It started hopefully, the first episode of Ranking the talent on SBS6. Indeed, the hundred thousandth talent show on television, but it seemed to be drizzled with a delicious sauce of ironic nineties sentiment.
The decor exuded the atmosphere of the large studio shows from Aalsmeer, with a lot of audience and a lot of neon light, while the prizes to be won were a direct reference to Price battle and Wheel of Fortune. A beautiful vacuum cleaner, a digital kettle, a 38-piece cutlery set, come down and get yours!
Unfortunately, this retro atmosphere was not extended to the rest of the program, which ultimately turned out to be just another ordinary talent show, presented by the ever cheerful Johnny de Mol. A job that was tailor-made for him, so it was not his fault.
But yes, for over twenty years we have been presented with shows that promise to discover the next world star, and besides the fact that this never happens, the novelty has also worn off. They have become interchangeable formats, and even a new and rather incomprehensible voting system can do little to change that.
The first half of Ranking the talent consisted of performances in the ‘variety’ category, with a little boy playing the violin, a dance company and two illusionists. The jury members – Frits and Barbara Barend and radio DJs Frank Dane and Tim Klijn – did what was expected of them, namely to be impressed. And so Klijn’s reaction to the oldest magic trick in existence was: “You see a saw, and you think: someone comes out of it in two halves. And in the end she comes out of that coffin intact, which is different than you expect.”
The part in which the candidates came to sing also failed to distinguish itself from what had been on television countless times before, with Charly Luske – already a participant in 2011. The voice of Holland and in practically every game show imaginable – and two other men who came together to perform a boy band medley as a tragic low point.
Actually it is Ranking the talent exactly what you could have planned in advance: safe Saturday evening entertainment for the whole family. But the humorous one throwback to classics like the Soundmix show and Price battle which seemed to be the program for a while, unfortunately did not come to fruition.
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Het Parool signs the TV reviews in the section Han Lips is watching TV from now on with the author’s name. The section will of course continue to exist, but the fictional character Han Lips has retired.