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Monday, 9 December, 2002, 15:57 GMT
Fame Academy CD: Your views
Fame Academy's Sinead Quinn duets with Ronan Keating
Sinead Quinn, right, is among the album's performers
The Fame Academy album is in the shops as the BBC's reality talent search builds up to its TV climax this week.

A mix of cover versions and tracks written by the students, the album has shipped 200,000 copies ready for the Christmas market.

The show has had a mixed reaction from the public and critics, but big sales are predicted for the 18-track collection.

"It is a relief that, after the disastrous tuneless first episode, there are no bum notes," wrote BBC News Online entertainment editor Jackie Finlay.

But what do you think? Will the students and their performances stand the test of time? Or are their careers as good as over once the show falls off the air?

This discussion is now closed but you can read your comments below.

I think a number of people have written reviews of the album or show without seeing/hearing either. Any comparison between Fame Academy and Popstars is ridiculous from the start - the Fame Academy students kick the Popstars "singers" right back into touch. Fame Academy has created several very individual artists/performers who have the talent to match some of the world's best, while it is probably agreed by anyone still able to hear that the Popstars bands do not. Just sit back and count the number of times they mime in the next few months - I've not seen the FA students mime once - and that's because they CAN actually sing.
Chris Doidge, England

Please don't think this is going to be another Reality TV record - many of the tracks put the ones on the traditional Now That's What I Call Music!-type CDs to shame.
James Thompson, England

I think Fame Academy is so much better than this popstars rubbish. I really got hooked onto this show and it has to be the best tv talent show ever, beating pop idol
Joe, England

Fame Academy is hysterical, these overrated pub singers have been nothing but a strain on the ears since the whole mess of a show started. A complete waste of licence fee money must have gone into this rubbish. The BBC should be ashamed of themselves.
David, UK

Fame Academy has been fantastic. I've loved it from start to finish. The students have been a joy to watch. Nearly all have been excellent singers and a number good songwriters as well. I have to single out Malachi Cush for being a delight to watch - a beautiful person inside and out. Pure gorgeous as well.
Helen, UK

I accompanied a friend to the auditions in Glasgow. The atmosphere even in the queue was electric with people spontaneously bursting into song and playing a variety of instruments. The talent was superb and to dismiss the students as talentless in the face of such competition sounds like so much sour grapes. These people are not manufactured popstars and many have been in performing bands prior to the academy. As a singer in a successful group, I'd happily have any one of the original students sing/play alongside me. They are talented people who've been given the chance to develop already proven ability. Those on this page who berate the singers seem like so many people today who heckle from the sidelines but would never dream of doing anything themselves.
Kenneth, Scotland

Wow, and I thought that criticism was invented in my country. You critics should stop complaining about others and start making some music of your own. And by the way, there must be a button on your remotes to select another channel. But I guess you're all watching anyway.
Ronald, The Netherlands

Unfortunately these poor people, Pop Idol, Popstars and Fame Academy ,have been rammed down viewers' throats, even those who don't watch. Of course their careers are over before they start. Everyone is so sick of the sight of them, viewers are sitting there waiting for them to fail just to get them off TV.
Sonia, Guernsey

The show features less talent than Popstars: The Rivals threw out during their auditions.
Farah, UK

BS McIntosh, UK

I am listening to it now!! and it is fantastic!! Lullaby is just great.. The students are so talented and it shows in the album!! The criticism of the show is unfair. The last four students deserve to have big careers.
Steve, UK

About time, a group of newcomers on TV that have some talent, David will go to be a star!
Andy, UK

It would have been a better album if there had been more original material included

Marc, UK

OK, in talent stakes, Fame Academy rises above Popstars because the students can play other instruments and write music. To those that don't watch these programmes but feel they are rammed down their throats anyway, then I suggest you stop reading tabloid newspapers and gossip magazines...
Satine, Manchester, UK

I think it would have been a better album if there had been more original material included. I mean, all of these cover versions could have been done by anyone. Surely, these students have spent all this time in the academy to become original artists. The album needed more work. Released too early.
Marc, UK

Comparisons with Popstars are futile. Fame Academy students write their own material and sing in a variety of styles. They are not the usual "pop stars by numbers" that we have seen in Pop Idol and Popstars. If you haven't seen this show - give it a go!
Sharon, Scotland

The students of Fame Academy (and in particular those who are remaining) are far more talented than anyone seen on the Popstars franchise. Better singers, better songwriters and more interesting to watch, it's a shame this show didn't attract the same number of viewers as its rival show. I have no doubt that the album will reflect the quality of the talent - it's just a shame that Ainslie didn't win the competition.
Alex B, UK

These poor people will be washed up before the age of 25

Simon, UK
I have been watching Fame Academy from the beginning and the idea of this show is that you get to see the students improving week by week. They all have very different styles. There are definitely a few stars among them.
Gemma, UK

Why did the BBC buy into this whole reality TV nightmare? Big Brother 1 was quite interesting but this is now ridiculous. These poor people will be washed up before the age of 25.
Simon, UK

Couldn't agree less that they have less talent than Popstars. They can all sing, whereas only Daniel can in Popstars. I'm buying the Fame Academy tracks today!
Angela Elliott, UK

Perhaps the BBC could stage an old fashioned "Battle of the Bands" where competent bands can get some recognition, and more importantly, airplay! Surely it must be cheaper than giving some sub-talented wannabes a fleeting glimpse of what they do not deserve? Besides, British music needs original artists, who sell their wares by talent, not looks!
Ross Allan

Another reality TV show, another album. I would have thought that this will outsell any of the Popstars albums, as the students have talent, unlike the Popstars.
Dominic Hopson, UK

I think it was a mistake releasing this CD as it seems as if the programme makers are just in it to make money as well as the fact it will take sales away from the winner. I am a fan of Fame Academy but think they should concentrate more on the winner instead of making a quick buck.
Neil M, UK

This album will be on my Christmas list

Asa Dawson, UK

I've always found reality TV shows a turn off but have been so very suprised by Fame Academy. There has been much more to it than just winning the prize. These guys have real talent - not just singing or looking "pretty" but capable of writing and playing their own music which is great to listen to. That is what will stand the test of time.
Linda Bailey, York, UK

This album will be on my Christmas list. The Fame Academy students have proved that with the right nurturing their raw talents will shine. Unlike the Popstars contestants, they are proving that they look good on camera and can stimulate audience figures. Fame Academy students have a lot more about them musically, charismatically and facially.
Asa Dawson, UK

I think the remaining Fame Academy students are very talented. They have proved that they can write, play and perform week after week under pressure. Lemar is the shining star of the show with an amazing voice. I personally will be voting.
Rob , UK

I think the Fame Academy last five have been fantastic - the muppets on Popstars cannot even sing - Darius, Will, etc, were great but it's all been downhill from there.
Tina Hodge, UK

Shame that the greedy BBC couldn't wait until the series had finished. It's supposed to be a best of the series and the best may be to come!
Barry, England

I agree with Ross Allan - Battle of the Bands would be great. Bring back the Whistle Test as well. Doing covers of original artists' works are proof that all they can do is sing. Sure these people are talented singers but it would be more of a challenge for (Dare I say it) Fame Academy 2 contestants if they had to write three original pieces of music as part of the course. Can any of them read from manuscript? Then we will really know who has true musical talent.
Richard, UK

I think the Fame Academy students have been way better than the 'singers' in Popstars. I didn't like the system where the students chose 'mates' rather than who was the best and Marli shouldn't have got knocked out. However, fair play to Sinead and David though (both worthy winners) the sensible choice would have been to keep Ainsley and kick Lemar out knowing they had a better chance of beating him.
Pauline B, England

I'm sure it'll be in the remainders for 99p in the new year sales

Rich Thomas, Sweden/UK
Four words: Just look at Hear'Say...
Sarai Goddard, UK

I'm sure it'll be in the remainders for 99p in the new year sales.
Rich Thomas, Sweden/UK

Shame that the greedy BBC couldn't wait until the series had finished. It's supposed to be a best of the series and the best may be to come!
Barry, England

I wonder what commercial interest the BBC has in the album that it's promoting via the programme and here on the web (with our money)? In the US anti-trust legislation would make such action illegal. I haven't heard the album but expect that it would be like the show - karakoe hell
Mike, UK

I think people who believe that these people have talent have been subjected to manufactured British rubbish for far too long. None of these people deserve the fame they are about to receive. The public are manipulated into being emotionally involved with TV characters and are then sold to, on the back of this.
Mike, UK

While it might not be everyone's cup of tea, I've enjoyed watching this group of nervous wannabes become fresh and talented performers. They have something that Popstars and Big Brother lack severely - a bit of class.
Jasmine, UK

I cringed to Girls Aloud from Popstars. The Fame Academy students are way ahead of them with talent, musical ability, etc. At least they are being encouraged to write their own music. I hope they do far better in the charts than either Popstars band - there would be no justice otherwise.
Alison, England

I have been pleasantly surprised by Fame Academy. The students have shown enormous improvement over the series (which is surely the whole point). The last four are all top-class performers, who will have a career, though two of them would be better off fronting a band. Lemar singing Nothing Compares To You sent a real tingle down my neck.
Mike, UK

I agree that the final Fame Academy students are simply beyond compare with the Popstars brigade. It's a shame that they weren't allowed to showcase more of their original material - something that David and Ainslie have often complained about. I think the BBC tried to have it both ways by claiming that they had credible musicians who could write, but putting them up as pop-cover puppets each Friday to please the masses. Next time, have a bit more faith in your artists and in your audience!

Initially I loathed the programme but now I am a convert. I listened to the album today and 95% of it is excellent, especially Lullaby and 'Keep Me A Secret. Unfortunately I think many of the public will avoid buying it under the belief that it will be the same as all the other reality TV records. It's worth a listen!

The funniest CD I've heard in ages

Steve, Lincoln
Being a Christmas release, when the normally sane suddenly lose the plot and buy records by Mr Blobby and other such bilge, I'm sure the album will be a roaring success! Released at any other time of the year, though, no one would notice.
Chris, England

Like many others here I agree that the album has been rushed through. I don't really think that the contributions of the early evictees are all that good and I would have liked to hear more from the last five. I do hope Malachi, Ainslie and the two losers from this week get recording contracts as I'm surely going to want to hear more of them.
Christine, UK

I think that a lot of the people who have posted sneering comments about Fame Academy can't have been watching it lately, a bit like the lazy tabloid journalists who have continued to decry it! I bought the album and while I agree some of the cover versions are poor, others are refreshing and the new songs are a treat too.
Carol Gibson, UK

The public have not been brainwashed - these Fame Academy students actually have musical ability and talent. I agree that the album has been released as more of a profit-enhancing exercise, but the material on it is from talented people, unlike the mindless drivel that is being released by Girls Aloud and One True Voice.
Stephanie, England

Love it! Along with Steve Martin and Bill Hicks, this has to be the funniest CD I've heard in ages. Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me) is especially hysterical. Here's hoping The Smurfs do Fame Academy in 2003.
Steve, Lincoln

Stop the insanity... please.
Mel , London

Bring back Shakin' Stevens!
Buchanan Blake, Scotland

I have just listened to the Fame Academy CD for the first time, and what struck me was the sheer quality of many of the singers (eg David, Sinead, Nigel), although I feel that the music could sound a bit more expansive. The standout track for me is David's Goodnight Girl, a performance that any professional singer would be very proud of. Weakest track? Perhaps Keep Me A Secrete (sic), not a good song for Ainslie to showcase his 'talents'.
David Duff, London

A decent offering but I'll wait for Lemar's solo album, thanks. Why have cotton (Sinead & co) when you can have silk?
Vanessa Walters, UK

It's just another samey album put together with chewing gum and rubber bands. We've had enough, enough do you hear?

Kevin J, UK
I always thought it peculiar that although the show is called Fame Academy, all the students are judged on is their ability to deliver a song. But now it is clear, it was a ploy to be able to sell records. Have enjoyed the show but won't be buying the album.
Gareth, UK

I did watch this a couple of times and thought, yes, some of the contenders were talented, but I'm in no hurry to listen to or buy the album. It's just another samey album put together with chewing gum and rubber bands. We've had enough, enough do you hear?
Kevin J, UK

Although the BBC/ Fame Academy should have avoided the Christmas market completely, some of the tracks on the album - especially the original ones - are good. Bring on a second series and record contracts for others besides the winner.
Carole, UK

The album is OK. It was nice for them to put everyone on it, but we voted those people off, I don't even remember anyone before Nigel (who is awesome). Keep Me a Secret and Lullaby are incredible and show that when all is said and done, Malachi, Ainslie and Lemar will be huge stars.
Alin, UK

I work for a major retail store and it's selling like hotcakes. A definite winner, but not my cup of tea.
Matt Morelli, England

Great, another album by a bunch of over-marketed karaoke singers. The sad thing is that there are people who actually believe this garbage has any artistic merit at all.
Keith Harrison, Scotland

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09 Dec 02 | Reviews
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