Your Face Sounds Familiar has had its first run and those who watched it loved it. Watching celebrities trying to imitate other celebrity singers is very entertaining. Since we’re watching celebrities, it is expected that the level of performance will be high already, unlike amateurs taking to the stage for the first time as in other reality singing game shows, but not all of these celebrities can sing as good as their counterparts. It’s fun to watch, I hope you didn’t miss the first show.
ITV’s much-publicised Your Face Sounds Familiar began on Saturday night. It’s a simple format: six celebrities each week take to the stage as a different music legend, the identity of which is chosen by the Randomiser (or ‘Ramdoniser’, as Paddy accidentally called it), all in the hope of accumulating enough votes from the judges, their fellow performers and the viewers at home (during a six minute-long phone vote) to be crowned that night’s winner and therefore win £10,000 for their chosen charity. Then the following week they do it all again – only as different people and with a different guest judge.
Every part of me is telling me that I shouldn’t like Your Face Sounds Familiar. I really want to write it off as the epitome of car-crash TV, just as I did with Splash! in January. I can’t, though, because I actually enjoyed it. I mean let’s face it, it’s just a bit of Saturday night frivolous fun – Celebrity Stars in Their Eyes on a larger scale.
Absolutely everything about it was typical of an ITV Saturday night offering. The set was bright and loud, the format was interactive and an excitable audience filled the studio. Is the fact that it is anarchetype of primetime ITV such a bad thing, though? My problem with Splash! was that it was boring – we waited ten minutes to see a ten second belly flop. Your Face Sounds Familiar on the other hand is far from boring. It is in fact very entertaining and quite plainly does not take itself remotely seriously. Plus, as Rob Brydon’s much-overlooked creation Keith Barret used to say, it’s just a bit of fun! Why are audiences always looking for sophistication and class when it comes to entertainment shows? Most people don’t treat sitcoms like that – I can enjoy Mrs Brown’s Boys just as much as The Office, and find Miranda as funny as The Royle Family. Whether it’s garish or subtle, surely the most important thing is that it’s funny? And it’s exactly the same with entertainment shows: if it can get people’s bums on seats and brighten up their living rooms, who cares if they have Matt from This Morning rocking out as Jon Bon Jovi, or Julian Clary making a joke about pubic hair?
One person who did take the show seriously, however, was guest judge Donny Osmond, who passed critique in such a way that I believe he thought he was on The Voice. And by that I mean he knew that it wasn’t as important as X Factor but liked to think it was. Hopefully next week’s guest judge won’t be a earnest.
Apart from Donny’s sincerity, only one thing annoyed me about Your Face Sounds Familiar: the appearance of ‘#Randomiser’ on the screen. Seriously, when will ITV learn that Twitter users do not need to be told which hashtags to use? People were taking to Twitter to voice their opinions and, judging from their harsh summaries, #Rubbish, #WorstShowEver and #MightPutInItToWinItOnInstead would have been more apt than a tag about a (let’s face it) unimpressive selection device!
To the performers now, though, and we were treated to a splendid plethora of stars to impersonate legends such as Springfield, Turner and Cash. There wasn’t one performance which I didn’t enjoy – I thought Alexander Armstrong was excellent as the aforementioned Johnny Cash, although I was surprised that he agreed to take part (then again, he used to regularly appear as a naked vet in his Channel 4 sketch show, so he was likely unfazed by the potential embarrassment of Your Face Sounds Familiar). I also thought EastEnders and The Spa’s resident Bergita,Cheryl Fergison, delivered a lovely performance and, while she resembled Edna Turnblad more than Dusty Springfield, she brought a touch of class to the proceedings. My favourite performance of the night by far, though, was Bobby Davro as Tom Jones. The impression wasspot on and he even looked a little like him! I just thought it was so funny.
So the votes are coming in — how did you like the opening edition of Your Face Sounds Familiar? Was it what you expected? Will you be watching the entire series? I think it’s fun to watch and I get to see familiar faces trying to impersonate familiar faces… sounds all very familiar…