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Creating The Perfect Singing Competition Show

Creating The Perfect Singing Competition Show

There’s so much cruft and tat surrounding singing competition shows nowadays. Cory Anotado creates the perfect talent competition.

After watching Rising Star on ABC, and the abysmal reception it received on social media, I feel like I could craft a singing competition show better than any network out there. The problem with shows like The Voice and American Idol and the like is that so much of the show is bogged down in mindless gimmicks, endless VT segments, problematic decision-making and droll hosting procedures. Therefore, I am proposing a new television program entitled Pure Talent, a show where only pure talent wins.

The perfect singing contestant.One of the things I liked about Rising Star was the fact that the singer was isolated from the audience. Let’s keep that going but add one more layer of isolation: the audience will be isolated from the singer. What we will see on-screen is a featureless computer-generated model, like someone in a morph suit.

Their movements will be tracked and translated via some fancy technology (I don’t know—maybe a Kinect or something?) so that we aren’t swayed by the singer’s gender, beauty (or lack thereof) or stage presence. If we care about the singing, then we’re getting singing. You won’t even know the singer’s name and age unless they pass to the next round.

PureTalent_appAnother thing that’s great about Rising Star is the voting system. I’m impressed that there’s a major network that has made an app that links with a TV show and have it not shit the bed on the first go. (I’m looking your way, NBC.)

The Pure Talent™ app is going to have the same Tinder-esque response to singers: If you like them, swipe up for good! If you have them, swipe down for bad. Once a singer hits 80%, they move on to the next round.

But what about the judges/coaches/experts that are the cornerstone of the singing competition show? Don’t need them. All they do is pander to the audience and slow things down. Their votes are worth nothing, their input is not needed and their coaching input is as valuable as mine is (read as: not valuable at all. I mean, seriously. All I can say is, “sing better than ever have” every week).

I’m even on the fence on a host for the proceedings. I don’t know if I need anything more than an announcer announcing the singer, the song and the results. (If this goes to air, Greg Scott will be the voiceover man. That’s in the contract.)


If a singer manages to pass the 80% threshold, they get the highest honor of revealing their identity, finishing their song and coming again next week. If they fail to pass the 80% threshold, the floor underneath them opens and a trap door whisks them away sight unseen. (Russian Roulette had the right idea.) Then, the next singer appears.

No one is bogged down with their life story. We’ll give you a twitter link and you can find out their life stories on your own time. In my estimation, if we have 1:30 songs, then we could easily cycle through at least 45 different singers in the course of our two-hour premier.

But what of the next week when we’ve whittled down our singers? Well, Aquafina® presents Pure Talent™ has an interesting twist that will light the social media ablaze: The Song Machine. A giant slot machine pre-loaded with hundreds of thousands of different pop songs. Each singer will be given a list of every single song in the slot machine and will have to be prepared to sing any of them, testing their Pure Talent™ powered by UPS®. Same rules apply. If they meet the threshold, they live for another day. If they don’t, out they go.


Play continues every week until one person remains.

Aquafina® presents Pure Talent™ powered by UPS® removes the terrible things that plague every modern singing competition show: obnoxious or ill-equipped hosts, tedious and unnecessary human interest stories, a slow-as-dirt pacing, celebrity judges that add nothing to the proceedings. What’s left? Pure talent. Presented by Aquafina. And powered by UPS.


Would you watch the hell out of this show? Leave your comments below!


  1. newrad4jc

    I like the format, but it only works for people who really like the game show genre. Casual watchers need that stability of a host(s) that guide them through the show, no matter how good or bad the host actually is. (Josh Groban wasn’t that bad. The jokes were ok and he did keep it moving for a little)

    I think that you’re pretty spot on with the judges, but no network would go for that nowadays. Part of a show being popular is who is there to lend a hand musically. Some would be more inclined to watch with certain personalities, even if it’s just for shock value. (She said what? I can’t believe that happened! etc.)

    The kinect thing is cool, but I think Rising Star is good with the level playing field. Everyone had a story that was heart warming or looked like a great person, yet if they sucked, we (and I) didn’t put them through to the next round. It’ll be interesting when the advanced artists come around again for another go.

    Brilliant article. I would watch the heck out of this show. I might even audition! (that slot machine idea is gold!)

  2. pacdude

    American Idol premiered over a decade ago. At this point, what does a celebrity host do that an on-screen graphic and a voice-over artist can’t? Nothing.

    I think saving the $3M in salaries on celebrity judges who don’t help anything on-screen except for vague “advice” would be right up any network’s alley.

    I want to care as little as possible about the singers on stage because I don’t care about their lives before, during and after the show. They are purely puppets for my entertainment.

    Plus, this is all supposed to be ridiculous satire anyway, and no one’s going to buy this garbage. The whole point is that singing competitions aren’t so much anymore.

  3. Tim

    I don’t know if I’m keen on the whole slot machine round. Singers – especially singers on these types of shows – often gravitate towards the particular genre that fits their singing style. I wouldn’t consider it fair for someone like Carrie Underwood to be forced to sing a Metallica song. Maybe change it so that they find out the week before what they’re singing so they have a chance to listen to the song and rehearse it.

    Honestly, though, I feel like the talent show genre of competitions has been played out. The original premise behind these shows was to pluck someone out of anonymity and change their lives by giving them a recording deal that they would’ve never had a chance to get otherwise. Nowadays, singers on these competitions are promptly forgotten the moment their show goes off the air – even the once dominant American Idol has struggled to find winners whose work has any relevance after their season is over.

  4. pacdude

    Nope. I demand Pure Talent™ sponsored by Aquafina® powered by UPS©. If Eddie Vedder can sing Let it Go and Megan Mullaly can sing Smell Yo Dick, then Carrie Underwood can sing Enter Sandman and still do it well.

    Plus, this is all supposed to be ridiculous satire anyone. The whole point is that singing competitions aren’t so much anymore.

  5. pacdude

    I’ll get the Kickstarter going right away.

  6. pacdude

    Yup, you are correct—you watched the show too. I was speaking in a more general sense of all talent competitions.

    Because Pure Talent™ sponsored by Aquafina® powered by UPS© is a judgeless juggernaut with lesser talent shows scurrying around its feet like cockroaches amongst the behemoth, we realize that the true stars are the potential singers. Stars that have already proven themselves to international fame and acclaim are not welcome.

  7. Tim

    Damn you, Poe’s Law!

  8. ooboh

    This sounds like it would cost a lot of money to make. Also, you left out a top prize. But it’s still WAY better than NBC’s most recent game show that shalt not be named.

  9. Ed Eckhardt

    This show is never gonna survive without more sponsors… 🙂

  10. pacdude

    We haven’t forgotten the T-Mobile™ Social Media Hub® and the Beats by Dre® Recording Spittoon™.

  11. TheOriginalDonald


  12. TheOriginalDonald

    Let’s SEE Carrie try to sing a Metallica song! #IBetAlisonKraussWouldDoItBetter

  13. pacdude

    No what? Please elocute.

  14. TheOriginalDonald

    i wasn’t interested in American Kareoke and its variant copycats

  15. I see that you didn’t pick up on the satire. Good to know. I’ll make a note of that.

  16. 070829

    If I were an Endemol exec, and I got hold of this format, I’d sell it to MTV, rename it to ‘PushON’, so as to align it with MTV Push, and instead of the sponsors mentioned above, it’s Tesla Motors, Bang & Olufsen, Lenovo, and 5 Gum.

  17. pacdude

    Well, thank god you don’t.

  18. 070829

    Thankfully. But how does Pointless on NBC sound?

  19. ooboh

    They better not mess it up with celebrities, just like they did with “The Weakest Link”.

  20. A “Vote For The Worst” semi-organized effort sends all 45 contestants under the stage. That’s the series, folks! You all lose!

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