Ok until now I’ve been a bit cheeky, with a few broadsides about the impending special by Kyle and Jackie O.
I figure given they dish it out they’re up for a bit of sporting fun. But let me put on my serious hat given I’ve now seen the show.
On a positive note, the radio penetration by Sandilands and O, otherwise known as Jackie Henderson, is outstanding. They have dominated markets, they have scored major interviews and exclusives (as recently as yesterday) and they attract media attention with regularity. Love them or loathe them, they have shown they resonate with radio audiences, built around Sandilands’ gift of the gab.
Television is a different animal. While Sandilands has proven successful on at least three profile shows (Australian Idol, Australia’a Got Talent and The X Factor), Jackie O is yet to forge any success. She is frequently branded the “kiss of death,” including some shows that were poorly produced and beyond her control.
Radio stars crossing to Television is littered with casualties. For some perplexing reason, so many media stars are never satisfied with being at the top of their game in one medium. Must they have it all?
The first sign of trouble on Kyle and Jackie O’s Night with the Stars was the poor audio quality, with a hollow studio vacuum that lacked intimacy.
A huge desk that separating the hosts from the guests exacerbated this intimacy.
A studio audience could be heard applauding, but there were no shots of them. On occasions there was even canned applause. While Sandilands has taken many famous potshots at Rove McManus, he has seemingly learned little from his kind about creating an environment that invites the viewer into the space.
The stars that appeared on the show might suit a Gen Y radio audience but I suspect many of Seven’s broad audience would have been waiting for the stars to arrive. We got Nick Cannon, Janice Dickinson, Kendra Wilkinson and Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino. Most have made their names working in Reality TV shows which play in Australia on Pay Television.
Each attempted to be upbeat and laugh along with the hosts, with an occasional anecdote. Cannon’s story about a charity and Wilkinson sharing a story about her father-in-law having cancer were the best of an otherwise dull bunch.
Kyle and Jackie O. talked a lot. A lot. It often felt like everyone was talking “at” each other rather than “with” each other, in an effort to top the preceding remark either in volume or punchlines.
Too much of the programme consisted of three people talking at one time. As a result it lacked direction.
Sandilands also fronted a few pre-recorded clips, the best of which was him getting bored during a Justin Bieber interview. At least it showed a bit of his trademark snark.
Jackie O. spent an inordinate amount of time wading through Top 5 lists of celebrity marriages, separations like they were important until we hit rock bottom with a list of celebrity nude photos, peppered by Janice Dickinson’s escapades with former sexual partners. What had we done to deserve this?
The more base these conversations got the more thrill the subjects seemed to elicit. Are ratings points directly proportionate to the amount of times we can say the words sex, naked or appendages?
At Dickinson’s request, Sandlilands also opted to go the grope with her enhanced boobs. When in LA, I guess…
By this time I was wondering if the show had any understanding of the core audience. Was I really watching the same network with Packed to the Rafters and Downton Abbey?
Thankfully the charming Michael Buble saved the day, via satellite, with an all too brief chat before we got a video clip.
Kyle and Jackie O’s Night with the Stars was a very long affair without enough depth or comedy. As television it made for good radio.