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60 Seconds: TVNZ’s tepid, TikTok-inspired talent show’s clock is already ticking

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REVIEW: If a most of 9 minutes of motion per Dancing With the Stars hour was all an excessive amount of for you, then TVNZ have gotten precisely what you’ve been craving.

60 Seconds (Monday nights 7.30pm on TVNZ 2 and obtainable on TVNZ OnDemand) options simply 5 acts of the eponymous size throughout every of its 5 broadcast-hour-long heats.

To place all of it in perspective. In his bid to be the subsequent Dominic Bowden or Ryan Seacrest, afternoon radio DJ- turned-host Clint Roberts threatens to eclipse that allotted time, as he manages to take 35 seconds to announce the night’s winners.

The premise of the state broadcaster’s newest stab at a sustainable expertise quest (final 12 months’s Popstars having seemingly been shelved and New Zealand’s Bought Expertise all however forgotten) eliminates the worldwide licence charges and current IPs and as a substitute showcases the “nation’s quickest rising stars”.

Tiffany and Vixen were one of the five acts featured on the opening night of 60 Seconds.

Warner Bros.

Tiffany and Vixen had been one of many 5 acts featured on the opening evening of 60 Seconds.

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Which means, don’t anticipate finding any unheralded buskers from Eketāhuna or mature Mataura choir singers getting their second within the highlight right here. These are all folks with an current profile, be it through years of expertise honing their act in relative personal, acting at occasions, or having greater than 160,000 TikTok followers. Whereas that takes away slightly of the magic and fairytale high quality of a present like this, it does imply that the usual of performances is uniformly excessive (one thing which some could argue additionally spoils a number of the schadenfreude-esque enjoyable of a programme like this).

As if to hammer house the variety of what we will anticipate, on Monday evening’s first version, we had been handled to a singer, a sand artist, a hip-hop duo, a canine agility duo and a circus act involving the comedic use of Jenga tiles (later heats promise to incorporate every part from beat boxers, opera singers and curler skaters to hurry stackers).

60 Seconds’ “talent scouts”, from left, Laura Daniel, Tegan Yorwarth and Pax Assadi with their Taskmaster-esque thrones.

Warner Bros.

60 Seconds’ “expertise scouts”, from left, Laura Daniel, Tegan Yorwarth and Pax Assadi with their Taskmaster-esque thrones.

In addition to entertaining a surprisingly (and considerably unnervingly, given the nation’s present Covid state of affairs) packed and principally maskless Sky Metropolis Theatre (giving a sign of how way back this may need been recorded, somewhat than trigger to alert the authorities), the performers’ essential goal was to steer the judging/expertise scout panel of Laura Daniel, Pax Assadi and Tegan Yorwarth (every seated on what appeared like thrones rejected by TVNZ’s Taskmaster Jeremy Wells) to bid probably the most to safe their expertise for his or her “crew”.

In guidelines that may solely be described as “convoluted”, and can little question really feel made up on the spot as we progress (although they’ve been set out from the beginning), the 2 acts with the very best bids from every warmth undergo to the semi-finals, seemingly indentured to the scout who paid probably the most (Roberts joked that every one the primary evening’s kitty got here out of his KiwiSaver, however except he’s actually trying good for his age that appears unlikely).

Nevertheless, if a second bid got here inside $2000 of the highest bid, negotiations as to which scout’s steady the performer wish to be part of can happen, whereas there have been additionally hints that buying and selling and skullduggery may doubtlessly occur and Roberts claimed to have the ability to wreck all their plans along with his wildcard-esque “Clint’s Alternative”, which might take a selected act off all of their arms and straight into the Grand Ultimate.

60 Seconds provides yet another showcase for Laura Daniel to show off her multiple talents.

Warner Bros.

60 Seconds gives yet one more showcase for Laura Daniel to point out off her a number of skills.

For the scouts, their essential aim is to have one in every of their gamers win the title (judged on by the finale’s studio viewers) and the $30,000 money, to allow them to have bragging rights.

Sadly, regardless of the undoubted comedic talents of Assadi and Daniel, the trio made a really unhealthy first impression of their opening 60 seconds. A gag involving Assadi being late due to a spicy curry fell horribly flat, setting the tone for a night which featured primarily fart gags, Assadi being endearingly self-deprecating, Daniel being delightfully confident and Roberts describing the opening singer as having “an amazing set of pipes”.

The judges additionally inadvertently highlighted a number of the shortcomings of the format. Assadi bemoaned that 60 seconds wasn’t lengthy sufficient to understand the true artistry of the “sand storyteller”, whereas each he and Daniel recognised the ultimate trio from their appearances on the NZ Comedy Fest (that they made it by means of was totally deserved, however one couldn’t assist however really feel a twinge that that familiarity assisted their trigger).

60 Seconds’ performers Laser Kiwi and the aftermath of their Jenga-infused act.

Warner Bros.

60 Seconds’ performers Laser Kiwi and the aftermath of their Jenga-infused act.

Then there’s the performers’ introductions, the half that reveals the present’s true intentions and budget-saving brilliance. As a substitute of getting to ship alongside a digicam crew to seize them of their pure surroundings, the producers merely obtained them to every make a TikTok video. Retaining them suitably obscure additionally meant each the judges and the viewers have the added “sport” of making an attempt to guess what the act is earlier than they start. Whereas that led to some hilarity, notably given Assadi’s continued lack of success, it additionally resulted in some profound disappointment, particularly when Tiffany and Vixen turned out to not be a magic act, however a duo who had beforehand appeared on 2020’s disastrous Canine Almighty.

When the TVNZ and RNZ proposed merger was introduced final week, some commentators had been asking how they had been going to enchantment to the subsequent era. With this TikTok-inspired, brief consideration span, scattershot, fitfully humorous expertise present, it seems like TVNZ have already began.

On the proof of the primary episode although, whereas this may give some performers the trendy day equal of their quarter-hour of fame, 60 Seconds itself may not be round for lengthy.

New episodes of 60 Seconds display screen on Mondays at 7.30pm on TVNZ 2. They’re additionally obtainable to stream on TVNZ OnDemand.

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