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First Look: Last Choir Standing

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  • A Cappella News
    THE STAGE: On paper, there’s no way it should work. A choral competition would be a no-brainer for BBC2, or Radio 3. Stick it on BBC1 on a Sunday evening as
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 25, 2008
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      THE STAGE:

      On paper, there’s no way it should work. A choral competition would be
      a no-brainer for BBC2, or Radio 3. Stick it on BBC1 on a Sunday
      evening as a summer replacement for Songs of Praise, and nobody would
      bat an eyelid. But primetime on Saturday night? How on Earth could
      that possibly work?

      On the basis of last night’s press launch for Last Choir Standing,
      which starts on BBC1 on Saturday July 5 (TBC), I think there’s every
      chance that it will.

      Produced by the same-house BBC Vision Studios production team behind
      I’d Do Anything and its ilk, Last Choir Standing is bursting at the
      seams with enthusiasm and passion. The first week’s show will see the
      initial audition stage, as 60 of the choirs who submitted videotaped
      applications are brought down to London’s Cadogan Hall to audition in
      front of judges Russell Watson, Sharon D Clarke and Suzi Digby.

      The preview clips we saw had a smattering of negative comments from
      the judges, and the occasional deluded teenager crying into camera
      about how this is their only chance (apart from, one presumes, all the
      other TV show auditions they go along to). In the main, though, the
      emphasis seems to be on finding quality and, perhaps more importantly
      for the Saturday night audience, finding the fun in group singing. I
      can’t imagine there are too many other TV talent shows where the
      judges bound on stage to sing along with the auditionees.

      Along with the lightheartedness are some quite emotional stories
      behind some of the choral groups, too. One group of women started
      singing together only after they met on picket lines protesting at the
      closure of the Timex factory in Dundee; a group of fishermen are using
      their choir to cling on to a community which is disappearing as their
      industry fails; a choir of disabled people from Northern Ireland talk
      of how they enjoy focussing on a shared ability. In amongst the more
      serious human interest stories, there are a group of women who sing
      behind what appears to be a large furry pink handbag, children’s
      choirs and a gay chorus who perform a capella versions of songs
      Madonna and the Pussycat Dolls.

      Read more here:-
      http://blogs.thestage.co.uk/tvtoday/2008/06/first-look-last-choir-standing/

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