a pale imitation of Stars in Their Eyes

In ITV’s Starstruck members of the public impersonated musical icons in what appeared to be a reboot of the 90s classic Stars in Their Eyes. Unfortunately, it was immediately clear that this show was stepping through the smoky doors of Saturday night TV as a pale imitation of the original.

There was way too much going on from the moment that the judging panel – Adam Lambert, Sheridan Smith, Beverley Knight and Jason Manford – made their entrance by performing a group number that must have dragged host Olly Murs back to his most traumatic of X Factor days.

Team Freddie compete on ‘Starstruck’ (Photo: Guy Levy/ITV)

Blending Stars in Their Eyes with the old MTV show Becoming Presents: Wannabe (a superfan impersonation competition), Starstruck features teams of singers performing together as one star. At the same time. Three Freddie Mercurys, three Ariana Grandes, three Marvin Gayes and three Lady Gagas. Predictably, this was not triple the fun.

The contestants took it in turns to sing, which meant that there were at least two people doing a sort of weird, enthusiastic silent mime. Meanwhile an overbearing backing track and extravagant staging made it almost impossible to work out if anyone was any good.

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Not that it mattered who was best because they were competing as a team, rendering the vague judging irrelevant. The Freddies were chosen as the best group and performed again – finally against each other – before the audience voted a winner through to the grand final.

Where Stars in Their Eyes was endearingly rough around the edges (those wigs!), this was over-polished and devoid of meaning. A case of taking a format that worked just fine and over-complicating it to the point of total incoherence.

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