Press: I Wanna Be A Soapstar (21)

Triple Ds Diner

Thursday, October 28, 2004

From last week's poll 59% didn't even watch the show. Here's hoping you all took a look see over the weekend and write in with your opinions of the show and let me know what "you" think about the show. Mail to:TripleDDiner

As I watched this week's episode of "I Wanna Be A Soapstar" with pretty much no loftier expectations other than another great reality TV show. Mark Teschner, legendary casting director for General Hospital and Michael Bruno, perhaps the daytime world's most well known talent manager were to be judges I was at least confident that if there were any raw
talent out there right for soaps these guys would spot it. And that it would be professionally handled, I was kind of wrong on the first point, absolutely right on the second. I'm sure given the pool they had to choose from Teschner, Bruno and actress Debbie Morgan, the third member of the panel did the best they could but from the 6 contestants I saw, only one was remotely interesting and only one had the look and camera presence. I found Robin extremely interesting, though probably older than she admitted to, a not so cushy life showed in her face. Which of course is what made her interesting, along with that husky voice. I also found her to be the most relaxed and comfortable in the scenes they were all forced to play, which is probably why she did well. Kelly has the look and the camera loves her. Plain and simple. Looking at her through the monitors, there is no doubt that she has the most potential to be that "soap star" if you go on a look alone. As for the rest, nothing, nada, zip.

Considering that these contestants were told to don skimpy outfits, pair off and pull off a sexy love scene was bad enough, but to throw a wrench into their prepartions and force them to do it with virtual strangers who have been eating garlic and onions was just mean. And you know what, not only was it professionally handled before with Eric Morgan Stuart as a pretty honest and truthful acting coach, but after as well as the director and camera people conducted the tapings as you would expect on a real set. I was impressed that such an obviously titillating hook to draw viewers actually was anything but, I was interested in seeing the dynamics developing between the contestants and it was interesting to see just how big a role chemistry among actors actually plays in soap's success. In spite of what I might have thought turning to the channel, I thought for the most part "I Wanna Be A Soapstar" was fairly well done, it was snappy, it moved quickly and at least the contestants were participating in exercises that had some relationship to and experience to take to their end goal, a 13 week role on GH.

I would have liked to have heard more critique from the judges but it had to be difficult after just one episode for them to really get a sense of who these people are. Did they go with the easy choice for elimination in Kent, probably -my money would have been on Mykel, probably the worst actor of the bunch, but its not always just about base talent, its about screen presence, chemistry, confidence, ability to entertain and Kent just didn't have it among that group. The best part of the show is actually Michael Bruno himself. He's hilarious with that stone face and absolutely has a stronger screen presence than any one of those contestants. His facial expressions, his comments, his ability to hold the camera - that's really what its all about. The guy should have been an actor. When he said to Robin I think it was "When I came in here I was gay, now I'm not so sure" I about fell off my sofa. Priceless. Bruno will save this show from taking itself too seriously and I'll definitely watch next
week's episode because I can't wait to hear what he'll say next. I know it will be smart and right on the money. And uh, Cameron Mathiason, I'd stick to my day job.

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