Going into Saturday night’s premiere of “Let It Shine” on BBC One, we had no idea as to precisely what we were supposed to suspect. The bad news is that this is YET ANOTHER singing show. The good news is that there are some differences between this show and the others. There’s a point system almost like “Dancing with the Stars,” a lighter tone, and the presence of Graham Norton as a co-host. Clearly, the network’s going all in hoping that this can be a hit.
One thing that we especially like is that there is a real prize at the end of this that is tangible: A job with a stage show that is inspired by the music of Take That. It’s certainly possible that this entire show exists merely for Gary Barlow’s ego, but who are we to complain about this?
As the show goes on, we’ll be adding some more updates on the show and some of the people we get a chance to see perform. Stay tuned…
Clinton Elvis – The first audition of the season, a Ugandan artist who has a name that seems perfect for any future star in music. If we were to look at his performance objectively, we’d say that his ability as a performer his great. However, his singing skill leaves something to be desired. He didn’t have a lot of range, but the smile was infectious. Our Score: 3. Judges’ Score: 16 (average of 4).
Deaglan Arthurs – We do think a whole lot of our enjoyment of Declan came from the fact that we never expected that deep voice to come out of him. While there were some pitch issues, we love the personality and the fact that he clearly has a little bit of natural stage talent. They’re looking for someone who can dominate in this venue, and we do certainly think that Declan can. Our Score: 4. Judges’ Score: 18.
Jamie-Ryan Taylor – He’s never performed in public before. There’s some raw potential there, but we’re rather frustrated that he went on this show without doing any real gigs. He’s gotta get out there and work harder to confront some of these nerves! Our Score: 2. Judges’ Score: 11.
Jazzie – The energy that he has is infectious and on another level. He’s a great showman, the best dancer that we’ve seen so far, and also someone who we could see handling some of the background vocals of the group. He’s not a great singer, so that is something he has to work on a little more. Our Score: 3. Judges’ Score: 17.
Tyler Smith – Maybe we’re the mean judge of this show — that’s the only explanation that we can offer after seeing the critique that was here. There was a lot of potential within his voice, but his take on “You Are So Beautiful” was a little shaky. What we do like is that he did seem ready and exciting to do all of the work that would be needed in order for him to be a star down the line. Also, Gary surprising him in his hometown was fun. Our Score: 3. Judges’ Score: 17.
Nicky Price – The first perfect score of the auditions! Also, it was easy to understand why. He hit every single note of “Say Something,” and more than that, he connected to the lyrics of the song and made it feel important to him. We’ll see what he does in faster songs, but this was a great start. Our Score: 5. Judges’ Score: 20.
Nick Carsberg – We’d compare Nick a lot to someone like Clinton from the start of the show. He had a lot of energy, and we like that he has a ton of confidence and isn’t afraid to show that off. The problem is that his vocals don’t have a lot of range to them — but he’s young, which seems to be the case for all of the contestants this time. Our Score: 3. Judges’ Score: 16.
Jason Brock – The oldest auditioner at 30, and by the time we made it to the end of this, it was pretty clear that the judges were in love with him — and, to be fair, so were we. He’s got a little bit of an advantage in that is trained as an actor in the West End, but the others should just think of that as a challenge. You want to compete against the best, right? Well, here is one of the best! Our Score: 5. Judges’ Score: 5.
What did you think about the premiere of “Let It Shine,” and some of the talent that we saw? Share in the comments! (Photo: BBC.)