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Tuesday, 8 October, 2002, 08:51 GMT 09:51 UK
Fame Academy: Your views
A troupe of pop hopefuls began their quest for stardom on BBC One's reality talent show Fame Academy on Friday night.
Eleven contestants were named before the show began, with the public voting for a 12th contestant during the first show.
But what did you think?
This debate is now closed. Please see below for a selection of your comments.
This show just proves why people don't want to pay their TV licence. Doesn't the BBC think that we might have had enough of the "let's get someone famous for a night" attitude that we don't find entertaining anymore, if we ever did!
Big Brother had better look to their laurels. Having watched for an hour or four on interactive, this is in a class of its own. Forget the rest.
The awfulness of this programme left me flabbergasted. Does the BBC really think they can get away with such rip off television? The standard of the acts on the show was atrocious - when there are so many good singers and performers around, why give prime time exposure to this bunch of barely passable karaoke singers?
BBC - never mind spotting talent - try finding some presenters that are genuine and can interact with the young wannabes, their lack of experience was evident. You need someone like Gabby Roslyn. I appreciate the show is not about the presenters but I believe they are instrumental in the success of the first night.
Tony R, UK
The Fame Academy is yet another example of the BBC dumbing down its programmes in order to justify its need for the mandatory licence fee. When is the BBC going to do what it should be doing - producing creative, original and challenging television that could not be supported by advertising?
Sinead, what a star! She'll be the winner.
Wow what talent! I've never seen such a collection of perfect copies of copies of copies! These guys and girls really do look more like the last lot than the last lot did. I especially liked the one who looked like a cross between that one who's seeing that one off Eastenders and that one that used to be in Eastenders. Please can we have yet more of the same thing in an ever so slightly different fashion? The world really needs more Will Gates.
I watched about the first 15 minutes and then fell asleep. I woke up about five minutes after it finished. It didn't really impress me in the short time I watched it, so maybe falling asleep was my brain's way of trying to save me.
Jeff Thorpe, England
Give it a chance, it's barely started yet. Isn't this the nation that is addicted to such programmes: Big Brother, Popstars, I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here - I could go on. You criticise the contents but you're the ones sat there ringing up the phone lines.
Any programme with attractive girls is OK by me. The fact that I enjoy the music is a bonus!
Get a load of stray cats, shove them in a room together and get them singing. It'll sound better than those karaoke freaks. I was reminded of Vic Reeves and his pub singer impressions. Stop the pain. Give me my licence fee back.
Yeah, bring on the next batch of disposable media puppets!
I watched about the first ten minutes, then thought it's nothing new. It's done in the same vein as Pop Idol and other shows like it. So when is the BBC going to be creative again instead of making programmes that seemed to be aimed at bringing in the ratings? I'm not saying the BBC don't make interesting programmes, but this just seems to be some sort of challenge to the programmes like Pop Idol.
Some of the so-called stars were awful. Watching them try to dance and sing was painful. It was like watching a glamorised karaoke show. Some of the singers who performed on the show tonight wouldn't have made it past the first round of Popstars: The Rivals.
Seems to me that the type of person selected has to follow a bit of a formula: middle of the road voice, appearance commercially viable, pliable character. Anybody with too much distinction and/or originality in their voice or character, is not deemed suitable. Verdict: Boring
I found the show very good, but where is the credit to say that Operacion Triunfo in Spain is where the format has come from?
The format of this show was poor, and having 11 people singing songs in unison just did not work. The smaller ensembles worked better. There was some dodgy tuning in the larger set pieces, but not unexpected. Why we went through the drama of choosing the 12th contestant is beyond me - but those three should get together as they sang together quite impressively.
At the end of the day, though, Opportunity Knocks produced more stars and more entertainment - time, perhaps to bring it back and give reality (ha ha) a rest?
The opening song performed by the contestants reminded me of some kind of Butlins routine.
Raw but good. It went straight to the action and that's what I liked.
Having seen the "talent" on display, I only wish I'd applied myself. I can play the spoons and I'm pretty sure my performance would have stolen the show considering what I would have been up against. Singing as a collective group they were awful.
Same old, same old. Different channel. Next!
Best spoof ever.
Hmmm... two unique female voices there standing out above the other ten already. Let's hope it's judged on talent and not pop star looks. Really not sure about the James Bond wannabe headmaster though.
Here we go again, another voyeuristic "talent" show, where overbearing youngsters can showcase how talented they really are. Just think of the money.
I thought that the Fame Academy show was more like a re-run of The Kids from Fame rather than a talent contest. The set and lighting was so obviously Brits meets Pop Idol. The singing was for a large part, painfully out of tune and we were fed the usual unhealthy diet of "how to make a Pop Star in 13 weeks". The shame of it is that whoever wins this sad and unrealistic programme will be launched upon a career that they have not earned in the time honoured way of hard graft over years and years of song writing, touring and recording. This in turn will make his or her career unsustainable.
The format is not particularly original. Mix one part Big Brother with one part Popstars then drizzle one part Pop Oil... sorry Pop Idol, mix for 13 weeks and cream the million singles that will be sold by each artist. Add some phone voting for seasoning along with inescapable blanket record deal with a major and current trendy artist management company. Heat in an oven (house) with voice trainers and choreographers and serve.
These hopefuls were sadly lacking in charisma. ITV seem to have done a much better job for once.
I watched ten minutes of this dross and immediately brought up my chicken madras which I had spent ages preparing and enjoying. I simply do not care about these talentless nobrains caterwalling in my living room.
Watched the first five minutes.... need I say more????
Watched all broadcasts on Friday night i.e on BBC1 and BBC Choice and was thouroughly entertained by both. From the presentation by Cat and Patrick at Shepperton to the students giving their all, "Live" was an ace piece of TV, well done Aunty Beeb. Certainly puts Pop Idol into a cocked hat! Thanks guys!!
The continued peddling of the culture of mediocrity. The pursuit of celebrity for its own sake being marketed as ambition. Switch off and read Ben Elton's Dead Famous instead.
Tacky first show!!
Hope it improves!
The show was fine, but the male presenter wasn't. Whoever he was.
Rubbish.. and well er... rubbish really.. no infact if it were rubbish I probably would have watched it for longer than 2 mins but it went beyond the rubbish stage and far out the other side..
I thought the purpose of the TV licence was to fund original programming, not ITV copycats.
A tragic waste of my money as a licence payer. You do not get normal people applying for such things - you do however get pretentious, spoilt brats.
Made me reach for the remote faster than a speeding loan commercial!
We've just had a new baby so looked forward to enjoying a Friday night in front of the box. Apart from They Think It's All Over we had to surf around this tired old rubbish and its counterpart on ITV.
Thank goodness for Discovery Channel - but on a Friday night!!
At least they can sing, and I haven't had to sit through the auditions like on Pop Idol and Rivals. I think it's got potential. I personally would rather watch live shows like this than repeat after repeat or American sitcoms, at least this is happening. Hope the contestants do well.
A pointless waste of time and resources. The BBC should have known better.
The BBC has achieved the impossible and made Popstars look really good.
The record companies have been complaining about piracy destroying the industry. "Popstars" and it's kind are the biggest threat, with their non-entity, here today gone tomorrow brand. Leave music to people who actually care about it!! When you care more about ratings than real culture, you hurt society as a whole.
Sheikh Ahmed, United Kingdom
A hybrid of Model Behaviour and Popstars. Why? The ratings, I suspect. No-one at the BBC seems to care about originality these days.
I thought that the singing was atrocious. The people that got through the first rounds of Pop Idol, Rivals and Popstars all had much better voices. It sounded like a singalong in a pub.
Immediate turn-off, as with all the other, so called, star making shows.
Jane Lush says she wants to take risks. So what does she do? (1) Bring daytime shows to primetime. (2) Take on old shows that have already been hits in other countries. (3) Jump on extremely late to the pop reality trend to the exclusion of many other ground breaking new ideas being put to her. Maybe she should remember that her admirable career has been rocketed when she has ACTUALLY taken risks (not least: Weakest Link).
Mark Barrett, UK
I had heard people at work talking about this show and when I flicked channels last night I could not believe it was a BBC show, I had naturally assumed that this kind of trash would be put out by ITV. I want a portion of my licence fee refunded if this is the kind of garbage that it gets spent on! I watched 15 minutes out of a kind of horrified fascination but once the performances started my amusement turned to total disbelief at the blandness of the acts and I turned off.
Typical BBC. All the stars vetted before the public could see them. None of the fun that Pop Idol offered, seeing the best as well as the worst. Guess I will be watching another channel next friday.
Absolutely dismal. The format is flawed and the "talent" ropey. Since we saw nothing of the selection process which identified these no-hopers, what possible interest could there be in watching them murdering a few tunes? They can't sing. They can't dance. Could any of them even work on a cruise ship, let alone primetime TV? And what charmless hosts Patrick and Cat turned out to be. Their panic was visible and who can blame them. Not just a turkey, but a thoroughly unoriginal turkey. The BBC should be ashamed of throwing money at this "me-too" drivel when commercial stations have already done it all to a much better standard.
I can't believe the BBC has stuped so low. This is incredibly tacky television and seems out of place on BBC ONE (which is fast becoming unrecognisable). Doesn't the BBC know this country has an ageing population and its vain attempts at trying to seem youthful are a waste of time and our money.
Mick Boswell, England
This show is really dreadful! ITV does this sort of thing so much better, so why not just leave it to them and stick to what you do best!
Maybe it will grow on me. Certainly not an instant hit, in fact a bit of a turn off. Some of the singing was awful, I'm sure Pete Waterman would have had them out of the door before they could finish a verse.
This was derivative and unimaginative. It saddens me to see the BBC, a broadcaster that should be blazing a trail for originality, playing catch-up on a programme format that is already passe, and dying on its backside. The BBC should be taking a stand against this kind of prurient, lazy, and soul sapping television.
Put simply, rubbish. The format was rough to say the least and the "talented two contestants wouldn't have got a call back through normal auditions.
Pete Waterman and co will be laughing all the way to the bank as this show will hopefully not provide them with any competition for the Christmas number one.
Staggering....absolutely the most stunningly inept display of bad production values married to desperate performances that I have been privileged to see in years. It can only be the BBC's desperation for the "yoof" audience that drives this poor attempt to compete with ITV's success. The answer is really to "beat em, not join em." Only innovation rather than imitation will drag the BBC from its inexorable slide towards "lowest common denominator" television.
Utter rubbish. The BBC missed the reality TV show boat, and is now drowning in the cold seas of light entertainment
A boring, formulaic clone of Popstars/Pop Idol, tacky rubbish which the BBC should be ashamed to show.
Very poor - clearly it was a case of high production values over content. Cringeworthy presentation; poor Cat Deeley (whom I love) obviously only doing this to help pay the mortgage; laughable choosing of the 12th member from three hopefuls in the audience who had no idea who they were? Do me a favour! The whole thing was rehearsed to the hilt. Others' comments above say it all really. Horrible.
So, where was the talent? I think the cat from the Bacardi Breezer adverts is a much better performer!
Boring, Boring, Boring, we have seen this all before, it's dull, un-entertaining rubbish. I'd rather watch re-runs of Only Fools and Horses because frankly, that is still the best show the Beeb have broadcast and nothing since has ever matched up. Please lose Fame Academy Beeb, there is still time to save face..!!
Living here in Belgium I am able to compare the programme to the French "Star Acedemy" which like for like is much better than the BBC version. True, this was the first airing of the BBC version, but already, the mistake was to take singers. Patrick Kielty (excellent on his own show) looked lost and often bemused. I think from around the third week it will become more interesting (like in France) when relationships have been built up in the Mansion, and it's time for the students to save one of their comrades. Time will tell.
From a not particularly wonderul beginning, I am certain the members have plenty of room to improve with coaching. I have watched quite a bit on BBCi and they are really being put through it over long hours. I wish them all luck and continued success...this is only the beginning. Congratulations to the BBC on the interactive coverage.
Dave M, England
I enjoyed it, it was fun. What I liked most was that they sang live as opposed to watching programmes like CD:UK when most of the dancing/singing acts simply mime. Having sung in a local group I know how hard it is to sing and do synchronised movements at the same time so hats off to them. It's fun and they're clearly excited. Let's not spoil it by being a bunch of humbugs.
bsolute rubbish - a real cheddar fest. BBC, leave reality TV to ITV and Channel 4!
I am in a band who have struggled for years to fight against this sort of thing, I think you call it rubbish!! Well hopefully we will see a demand for real music and performers soon, let the backlash begin... Thank you so much Fame Academy, Popstars, Pop Idol Gareth Gates etc....
My wife and I were watching on Friday night, after all the hype and press about this, we thought it was going to be a real breakthrough in television... We watched for about 20 minutes, and couldn't stand it any longer and decided to watch Channel 4 instead! It's a good idea but the 12 they've chosen are awful!! Don't tell me their nerves got in the way of their talent! If they have any sort of talent they should be able to control their nerves to perform! Absolute rubbish!!
Brilliant first show, the only one that stood out was the Scottish man Ainslee. Very original.
Sal Jackman, England
I have to admit to being a sucker for Popstars and Pop Idol (even though I should know better) so I was intrigued to watch the show on Friday. I was appalled to see how awful these 12 "talented" people could look and sound. What a waste of resources and air time. Everyone involved should be ashamed of the fiasco that was Friday's show. Maybe things will improve. Maybe they can sing and dance after all. I'm afraid I won't be tuning in to find out!
I had to turn away before I put my foot through the TV screen. It was just horrible. I went upstairs and put on Black Rebel Motorcycle Club to calm me down.
Bigger is not always better and when are the BBC going to sort out their atrocious camera work on music programmes? What is the point of people rehearsing dance routines if you are going to cut to the back of their heads?
I had high hopes for this show, thinking that it might actually look for talent rather than a saleable commodity, but from the very beginning with the contestants running on and waving at the camera I knew that was a vain hope.
These people may very well be very talented musicians but making them sing horribly under rehearsed karaoke versions of disco hits was hardly the way to showcase them.
Just awful. The worst TV I have witnessed since the 1989 Brits catastrophe.
It might become interesting in a Big Brother way, but in spite of the big talk of musicianship - I don't think the Pop Idol finalists will be worrying.
The programme makers were more interested in making event TV than giving a break to the people they tell us are talented. It was cruel to make them perform like that on the first show when they clearly weren't up to it. It only served to highlight how bad they were. At least on PI/PS, the entertainingly bad singers are the ones who never stood a chance.
I'm deeply disappointed at the BBC spending OUR licence money on this kind of shallow, materialistic futilism.
I don't know why, like lemmings, they have to follow the aegis of ITV's never-endingly lacklustre "talent" programmes.
These programmes are NOT about talent - they are about filling the pockets of media chiefs with lots of cash, and degrading the legacies of dead singers, as happened last night on the ITV's Stars in their Eyes Kids special.
Does the BBC realise that the bubble has burst on finding talent via shows? I expect the winner to get his/her year of luxury and then serve Big Macs at McDonalds!
I am totally fed up with celebrity TV. Have the programme makers not worked out that less than 10% of the veiwing public watch this pap? I also I find it very sad, that people are queing up to subject themselves to the humiliation of being hosted by D class celebrities with no talent. In the hope that they might some day make it to an F or G class status before they are rumbled as having no talent. What's more you moved My Family to Thursday nights to facilitate this rubbish.
Awful is how I would describe the first show. Hopefully it will improve in week two, if they manage to sing a song in tune that is. Oh and get rid of the annoying and highly irritating Cat Deeley.
The talent was great but please, what was Cat wearing, she needs to sack her stylist before next week.
Cat Deeley and Patrick are great together, but who are the other two presenters? They don't gel, they have no presence and don't deserve a prime time show like Fame Academy.
Norman Lee Plumpton, UK
Just one comment for the BBC, give the public back My Family on Fridays or give us our licence fees back!
Fame Academy is excellent, run with just the right mixture of discipline and encouragement. The young people all appear to be totally dedicated to their music and I look forward to watching as much of this as I can over the next 10 weeks.
Out of all of contestants, three had ok voices and one of them was Sinead.
Pop Rivals a lot more entertaining.
More cheap TV, capitalising on the fact that everyone nowadays wants something for nothing (in this case fame).
Why oh why do critics rush into print without watching the programmes they write about? Fame Academy is totally different to any other form of reality series. Anyone watching it who understands the performing arts will recognise just how different. Well done BBC.
It was very BBC. Anything big they do always ends up feeling like the National Lottery programme. The "students" aren't particularly talented, nor is Cat Deeley (although I give crdit to Patrick Keilty). This won't have the same effect aa Popstars/Pop Idol as the contestants are not identifiable and not easy to get to know.
Why put on such a glitzy show BEFORE the contestants have gone into the house and had some training? I thought the whole point of a reality game show is to take an unknown face and watch them grow into a young star.
Fame Academy had a format that seemed back to front, upside down and (in the end) mind numbingly dull. I switched off.
When will the BBC ever learn? They find a formula that works and then bore everyone silly with it. Home Makeovers. Cookery. Gardening. Oh dear, oh dear. Yawn.
It makes me cringe to think the UK public want to see this rubbish, our collective taste must be very poor indeed!
After all the hype surrounding this show, I never possibly imagined the BBC could churn out out such rubbish. Obviously the format is slick and professional but the so-called stars are just painful to watch. It was like watching a Butlins karoake final beamed out on primetime TV. The razzmatazz of of the whole spectacle was in complete contrast to the ability of its performers. The best bit about Pop Idol was looking cringingly through your fingers at the unspeakably bad auditions. On Fame Academy I found myself doing that at the "talent" that had reached through to the final. Dire, dire stuff. BBC, hold your head in shame.
Sorry, but where's the talent? Last night's performances were worse than pub karaoke. It made me appreciate more how talented some of the singers are on PopStars/Pop Idol.
I was under the impression this was going to be a "reality" show.
Everything was so staged. The Beeb might as well of made a soap based on a linear story line.
It's easy to criticise Fame Academy for being another reality/talent show mish-mash, but any programme that gives talented young people an opportunity to showcase their music (particularly the songs they've written themselves rather than the usual cover versions) is a winner in my book - I look forward to watching their progress, especially Sinead who is clearly a star in the making.
Given the "quality" of some of the performances, Shame Academy would be more appropriate than Fame Academy. Did they have Kermit the Frog and Terry Wogan select the contestants?
I changed channels after the 12th contestant from the audience nonsense started!
Do we really need yet another talent trek? Just because ITV have had a few, doesn't mean the BBC has to jump on the bandwagon. And why are all the people who take part in these things under 30? Why can't they be brave and do one for the over 45s, say, and tap into the talent in that age-group. A fifth of the population are now over 60, it's time they got a look-in!
Where was Simon Cowell when you need him?! The teachers have certainly got their work cut out with this talentless bunch! Any chance of voting all 12 off in one go?
The ratings for the first night were lower than for the last Big Brother and lower than even Survivor's opening night. People are sick to death of the format and the BBC's attempt is not even close to the best of the bunch.
How can the BBC justify spending so many millions on something that has been done to death by the commercial channels a dozen times over?
You can see why music sales are at an all time low, when this is the only thing media companies can find to put on our tellies and brainwash the general public with...I suggest someone gets sacked and someone else makes a programme on unsigned musicians struggling to get played/noticed when this is all people are interested in.
The only way to be rid of these braindead entertainment-free abominations is to stop watching them. It's the only language the commssioning editors understand. STOP WATCHING THEM!
Please, please, please.
No more of this drivel.
Can you not put something on that will
hold our attention for more than five seconds?
We are in the second season of the French equivalent Star Academy. It is absolutely massive over here and for the most part, he
contestants can all sing and most of them can play a musical instrument. It's a great show, young talents singing with guest stars. On reading your comments, it sounds as if the BBC should have been more selective in its choice of contestants. Hang in there, with the weeks that pass you might get hooked!
I am becoming increasingly frustrated by the string of negative comments from people who quite clearly either haven't Interactive TV and cannot see the content OR are so hide-bound by prejudice that they will not watch it long enough to find out what it is they object to - SAD, so SAD!
Watching budding musicians is a positive JOY.
Fame academy is great! The singers are getting better and the interactive features on Digital Satellite are very good.
And for all of those people who don't like it, the BBC is about choice, if you don't like it DON'T WATCH IT!
As a struggling actress I was dismayed when I saw the prize on offer to these "average" performers. What I would give for the training they're going to get. Surely they weren't the 12 most talented people who auditioned! I think they were probably the 12 most pliable people they could find. It's Pop Stars poorer relative! Very disappointing.
I think that it is true to say that much of Friday's show looked abysmal and the singers, especially in the ensemble pieces, were lacking in practice - but surely this is the fault of the BBC, and not the young contestants!! Apart from this gripe, I felt that a few of the singers showed real promise, and David (Scottish bloke) who was mystifyingly beaten by the Irish girl, was clearly the star of the show, for both his singing , and his stage performance! Fantastic.
Shocking. Truly shocking. A bunch of West End musical rejects bouncing their way to the depths of certain obscurity. Give me Popstars: The Rivals and the gorgeous and talented Hazel any day.
How can the BBC justify such utter and absolute rubbish for a prime time evening slot on BBC1? Lack of talent in the contestants (if you can call them that) and an absence of something really worth presenting despite Cat and Patrick trying so hard was a really painful experience. Can I have my licence fee back please, I need it to pay for some paint that I want to watch drying this Friday instead!
Well, there goes Friday nights in front of the telly. Time to re-new my library pass!
What happened to the auditions, why on earth did we just see the finalists?! The best thing about Popstars/Pop Idol was laughing at the wannabees that were totally and utterly useless but thought they were the next best thing to Michael Jackson! I used to switch off when they got further than choosing the final 3000! As for their performances on Friday I think most of these finalists were the rejects of both these shows!
This was such a rip-off, and so poorly done compared to the shows it is ripping off. Someone at the BBC obviously got a rocket over the success of Pop Idol etc. Instead of coming up with something different, we get this re-heated tripe. Why spend licence fee money on what we can get better on the other side?
Unfortunately a poor copy of the excellent Operacion Triunfo in Spain. It's a shame the BBC didn't copy the original format more closely.
Too nice. Not enough criticism. Show doesn't really know what it wants to be - Popstars has the compulsion of neither. I don't like Patrick Kielty - and the live shows the sound quality is very poor - the singers are swamped.
The problem with Fame Academy was obvious from the start - we never saw how these people were chosen, how they moved into the house, nor how they bonded initially. We missed the beginning of the story, so why bother tuning into the rest of it? Who cares what a bunch of people we've never been introduced to get along? I'd rather watch Popstars - at least this garbage had the decency to show me the story, rather than try to tell me it.
It's embarrassing. Is this really the creme de la creme of talent from the UK? If I was a cynic I'd say the entire show was rigged.
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