Boy Band (ABC)


Boy Band (ABC) – Premieres 22nd June

Singing competition hosted by Rita Ora where 30 lads are judged by three “architects”, Nick Carter, Timbaland and Emma Bunton, where the final five singers remaining will become a signed boyband.

The initial round of the show has all 30 performing indivdually in front of the “architects”, followed up where a couple of the contestants are chosen to pair up to see if they can perform in certain boyband scenarios.

After which the “architects” whittle the 30 down to 18, and three groups of 6 are formed. These groups then have to go through learning a song and routine where the weakest two members are put up for elimination with the loser leaving the show.

For a singing competition it’s no different to The X Factor and the like, where the performers backstories all seem to have varying elements of personal tribulations set to emotive backing tracks. The show offers nothing different to what is already out there and is a slog to sit through.


Superhuman (FOX)


Superhuman (FOX) – Premieres 12th June

A talent show where 5 seeming regular folk try to impress the studio audience and panel of judges the with their unique abilities, where the most impressive wins $50k.

Each of the contestants abilities demonstrate heightened mental capacities ranging from observational skills, maths, memory and the like. To show off their skills the are put through a live test where after completing it receive the verdicts from judges that include a neuroscientist who theorises on how their skills have come about.

After the 5 have completed their tests the judges pick the top three performers, then the crowd gets to vote on who of the remain three wins the prize.

For a talent show the uniqueness makes to more watchable than you’d expect, and yet it’s vaguely similar to the challenges last seen on an episode of You Bet.


Steve Harvey’s Funderdome (ABC)


Steve Harvey’s Funderdome (ABC) – Premieres 11th June

A take on Dragons Den/Shark Tank where in front of a studio audience two inventors pitch their product leaving the audience to vote on which product should receive the funding.

In the show it goes through three seperate areas of inventions, where the creators can win between $10k to 100k depending on how close the product is to be ready for release. After the pitches are finished and Steve Harvey has completed his range of befuddled expressions, the crowd proceed to vote on their favoured invention.

Before the winner is revealed the two inventors are given the opportunity to cash in early where they can buzz in during a cash reveal to accept a lower cash value if they think their product won win the vote. If someone does take that cash then the remaining inventor gets the total cash only if the crowd backed them. If no one decides to cash in early the it does to a straight head-to-head reveal where the winner gets the money and the loser gets nowt.

It’s not the greatest bit of programming but is watchable enough if you need to waste 45 minutes and like seeing a crowd decide on a products future after seeing a 3 minute pitch.


Ultimate Beastmaster (Netflix)


Ultimate Beastmaster (Netflix) – Premieres 24th February – Renewed

An assault course style competition where in each episode 12 entrants made up from the six countries involved (USA, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, South Korea and Japan), go against each other where the last person standing wins $10k and gains entry into the grand final where they could win $50k.

The competition is split up into 4 rounds, where the competitors gain points for completing each obstacle and get bonus points for activating a points boost lever located on some of the challenges. At the end of the first round the top 8 go through to the next stage, where they keep the points already accumulated, at the end of the second round the three lowest point scorers are eliminated.

The third round offer the remaining 5 the option of completing a simpler course that offers a lower point yield, or the hard option where if they fail at an obstacle they have the points they could have gained, deducted from their score.

For the final round the top competitors have their scores reset to zero and they race against each other to tackle a Mount Midoriyama climb littered with additional challenges. The winner the person the achieves either the completion of the round, gets the highest score, or if the scores are tied whoever is higher up after 5 minutes.

For a obstacle course competition it is a more entertaining piece of viewing compared to American Grit or Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge, though it lacks the atmosphere or watchability of Ninja Warrior.


The F Word (FOX)


The F Word (FOX) – Premieres 31st May

A US version of the former Channel 4 format, where Gordon Ramsey hosts a show that’s a mix between a cooking competition, chat show and pre-recorded skits in a live setting.

The competition aspect has two teams of amateur cooks facing off against each other where the best team at the end of the series wins $100k. The teams are judged by the diners, and the two teams with the highest approval rating get invited back for the grand final.

Breaking up the competition, Ramsey interviews a couple of the celebrity guests in the restaurant, does a quick 60 second recipe where after he shows off failed attempts from the public that were posted on Twitter, meets up with a celeb for a bit of off site cooking and does a some hidden camera pranking on some folks.

It’s pretty much identical to the original UK version, and while at times it there are a few awkward moments it does what you’d expect.


World Of Dance (NBC)


World Of Dance (NBC) – Premieres 30th May

Dance competition where judges Derek Hough, Ne-Yo and Jennifer Lopez are given the take to find the best dance act in America, where the winner gets $1million.

The dancers are split into three groups, Junior (for the under 18s), Upper (for up to four dancers over 18) & Team (for 5 or more dancers over 18). As they each dance for the judges they qualify for the next round if their performance gets an average score of 80 or over. The scores are calculated by being scored in 5 categories (performance, technique, choreography, creativity and presentation), and each category has the max score of 20.

The show itself is typical of any other talent show that’s on, where they show the acts backstage, they have their acts appraised at the end of the performance, and if there’s any chance of an emotional backstory Disney-esque orchestral music will appear from nowhere.

It’s the usual run-of-the-mill gumpf.


Great Food Truck Rally (Food Network)


Great Food Truck Rally (Food Network) – Premieres 20th May

A cooking competition where three teams of wannabe food truck owners go against each other in the bid to win $10k to put towards their startup truck.

The competition is broken into two rounds, in the first the three teams are given their own food truck to designs they supplied and they are given 24 hours, from midday to midday, to earn as much as they can. To start them off they are each given $350 for them to buy their food for the competition.

After going to various itches during the first day, the teams are given an additional challenge to incorporate an additional dish to their menu, then with an hour to go the teams have to met at a selected spot where they go against each other. At the end of the 24 hours the team that has earned the least amount of cash is eliminated.

In the final round the remaining two teams have to include a breakfast dish to their menu, and the first team to make $200 in sales and reach the meeting spot win the grand prize.

While it’s reminiscent of Food Truck Face Off, for a cooking competition it’s not too bad a watch.