Few people will admit to singing along to music in the car. Far fewer will decide to share this on a public forum to a potential global audience. As you have probably guessed by now, I am not like other guys! Although my commute is now a mere four miles, that gives little time to enjoy more than two songs. I tend to listen to BBC Radio 2 in the morning and LBC on the drive home. Having said that, this tweet from the parody account of my favourite Hangover character, I can fully relate to!
Yes, I dance in my car. Yes, I see you staring at me. No, I do not care.— Leslie Chow (@ImLeslieChow) January 2, 2013
Earlier this year, I was informed of the Lip Sync Battle segment on the fantastic Jimmy Fallon Show. My brother in law Steve, showed me a few clips on his TV via the YouTube app. (An app which no longer works on my LG TV). My favourite by far was actress Emma Stone (while promoting Spiderman 2 last year) performing the DJ Khaled classic – All I Do Is Win. For some reason, actors are the best people at performing songs without actually singing. Merchant and Gordon-Levritt are worth watching, in another clip as it features a couple of my favourite 1980s songs!
While this worked as a neat segment on The Jimmy Fallon Show it was difficult to see how they would be able to make it a fully living breathing television show in it’s own right. Firstly you would need to have a long list of celebrities willing to square off for the public vote and would the investment be worth the quality in output in the long run? Would celebrities appear knowing they would not be able to promote their current movie, television show, book or tour? You would eventually be at the bottom of the barrel hunting themes and songs. It is not surprising to discover that many networks passed up on the concept until Spike decided to take the risk. The show launched almost two months ago, coinciding with the relaunch of the channel. Over here in the UK, the channel landed on Freeview (as well as other digital platforms) and is owned by Viacom – the new owner of Channel 5. The first episode was good and the previews for subsequent episodes looked even better but would it be able to maintain the momentum? What would happen once the buzz died down? The show had been re-tooled as a vehicle for rapper and movie star LL Cool J (also a Producer). He is our host but has little to do other than introduce the acts and award the winner the LSB belt. Completing the presenting line up we have colourful commentator (a term only a US audience would truly understand) Chrissy Teigen (AKA Mrs John Legend). A beautiful woman and ‘girlfriend’ of the network – still unsure of exactly what that means. What is her purpose? Apart from looking extremely pretty throughout she has little use on the show, other than to fill out a few minutes by giving her verdict on the performances. Never truly backing one over the other, perhaps to not offend friends within her circle. After a great start, the only stand-out performances after the opening show have been actresses Hathaway and Blunt. As I have said previously actors make the best participants on this show. That was until week eight (some twenty two days ago) when we had our first fully blown family feud on the show and there were fireworks. Getting dancers to perform on the show, is that really fair? (We have the same question posed on Strictly Come Dancing each year when pop band members are included) I suppose the biggest question is that should you allow actual singers to lip sync? I mean can that not seem a little self destructive? We had dancers Julianne and Derek Hough face off in the ultimate battle of sibling rivalry. By now my expectations were low and I had began to watch the show with little hope that previous performances could or would be beaten. I was wrong!
Having watched Julianne’s second performance to the fantastic song by The Lonely Island, I feel there is little I can say apart from request people to search for the clip on YouTube. Trust me, you will not be disappointed! By far the greatest height this expanded version of the show has reached so far. It may have been signed up for a second season but as much as I would like the show to live on much longer, I doubt we will see beyond season two. However, with the popularity of services such as Dubsmash on smartphones, perhaps there is a market for pretending to sing to songs on prime time television. As long as they keep getting the guests to come on and make a fool of themselves, I for sure will keep watching.