Isreali Show Challenges “The Voice”

In the same country where the popular tv hit Homeland first originated, a new singing competition show is gaining international attention. Israel’s locally grown singing competition, Rising Star, is now regularly hailed in the papers as potentially “the next The Voice.”

Could an American spinoff rise to the top of the charts? One distinction of Rising Star is its real-time interactive format. Instead of calling in to vote, viewers vote in real time during the performances. In addition, votes from viewers at home are weighed more heavily than those of the celebrity judges. Finally, as the performers begin to perform, a giant LED screen blocks them from the live audience. As viewers vote, the screen gradually reveals the performer.

Otherwise, the show bears many of the same trademarks as shows like Idol or X Factor. Celebrity judges analyze and rate the performance of unknown artists in front of live audiences. If other singing competition shows seemed high-pressure, this one brings the genre to even greater extremes. Singers don’t just perform in front of massive audience, the hope of fame dangling before them. In Rising Star, they have to deal with the public’s assessment as they sing. I can’t imagine a more demanding scenario for performance. Of course, what makes one person nervous can inspire the pluck in another to take on a new performing challenge.