a rather good techno-pop singer called Mihirangi Fleming.

We have to wait till next week for this week's winner, of course, so we can all vote at 99c a pop. "And you can vote as many times as you like," says Tamati Coffey, still smiling when he's not endlessly telling us to "give it up" for the next act.

And why aren't the judges a bit more fun? I can't tell who's supposed to be the nasty one and isn't a bit more outlandishness in order with this sort of thing?

Rachel errs on the side of awesome, Jason's all earnest cheekbones and Ali's just happy to be there. It's hard to care who wins. It's more about wishing it was over.

And then we can get on with the next format series - something a bit more exciting than a too-long talent quest might be nice. I hear there are some good and disturbing shows waiting in the wings, ready to fly at us.

Celebrity Splash, the Dutch format series, is here, apparently, based around an exciting concept involving celebrities in togs hurling themselves from high diving boards.

Also in the race to humiliate and injure desperate famous people is Stars in Danger, a German format show that looks likely to have a New Zealand series. Among other challenges on that show, the celebs have to ride a wok down a bobsled track.

It doesn't get much better than that. Well, not till the nude version.

- NZ Herald

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