BBC talent show Fame Academy has returned for a second series with 25 contestants battling it out to get one of the final 13 places.
Viewers will vote for their favourite
The eventual winner will receive a lucrative recording contract and get to live the life of a pop star for a year.
Last year's series was a slow burner but gained popularity in the final stages.
So what do you think?
Are the contestants a talented bunch? Or have you lost interest already?
Well well well. Renata didn't get in last night. Madness. Would have expected her to go through no problem. Why oh why is the public voting for the more generic singers? Although Peter and James will definitely be worth watching. I ca'nt help but think that Audley will be compared to Lemarr from last year, who could wipe the floor with him. Fair play to Andrea for singing such a difficult song and challenging herself. As for Nicole, how difficult is it to sing Dido anyway? Does anyone else think that the backing music is too loud?
The inclusion of candidates who have already had some success with songwriting/recording deals actually makes Fame Academy more realistic this year; in the music business contracts are no guarantee of long-term success and there will be areas in which all the contestants can improve. Hopefully this year we'll get a better picture of how the industry actually works rather than being fed the unknown-busker-to-superstar-in-eight-weeks scenario again.
What a huge pity that the very, very talented Ladonna did not make it into the Fame Academy. Of all the contestants I have seen, she was someone who most deserved the experience. Her failure proves what a useless lot the great British public are. I say, ditch the setup - we didn't vote on last year's intake and there were one or two unfortunates - and much much less talented than Ladonna is - in there. Prejudice rules - don't let it!
Mary Wilson, England
I am disappointed in the line up already for this year's Fame Academy. I thought the point of having a Fame Academy was to teach "raw talent" and watch the progression of the young hopefuls throughout the programme ending with a polished act and the chance of becoming a huge star.
The case this year so far is that they already have polished stars performing for a place in the Academy - their point being there seems to be more for exposure than to progress their talent. What can the teachers teach these contestants who have already had recording deals in the past? The show should be renamed Reborn in the UK!
Sorry folks, but Ladonna was voted out because her voice was of the type that is at the moment so common in the performance world, that the public are looking for something different.
A lot of us paying public, who buy albums (which reflect the true music trends) and not singles, are tired of every singer sounding the same. The ones voted in were there because the public can see that they had the potential to go on to give something different to a very overcrowded industry. I will watch with interest to see what transpires.
Incidentally, David Sneddon's album is an extremely good first album, he should grow into a solid contributer to the industry.
Elaine , UK
The two girls that got through on Saturday both performed fantastically, why should Louise be treated differently or not be allowed the same chance as anyone else just because she's got a famous boyfriend?
I must admit, I was drawn into the first auditions on Saturday. I ranked the seven contestants in order of how well they performed and my top four got voted into the house. Not surprising if they already have industry experience.
Ladonna had a good voice and the Academy could have helped her get a lot better. But I wonder why the better looking people made it into the Academy?
Talent or was it becuase they make nice eye candy. The programme is supposed to be about encouraging new talent.
I thought the whole idea of the series was to encourage new talent to get on the ladder to success. The emphasis here is on new - not those who already have a foot in the door. By asking the music industry for suggested contestants, the production company have devalued Fame Academy and made it not worth watching.
Fiona Wherrett, Scotland, UK
Judging by the first programme I would say the BBC are onto a winner. I loved FA the first time around, although they've made the right decision this time in letting the public choose for themselves who should enter the Academy. Robin Gibb also looks to be a good addition to the team too - if anyone knows what he's talking about, he should. Can't wait for Wednesday night!
Carol Crowe, The Netherlands
I feel pretty cheated that several of the Fame Academy students currently have record industry experience. This programme should be about finding new talent, otherwise the BBC should re-name it "another crack at fame - academy". I think the makers of the show will come to regret this, because I for one will not be watching it anymore.
Shame Academy - no thanks. The people who are running it are more interested in their own exposure than actually doing the public a service. Dull, duller, dullest.
Volker, England (ex Germany)
Neither I or my friends/family will be watching the new Fame Academy or Pop Idol. The audition process is ridiculous and unfair (a girl gofer with a stopwatch & baseball cap saying "not today"). What are her qualifications as a judge? Where were the real judges?
My friend Giorgio is one hugely talented guy and has auditioned for both of these programmes. His vocal range is fantastic and he also writes his own material. It makes me really angry that no-talent wannabees are picked and end up wasting both our time and theirs. David Sneddon? I rest my case.
Tracy Swindale, UK
Well I LOVE Fame Academy! All everyone seems to do is moan, GET A GRIP, it's only an entertainment show. If people don't like it, there's a little button on the TV marked off!! Leave us fans to enjoy the show .
Rubbish. It gives a very false and cynical view of the music industry, unless this is how it truly is in which case I guess we all deserve what we get. You have a choice people, the television can be switched off. It can go away and it isn't your problem...
My problem with Fame Academy is that it claims to be searching for the best British musical talent, but the viewers hardly ever get to see any musical talent on display - just a bunch of trained karaoke singers. It would be sooooo much better if the contenstants had to perform their own songs and play their own instruments during the live performances. Instead, it just perpetuates the dumbing down of popular music by associating "musical ability" with "good looking and can sing your favourite hits".
These shows are about breeding celebrity status for some handpicked wannabes. I think the Beeb is insulting the intelligence level of a large part of its audience. You don't see many documentaries on real artists struggling to make their dreams and passions come through - probably because it would show how much hard work and sacrifice is really involved and would run more like drama than throw away popcorn viewing.
Who after all would want to see what inspires truly gifted people to write, paint, or make music that stirs the soul? Well there's me, but I guess I'll just have to keep waiting. . .
Mike Lemin, England
Complete mindless dross. Lazy TV making is wasting our TV licence revenue. What happened to following well made dramas that the BBC was once world famous for? Another example of British culture being sapped away and replaced by US style couch-potato fodder. Rubbish.
So Polydor already had one of them signed and they were dropped, and we have Polydor talking about the exciting raw talent they saw at the auditions. Does this include the person you signed and then dropped???? What is going on here Fame Academy?
I like Fame Academy but I do not think people with previous record contracts should be allowed to take part, - what is the point apart from free airtime for their record company?
Lisa, London, UK
Didn't watch it the first time - certainly won't be watching it this time? How many more of these types of programme do we need?
GF, Cambridge, UK
There are too many reality shows on TV, I'm suprised that this show has come back after dismal ratings from last year. And now Endemol has the audicity to recruit people already with recording contracts?
Dave Roberts, UK
Surely the BBC shouldn't be investing our money into such low grade rubbish? The only upside is it is better than the endless docu-soaps we were treated to last year.
Was looking forward to the new series but now not sure whether to watch it or not. Tried to vote for Ladonna and couldn't. The wrong people have gone through. No one with industry experience should be allowed to enter. It misses the whole point of the show.
A load of old rubbish. Nothing more than manufactured teen-pulp music.
Time to switch off and go to real gigs with real artists who can play instruments, write music and actually sing live!
Paul Clarke, UK
Surely this is a contest to find new talent, not to find people who have had recording deals. What's going on?
What a farce!
Ladonna had by far the most talent & the most amazing voice I've heard for a long time. Just because she hasn't had industry experience, is not a size 8 or hasn't got a celebrity boyfriend.......I won't be watching Fame Academy again.
Sally James, UK
Personally I enjoy these reality TV programmes. I think it's good that people are given a chance to show what talents they may or may not have and it also makes a change from watching all the repeats that are being shown.
Ladonna should have got Louise's place, definitely, Louise's voice was weak and quite frankly pathetic compared to Ladonna's, I was so gutted to see Louise getting in, and Ladonna not. Was it because Louise had half a breast poking out the side of her top? I expect so. I shake my head in disgust.
LaDonna's singing was flat! Sorry, I'd have loved her to go through as she doesn't conform to the stick-thin popstar mould, but her performance just didn't deserve it. Only Carolynne was any good on the night. It's not a good lookout if the rest of them are as dull as this.
Fame Academy 2 is fantastic! Loved the opening show- the four to get in were my choice too. Didn't rate Ladonna or Daniel though. Thought Gary's "speech" was very moving & real.
I am really glad that FA is back. Thought it was better in the first series though when they used to have the big live audiences. It's not the same in that tiny studio.
The tide is turning against reality TV shows and not a second too soon. When will production companies start turning out exciting and wholesome entertainment rather than the repetitive snap shot drivel we get today. Make us use our imaginations once again, teach us that we can have attention spans. STOP THIS NONSENSE NOW!! In short, I will not be watching.
I've been really looking forward to this series after enjoying the first, but I was just gutted when Ladonna didn't get in - she has so much potential! Now I'm feeling disappointed and have lost my enthusiasm for the show.
I was really surprised Ladonna did not get picked, that is the problem in UK - we look at image and not talent, look at the number of talented artists the US churns out every year look at the guy who won American Idol 2, if Barry White and other full bodied people lived in the UK look at what we would have missed. Shame UK.
I too can't believe that Ladonna didn't get through when she clearly had the most raw talent and made a greater impact than any of the others. Now that she's gone so has some chance of a spark of originality. While I may tune in I don't think I'll be as bothered as I would have been to see how Ladonna got on. Any chance of a wildcard??
I think it's the fault of the "teachers" that Ladonna didn't get a place. They were so sure that she was going to get in that I imagine voters thought the same and decided to vote for someone less sure to get in - I know that's what I did. I think in future they should be a bit more cautious in saying things like that. Really glad the show's back though!
Huge shame Ladonna didn't make it, but Katie was nothing more than a karaoke performance- how did she get that far in the first place? The show makes interesting viewing, I just hope it's more exciting than BB and Pop Idol the rivals? I sadly doubt it.
I like Fame Academy and like watching it, I like the way that it shows that some singers can write their own songs unlike Pop Idol.
Great it's back. Pity about Ladonna - she woz robbed. Wonderful that Claudia Winkleman is hosting the sister show - WHAT an improvement from last year's presenters. Love Patrick and Cat, although I got a bit twitchy when Cat seemed to be going down the Davina route of introducing people in that specific tone/shout that is so annoying. Please Cat, stay as you are!
I think it's great...I think that the previous series was seen as an attempt to jump on the Pop Idol bandwagon, but it definitely has it's own class and style...I didn't like Big Brother, but I like this...WHY ISN'T IT ON MORE THAN TWICE PER WEEK?!?!
Tony McArdle, UK
They're not karaoke singers (although it's a shame this has been the main thing in the final selection process).
Each contestant has the ability to play instruments and write music, and are given coaching to bring out the best of their abilities.
Thats what it's about, not karaoke.
Yep, lost interest already, I can't take any more of these shows.
....and Pop Idol apparently starts soon too, terrific. No wonder I never watch any TV; when its not Davina McCall shouting 'Big Bruuvvvaaa!', Simon Cowell comparing a singer's voice to the sound of a fork sliding down a plate, the excitment of watching salon workers cutting hair, third-rate celebrities crawling through snake pits trying to revive their careers or nobodys playing up to the camera in a 'look at me I'm great' persona, what do they do? They make another series of them all - enough!
I think the Beeb have obviously learnt by their mistakes. The contenders this time are on a completely different level...in fact they are almost too good. I find it amazing that they all managed to perform so well under the circumstances, so perhaps they have already had some coaching to ensure the series gets off to a good start? If the rest of the entries are as strong we could be on for a great series...PS...I think it's a shame Ladonna didn't get through as well, but hopefully she will make it somehow regardless.
Umm, Fame What???
Come on BBC spend my licence fee on something worthwhile, not this rubbish!!!!
Paul, Bournemouth , UK
I love Fame Academy and I'm glad it's back! Thanks.
I sat down to enjoy this programme but when Ladonna was voted off, I realised how ridiculous it all was. She had a great voice and great potential. Much more than a few who remained. I dont think I'll bother watching again.
I don't think its fair that two of the contestants who got in are already successful song writers. I thought that the point of Fame Academy was to teach wannabes these skills. Isn't there some sort of pre-screening process?
I really loved Fame Academy 1, and applaud the BBC for being brave enough to give another run. It appeals in a way that rival Pop Idol never would in that it covers a broader spectrum of musical tastes, and the 'Big Brother' aspect of the show, adds much more interest. Would just like to know however, if Naomi, from the first series, will be given a second chance, as promised last year?
I thought last night's show was great. It was however, a real shame that La Donna didn't get through. Other than Carolynne, she was by far the best. Louise also getting through was a bit strange as well. Not a great performance at all I thought. I'd like to see her boyfriend Jenson Button's phone bill next week.
The second Fame Academy already looks good, I dont think they'll ever be able to replace Malachi though.
It doesn't have the same spark as Pop Idol. Last year's winner David Sneddon has not captured the public's imagination so there's no incentive for this lot.
The record industry cries about digital piracy....and they wonder why when yet more manufactured karaoke singers are foisted upon us. TV is dying, the music industry is losing sales and shows like this just go to show why!
It just goes to show that TV bosses have run out of of ideas to give us good solid entertainment.
Marc Ollosson, UK
Great to see the show back, giving some talented unknowns the chance for stardom. I hope that the public really get behind them all, providing the spur and encouragement they all need at the start of a long road. Grat to see that it all takes place in the academy, now not with weekly trips to a TV studio! Good luck to all involv.ed
Antony Forst, England
They may be talented, but we'll never really find out. They're being taught to sing, taught to dance and look good. They have the backing of a multi million pound media organisation, if i had that backing I'm sure I could do well. No. I'm sorry, it all seems a bit fake to me. I won't be watching.
Horace Thomas, UK
I like the programme, but it could have been made better if the eventual winner was to represent the UK at Eurovision in 2004. This is what most other countries do now. Given that we received 0 points in Riga this year perhaps we should do the same!
I can't believe that LaDonna didn't get through. She showed more potential than the others. I tried to vote for her and all I got was a voice saying the lines were closed.
It comes as no surprise that Louise got in. She looks good but is not a talented singer by any means. LaDonna had a terrific voice and lots of soul - clearly talent & potential was at the back of the voters minds on Saturday. The public should not bw allowed to select the participants as most of them have evidently missed the point of the show entirely.
Fame Academy is TV for cretins by cretins!
LaDonna not getting in was a real shame, hard to believe she was bottom 2. Hopefully we voters will do a better job wednesday. Shame that professionals are being allowed in.
Fame academy 2003 is so much better than fame academy 2002. I think Alex or Peter should win because they have the best voices. Peter is sooooo fit!
Emma Butler, England
I Think Fame Academy Is brilliant! It gives people the chance to show off what they can do! I much prefer it to Pop Idol, because the Fame Academy students are actually learning something whilst being there! My favourite 4 are Alex, Peter, Paris and Carolynn, they all have their different styles of music but are all amazing at what they do! They all have the potential to go far!
Fame Academy is great! This series has much more talented contestants and the show altogether is far superior to Pop Idol! Peter should should win because he's got the best personalty and style by far!