The ‘good,’ the ‘bad’ and the viewing public: the judges who will decide on the contestants’ fate

The first of these talent shows, «Fame Story» and «Pop Stars,» were aired last year and what they made very apparent is that there are a lot of young men and women aged 18-26 in Greece who want to have a career in singing. Whereas in the past many adolescents would grow up with the dream of being a singer and become resigned to the possibility that it would never come to fruition, nowadays, these television shows put the dream within reach of many who want to try their luck at show business. Of course, these TV shows depend heavily on no-hopers taking the plunge and making fools of themselves in public. ‘Super Idol’ The main difference between this year’s «Super Idol» and last year’s «Pop Stars» is the public’s vote. The first episodes will show the auditions that were held in Athens, Thessaloniki and Nicosia, where the wheat was separated from the chaff and from which, sources say, male performers came out on top. Next, the public comes in. The selected group of applicants is separated into groups of 10 and each sings a song. The public then votes for two contestants of each group to stay on. This process continues until the final group of 10 contestants sings live in front of a judge’s panel and an audience, both of which have a say in who is to stay and who will go. The «Super Idol» panel is presided over by Ilias Psinakis, manager of pop singer Sakis Rouvas, and is further composed of Mega Channel entertainment program consultant Elena Katrava (who was also on the committee of «Pop Stars») and Constantis Spyropoulos, an executive at the recording company EMI Music, who is also commissioned to offer the competition’s winner a lucrative recording deal. The show will be presented by Themis Georgandas of the television music channel Mad TV. According to a Mega Channel press release, «Ilias Psinakis’s observations do not just concern the contestants’ artistic performances, but include the entire ‘package’ of qualities a top manager is looking for. When he comments on style, or anything else, everyone pays attention.» Further down in the announcement, we learn that the ‘bad cop’ role, held last year by Nikos Mouratidis, will this year be assumed by Katrava. «The competition between contestants is fierce, but not fiercer than Elena Katrava, who is very demanding and who does not hesitate to comment on anything she finds wrong,» reads the press release. ‘Fame Story 2’ «The stage lights are going back on. Everything is in place to welcome those who believe in themselves, who have dared to reach out and grab the opportunity of a lifetime and follow the road to fame. ‘Fame Story’ has opened its doors again to make the dream reality,» reads Antenna channel’s announcement of the new television program. This year’s show will be very similar to the last. It will use the same facilities and employ, more or less, the same coaches, though the panel has not been finalized yet. Furthermore, the contestants will be filmed 23 hours a day and the footage aired on pay-TV Nova. The process of competition is the same: Contenders who have passed the initial screening procedure attend a series of classes in singing, dance, gymnastics, media relations and styling, in short «whatever has to do with their professional training.» Each week the coaches single out those who have displayed the least progress and turn them over to the judges, who then, with the help of the public, choose whom to vote out and whom to keep. The winner at the end of the entire competition will walk away with 200,000 euros and a contract with the Heaven label, a member of the Antenna group. What is very different about the contest this year is that it includes Greeks living abroad, invited through auditions that were held in New York. According to Antenna, there were over 7,000 total applications made by January 24, the last day for entries. The show will be hosted by Andreas Mikroutsikos.