I was going through some of my old documents and I chanced upon this piece here. I enjoyed reading it once more and thought you would too.
It’s from my days writing “In the Couch with Freddy” in JIVE Entertainment Weekly a while back.
First of, you guys need to forgive me. I know this column has been missing from Jive for the longest while, and possibly this might be my last entry for a long while to come. famosfreddy needs to take a little break.
But lemme get right down to business!
Last week I had several calls from all over to check out this new addition to the silver screen. Now y’all know that the moment something like that comes unto the screen, it’s just begging me to comment.
Hmmm… to begin with, the name is cheesy! Which creative minds over at TV3 decided that this was the best name to give to a contest? Gang Stars paa, some dey inside. I think they got the Gang bit right, but fell short of the Stars aspect. How do they manage to round up all the “kankpe” (hard core) people in one single slot of television time? It’s funny how Stars of the Future manages to get one type and TV3 ends up with another. Although I think that this year’s Stars of the Future wasn’t entirely up to snuff. That’s another matter for another medium.
Ok now, the only difference between this one and the Mentor is that they come in twos and threes and fours; male and female alike.
So I set up myself to watch this great show I’d heard so much about. There’s one mistake I made though; I had my dinner at the same time I was watching it. And if TV3 has any feelings for this poor soul of mine, they should compensate me for every time I nearly choked on a morsel. My brother recounts his displeasure of watching the opening of the show under the attack of mosquitoes. Now that is a sad story.
To be fair, I’ll say that not all the Gang Stars were utterly appalling, some were disgraceful and others were an embarrassment. Rather than call them Gang Stars, I’ll refer to them as Dimmed Shimmers. They need to realize that the songs they sing aren’t theirs and as long as they are in that contest, and might want to merit the name “Star”, they’ll have to come up with something better than simply putting mime to an already established song. I like the judges, B.B., Jackie and DKB. But I hate their position. I wonder if they truly enjoy that role. It must be horrifying. Each time a group comes on stage it’s like a battlefield with guns going off in all directions. Duck! Bomb’s away! Sheesh!
If you saw my face when one batch came up to do Backstreet Boys’ “Quit Playing Games”, you might understand, albeit fairly, how my insides were churning. With all their might, they masterfully owned the song (not in the good sense as we would have hoped) and destroyed the music sheet with which the song was composed. The Backstreet Boys are not exactly my favorites; nonetheless, I can’t begin to fathom what they will make of this dirgeful rendition of the song. It was a complete and utter mess. There’s something interesting I noticed as well. When they were done singing and the hosts, Black Boy & that squeamish lady with the rat attack hairdo who tagged along, came up to talk to them, at least 70% of the time, the mics of the contestants didn’t work. That certainly raised my eyebrows. Besides the lead singer, how did the rest back him/her up? Hmmm?
The proceedings of that entire night reinstated my belief that clearly we have no sense of music! And that’s where all the work need be targeted. Not when they are old and set in their ways. Too late to teach and old dog new tricks, you know?
They need to be told right this moment that they can’t keep riding on somebody else’s choo-choo train. What’s the skill in simply lip synching another’s song? No real exhibition of talent in that. Somebody, please tell me the purpose of this gathering of Gang Stars. I implore you.
Instead of propelling us ahead of all four mentor seasons, they took me way back to secondary school days when entertainment night was all about getting on stage, miming and getting off stage. As my mosquito-bite ridden brother said, it reminded him of Saturday evening Variety Shows in SSS. There was no real need to sing, just look good on stage and everyone will like you.
Anywho, you’ve got to admire TV3’s unquenchable desire to entertain it’s audiences. They try. Truly they do.
But before I leave, here’s one word of advice to my Gang Star buddies; the fact that you enjoy singing a Mary J Blige/Mario/Jahiem song in your bathroom doesn’t mean you can torture is with it.