TV Review: Platinum Hit

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In addition to veteran televised-music-contest talent wranglers Jewel and Kara Diguardio (and special guest judges Jermaine Dupri and, erm, some A&R dude from Jive Records), viewers were presented with brief introductions to the twelve contestants. There's caricatured diva trainwreck Sonyae and New Age moppet Melissa, and quietly pompous human anachronism Nevin, and sightless, cheerful Blessing and fashion-punk juggernaut of false confidence Nick and all the rest.

None of them provokes the sort of instantaneous emotional response response inspired by, say, a Marcel or a Christian Siriano; beyond a vague sort of pity conjured by the obvious fact that most of them think the whole thing is about becoming a rock star rather than a behind-the-scenes music-industry professional, they arouse no strong feelings one way or the other.

The first part of the show — the "Quickfire Challenge" bit — revolved around writing a hook for a song about Los Angeles and resulted in exactly the sort of "city of dreams" cliches one might expect. Jewel and KD picked four winners who became team captains for the second part of the ep, in which the competitors used a directive to finish the winners' tunes as an excuse for a lot of awkward fake bonding and passive-aggressive criticism.

Which, as faithful Bravo viewers know, is the best part of the network's programming. But here it just came off as businesslike and unspectacular.

Will the ravenous egos festering under those Members Only jackets and knit hats explode into mayhem? The previews of coming eps certainly suggest it. The catfights, betrayals and backtalk better start soon, though, because the first show's musical fruits were not very good at all, and anybody interested in watching three people sitting in a room writing a song is probably not watching TV, because they're sitting in a room somewhere writing a song.

Oh, and Nevin went home, ostensibly for not contributing enough to his team's song, but probably because he knew who Bob Dylan was.

The cast of Bravos Platinum Hit
  • The cast of Bravo's Platinum Hit

Last night, while most folks with a real passion for music and all the things that go along with being passionate about music were shaking and sweating out a Memorial Day Weekend's worth of booze and music, Bravo debuted Platinum Hit, its new songwriting-focused reality competition. The purpose of Platinum Hit is apparently twofold: to teach a dozen modestly talented young people that "songwriter" and "performer" are not synonyms and to show the world once and for all that there is no solitary creative activity so boring that Bravo can't make it watchable with a little forced collaboration and a lot of editing.

The program's premiere episode accomplished neither of these goals, but it did aggressively imply that a small handful of the contestants just might be arrogant, crazy or combative enough to warrant further viewing.

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