COUCH POTATO: Karaoke show on an airport travelator...

Alan Carr. The singer takes it all (9052326)

Alan Carr. The singer takes it all (9052326)

First published in News by

WE'RE all still finding our feet in this brave new world of social media.

But there’s one lesson that really should have been learned by now.

If you’re going to hang a TV programme wholly on an app, make sure the ruddy thing works.

Yes, I’m looking at you, Channel 4.

Specifically a flaccid cod-slap of a new game show called The Singer Takes It All, whose title has had me cartwheeling with glee for weeks even before I knew what it involved, “where you at home are the judge and jury”.

Not executioner, though. There’s no need. This baby’s busy building its own gallows and noose.

It’s televised karaoke on an airport travelator, with contestants moved forward to the “gold zone” or backwards towards the exit doors (think Andi Peters’ Ejector Seat: The Musical, minus the inconvenience of chairs) at the whim of the voting public.

At least they would have, had the show’s app not gone kaput for the first two singers.

So Alan Carr, given hosting duties presumably on account of his legendary musical aficionado status, suffered the humiliation of announcing, twice, that the emergency back-up panel had to do the honours.

A fully functioning app would have made little difference to the unfolding calamity, however.

It’s the wrong show in the wrong timeslot with the wrong presenter on the wrong set (C4’s mothballed Big Brother entrance and walkway, unless I’m much mistaken).

Aside from that, well, no, it’s still abysmal.

They’ve made the same mistake as The Voice in recruiting an army of exceedingly average singers and ditching the promising wacky acts.

That’s just it, though. The entertainment – the fruitcase no-hopers – were there on a plate for C4, on a reel of failed auditionees singing at home into their phones.

So all we got of a middle-aged white bloke with thick black-rimmed specs giving Tina Turner’s Simply The Best the Vic-Reeves-through-an-airhorn treatment was five seconds when he could have been the star turn.

What remains is all the razzamatazz of a tube station busker having to grab on to a pole (the mic) as the train pulls off.

There’s a dubious scoring system too that rewards the singer who stays longest in the gold zone, with episode one’s winner entering it seven seconds before the runner-up despite both being moved forward uninterrupted by the voters.

The musical critique is something to behold, with Carr getting so little help from guests Rob Beckett, who “wanted to see some good singing”, and Pixie Lott that he found himself telling a bloke named Artit (really): “It sounded just like the song, didn’t it?”

Carr’s only other aid is “Lips”, the glittery gob of Brenda Edwards who finished fourth on X Factor in 2005 sandwiched between Chico and Journey South, having been pipped in the Overs category by Andy the bin man.

Fatally for The Singer Takes It All, the runaway winner had already been voted top of the week’s “app charts” by getting the most hits of all the hopefuls in the preceding days, so they can dispense with the entire show altogether and have it done and dusted beforehand.

Tonight, then, I’ll be taking Alan Carr on face value: “This is the show where you control everything that happens from the comfort of your sofa.”

Right you are. Click!

This week’s Couch Potato Spudulikes go to...

BBC3’s best ever show Our World War. (Seriously, iPlayer it).

BBC3’s fifth best show Sexy Beasts, with the immortal narration: “A line-dancing class has been gate-crashed by a space adder and a dog.”

Royal Marines Commando School’s superb storytelling.

Julie Walters falling in love with a hitherto unknown great-grandfather on the evergreen Who Do You Think You Are?

Ken Barlow’s first line on Corrie’s vast new set: “This place never changes.”

Dragons’ Den’s lift doors closing on an estate agent’s for-sale sign as he walked out.

And Big Brother’s Helen talking sense for the first time reading out a viewer’s tweet: “Helen on BB is everything that is wrong with humanity.” Amen to that.

This week’s Couch Potato Spuduhates go to...

BBC1’s latest men-hating drama In The Club. (I’m down the pub.)

Operation Wild demonstrating TV’s ongoing delusion that Clare Balding is the balls-and-all London 2012 legacy.

Who Do They Think They Are: 10 Years, 100 Shows giving too much time (any) to Boris Johnson while all but airbrushing the finest episode, Kim Cattrall’s kids-abandoning bigamist grandad.

ITV’s cynically timed WDYTYA rip-off Secrets From The Clink.

The mental scarring of seeing All-Star Mr & Mrs’s Matthew Wright in a strawberry-themed onesie.

And C5 marking World War I’s centenary lights-out, from 10pm to 11pm on Monday, by showing Big Brother’s housemates shrieking and leaping around like gorillas. It’s what the fallen would have wanted.

Comments (2)

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4:21pm Fri 8 Aug 14

Mervyn James says...

I was wondering just how low TV can go, first I thought C4 or C5 would walk away with that prize, now they are all pathetic, TV is dead. the man is a total bore and pain in the proverbial on his own show where he plies dumbos with drink before they can manage a coherent sentence. We could go down any pub in Newport and find a dozen the same ! Why do they HAVE to offer endless programs to one-day wonders ? (Most of them gay by the look of it). We now stand back to be totally enraptured by idiots boiling an egg or making a cake... with 3 or 4 clowns pretending they are mafia Dons or something and its a life and death situation if a souffle goes south. for god's sake turn the thing off and get some air.
I was wondering just how low TV can go, first I thought C4 or C5 would walk away with that prize, now they are all pathetic, TV is dead. the man is a total bore and pain in the proverbial on his own show where he plies dumbos with drink before they can manage a coherent sentence. We could go down any pub in Newport and find a dozen the same ! Why do they HAVE to offer endless programs to one-day wonders ? (Most of them gay by the look of it). We now stand back to be totally enraptured by idiots boiling an egg or making a cake... with 3 or 4 clowns pretending they are mafia Dons or something and its a life and death situation if a souffle goes south. for god's sake turn the thing off and get some air. Mervyn James
  • Score: -2

6:52pm Fri 8 Aug 14

smokintheweed says...

What difference does it make if they are gay? You come out with some real crap, Melvin.
What difference does it make if they are gay? You come out with some real crap, Melvin. smokintheweed
  • Score: 3

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