New talent show Starstruck has the best credentials

Adam Lambert, Sheridan Smith, Olly Murs, Beverly Knight and Jason Manford
Adam Lambert, Sheridan Smith, Olly Murs, Beverly Knight and Jason Manford

The new Starstruck talent show has some impressive credentials – it’s hosted by Olly Murs, with panelists Sheridan Smith, Adam Lambert, Jason Manford and Beverley Knight. It also gets a big launch as the first episode follows The Masked Singer finale.

Still, some people may think there’s something oddly familiar about his concept. The show gives ordinary audience members the chance to transform into some of the biggest music stars in the world, which was also the big idea behind the previous Saturday night show Stars in Their Eyes.

If you don’t remember, Stars in Their Eyes was a little different from more recent singing contests. There was no cash prize or recording contract up for grabs, and only the first series finale had a jury. However, it was a huge hit with viewers, from 1990 to 2006, and also offered an intriguing insight into the country’s eclectic viewing habits – champions of the series ranged from ‘Maria Callas’ and ‘Paul Robeson’ to ‘Olivia Newton-John” and “Chris De Burgh” (who would go on to be named Champion of Champions). Two different singers won while impersonating Wet Wet Wet’s Marti Pellow.

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Obviously you can’t keep a good format going, so in 2015 ITV tried to revive it with Harry Hill at the helm. He added a bit of quirky humor for good measure, but the mix never quite gelled – perhaps because the original Stars in Their Eyes was already surreal enough – and it didn’t last. only one series.

However, ITV clearly has high hopes that Starstruck can recapture some of the old magic, while putting a fresh spin on the format.

It sees the contestants form teams of three with other fans who share their love for a music icon, be it Amy Winehouse or Ariana Grande, Marvin Gaye or Michael Buble.

The trio will be given a makeover by the show’s team of glam experts, then take the stage together for a superstar performance, complete with impressive staging and a spectacular sound and light show.

The winning team will have to compete for a place in the final – and a chance to win £50,000.

Host Olly definitely believes it has the makings of a hit, saying, “I’m so excited to host a great Saturday night show like Starstruck. It ticks all the boxes; it’s about family fun, which is what we all need right now. The performances should keep us entertained and I can’t wait to see if anyone wants to be transformed into me for the night!

The judges are also eager to get started, and Sheridan (who may have imagined slight relief given that so far this year she’s already starred in the hard-hitting dramas Four Lives, The Teacher and No Return and this isn’t is still only February), has a look at what the candidates are up against. She says: “By creating Cilla Black for TV, I know firsthand what it takes to become an iconic music star, so I can’t wait to see what some of the contestants do with our modern music numbers. and our true icons.

But who will be the hopefuls tonight?

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