Boring news alert: Bruno Tonioli has been confirmed as the new England has an incredible talent judge. This afternoon, dressed in a suitably glittering red blazer, the former Strictly The panelist arrived at the London Palladium for the first auditions for the new series.
Tonioli takes the David Walliams seat alongside Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden and Alesha Dixon, after the comedian and children’s author decided to quit the show after he was heard making derogatory and sexually explicit comments about contestants.
Tonioli’s appointment isn’t exactly setting the world on fire. Not least because the tabloids broke the story weeks before he made his official debut, and especially since the other name in the running – Alan Carr – is said to have brought something new to the table. We’ve seen Tonioli judging before, we know his quirks and his energy. He is flamboyant, loud, sometimes on the verge of annoyance and always on; he’s just good at the ever-difficult job of being on TV. The public loves it too. He was welcomed back Strictly with open arms and enthusiastic praise last year when he appeared for a bizarre performance of “Don’t Leave Me This Way.” If it is a raise attempt BGT, he’s a sloth. Worse, for sure.
England has an incredible talentit is the glory days are over. The series has become too predictable, too formulaic, too chauvinistic. Its manipulative editing and reliance on gory stories no longer work on smart audiences, especially in a time when television is focused on contestant well-being and #BeKind. Even the jokes, the ones that seem to prove Britain isn’t as talented as Cowell hopes, have lost their luster – they feel either cruel and exploitative or cynical and catchy. Add in all the rumors of background feuds and judge fights and it makes for a grueling watch.
Just look at the viewership numbers, which have been steadily declining year-over-year since 2016. The 2022 finale drew just 7.07 million viewers, a far cry from the biggest Series 3 finale, when 17.3 million people watched the triumph of dance group Diversity. . Spin-offs don’t fare much better: Great Britain has talent: the champions, which invited past artists from across the global franchise to compete again in 2019, was only watched by 5.84 million people over six episodes (perhaps because the eventual winner was accidentally revealed weeks ago). before the broadcast of the program). At Christmas, the unique episode Britain’s Got Talent: Ultimate Magician failed to make an impact.
Tonioli arrives amid controversy. Not only does the shadow of Walliams’ disgusting comments hang over his chair, but his hiring has, if rumors are to be believed, sparked a pay dispute. According to The sun, Holden and Dixon declined to sign their Series 15 contracts because they disagreed with newcomer Tonioli receiving the same amount. Holden has been to BGT since the first series in 2007, while Dixon replaced Michael McIntyre in 2012.
BGT has his work cut out for him. Although it heralds the modern era of the old-school Saturday night entertainment series, it can’t compete with the likes of Michael McIntyre’s Big Showrecently returned to BBC One to great acclaim with its viewers, beating ITV1’s Saturday night juggernaut The Masked Singer in the ratings. But even the old Royal Variety Performance — a place on which is allocated to the BGT winner, plus £250,000 in cash – was down in viewership, hitting a low of 3.1 million in December.
If Cowell wanted to bring his show up to date and relevant, he should have brought in a fresh face with a fresh perspective. Someone young, someone culturally influential and who could bring a whole new generation of viewers to the failing series: an Amelia Dimoldenberg or a Big Zuu.
England has an incredible talent not going anywhere for the next few years. It’s already been contracted to run until at least 2025, and Ant and Dec have just signed a new deal that will continue to see them tied down. Additionally, word is that Cowell is working on another spinoff, this time around animal acts, inspired by the success of contestants like 2012 winners Ashley and Pudsey.
But audiences want exciting new television (see the phenomenon of Traitors or ITV’s best entertainment show in years, The 1% club). Hire a judge from another more engaging series like Strictly just won’t bring back BGTthe spark. It’s time for Cowell to send it the same way X factor. That is to say off the air.