Showtime at the Apollo (FOX)


Showtime at the Apollo (FOX) – Premieres 1st March

Revived variety show hosted by Steve Harvey, where performers show off their act to the Apollo crowd who decide who should move on to the final and get the chance to win the opportunity to play as a headlining act there. 

Like with every show where Steve Harvey hosts, he brings up the performers to the stage, has a chat with them, pull a couple of perplexed faces and then lets them do their thing. During the act the performers can be stopped if the crowd begin to turn on them, if they don’t they go through the vote at the end of the show. There the acts deemed good enough are lined up, and the one that gets the largest response from the crowd goes through to the final.

The show is a pretty standard take on the variety show format, where the acts they showcase are nowhere near as weird as the ones seen on the The Gong Show, though that said they’re not as entertaining either.



The Four: Battle for Stardom (Fox)


The Four: Battle for Stardom (Fox) – Premieres 4th January – Renewed

A singing competition hosted by Fergie form the Black Eyed Peas and judged by P Diddy, DJ Khalid, Meghan Trainor and a record exec, where they try to find the person they believe will be the next big thing. And where the overall winner would receive a record contract, get’s named iHeartMedia’s “On the Verge” artist and tutelage from the four judges.

In the show four singers have been preselected to be the starting calibre. Then each new singer that enters has the chance to displace one of them. To be able to the challenge, the singer first has to perform in front of the judges and receive an unanimous decision from them.

If they manage to get through, the singer is asked which one of “The Four” they want to challenge, then they both perform a song, and afterwards the crowd vote on which performer should stay.

For a singing competition the winner stays on format does give it a different angle to other programmes. Though it still feels and watches like any other singing competition, but with the added irritant of the judges consistently forcing out lines hoping to stumble upon a catchphrase.


Amazingness (MTV)


Amazingness (MTV) – Premieres 8th December 

Talent show hosted by Rob Dyrdek of Ridiculousness fame, where he and three judges cast their verdict over performers that range from The Gong Show type weirdness, to regular talent show type performances.

The show kicks off with two acts doing their thing, and after some deliberation, the least popular is voted off. Then when each additional act comes on, they are judged against the survivor of the last round the the most popular performance stays. Then at the end of the show the surviving performer(s) wins a trophy and $10k.

As a talent show it does exactly what you’d expect, though it does feel padded out and is a bit of a drag to get through.


The Gong Show (ABC)


The Gong Show (ABC) – Premieres 22nd June – Renewed

A reboot of the 70’s Variety show, where three judges sit rate amateur talent acts where the winner takes home a cheque for $2000.17. Though if the judges find the act to be boring they can hit the gong to halt the performance, or if the act makes it to the end they rate it out of ten.

The talent show itself is a plethora of borderline insane acts where the judges lightheartedly mock them along with the innuendo driven Mike Myers created host Tommy Maitland. And unlike other talent shows such Little Big Shots or any of the singing competitions, the acts are quickly introduced then they go straight into the thing, meaning there’s a constant stream of some truly weird stuff going on.

For what it is, it’s the most entertaining of the talent shows on offer since everything on it is up for ridicule and the acts play up to it. It’s a decent enough way to burn through 45 minutes if you fancy being constantly bemused at what you’re seeing.


Little Big Shots: Forever Young (NBC)


Little Big Shots: Forever Young (NBC) – Premieres 21st June

Spinoff of Little Big Shots where instead of kids showing off their talents, it focuses on the skills of elderly guests. Like the original show each act gets their brief backstory told, and they have a chat with Steve Harvey where a few jokes are cracked, and Harveys range of face pulling is shown off before performing their act.

Unsurprisingly the talents on offer in this version are slightly more impressive, though everything else is exactly the same. It’s one for those that enjoyed the original.


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.