Must Be The Music- Part Ye Firste

Sharleen Spiteri sandwiched between Jamie Cullum and Dizzee Rascal. No, it’s not the latest horrifying celebrity sex scandal (although just imagine it. IMAGINE), no, I’m talking about the line up of judges for Sky1’s new music talent search show ‘Must be the Music’, presented by Fearne ‘Oh no it’s Fearne Cotton’ Cotton.

Yes, you heard me right- Jamie Cullum, the least ‘street’ person in the universe, is thrown together with Dizzee Rascal in the oddest mashup since Justin Beiber duetted with the Wu Tang Clan.
I expected absolutely nothing from this, the eleventy billionth ‘star search’ show since Popstars splurged all over our screens back in 1999.

However, Must Be The Music (despite containing Fearne Cotton) is, if not unique, certainly refreshing. One of the show’s pledges is that acts can perform their own songs using ‘any instrument’- although they’re yet to email me back confirming whether I can play my cat like a set of bagpipes, which is a shame as I’ve been training him for ages.

Sorry Chairman Meow.

The winners get £100,000: notable as the benchmark for reality TV prize money from the Apprentice to Big Brother, an amount once described by Mitchell and Webb as the ‘smallest large amount of money people will humilate themselves for’. Although here, at least, the humiliation is played down in favour of showcasing genuine talent.

Flow Dem, for example, were very good if you like inspirational inner city youth club rap. Which I suppose I do, even if one of them WAS called ‘Antizzle’: less a name, more a pest control spray. But I really advise them to think the lumberjack look. They looked like me in the early 90s, and trust me, that isn’t a good thing.

I wanted to hate another act that came on shortly after the urban yoofz, mainly because they were called ‘Man Tricks’. What exactly is a ‘man trick’? When you do the dishes really badly in the hope that your ladypartner will never ask you to do it again? Also, they were all wearing Justin Timberlake hats, the gimps.

Unfortunately for me, Man Tricks turned out to be fairly good at singing and again I was deprived of a chance to mock. It was like watching Britain’s Got Talent but without the eel-jugglers and dancing dogs- although we did get the opportunity to laugh at a bedroom rocker who moshed his way around the stage like a total gubbins. Dizzee Rascal thought he was ‘so bad it was good’. Or at least that’s what I think he said. I have to admit, I’m too northern and unhip to understand him: every sentence sounds a bit like ‘izzle me duhga ha going yeah muuuuuurumshfhgh Big Up.”

Next up were ‘Pepper and Piano’, notable as the act that made rubberface Cotton shed a single, shining tear. Or possibly some kind of coolant. To be fair, Pepper was very good, warbling her way through a lovely tune that was very pleasing to my earholes. However, I didn’t start weeping like I’d just watched Leonardo Da Vinci paint the Sistine Chapel whilst Mozart played Jeff Buckley’s version of ‘Hallelujah’ in the background. It was just singing. Singing is nice, but is it really the most moving form of self-expression? What about synchronised swimming? Cake decoration? Flower arranging? That’s quite emotional: “I were a drug addict til I learnt the proper place for a carnation. Now I’ve got me own business and I hardly ever eat the poppies.”

I clearly have a heart of stone. I wonder if Simon Cowell needs an understudy for the next series of X Factor.

Joking (sort of) aside, I was heartily impressed and surprised by the genuine talent on display. I particularly liked the fiddle player who played his nifty fiddle choons on a loop like a one man band (but without the harmonica and associated gurning). Give him the £100,000, I say. Although to be honest they all deserve it: even the incredibly precocious posh girlchild called ‘Hero’ who played the harp and sang a haunting melody in crystal clear tones, leading Dizzee Rascal to mumble something along the lines of ‘umma wow shugummle wow 11 man, 11!’ and shake his head in disbelief.

In conclusion, it’s really nice to see a talent show actually showcasing people’s own work and compositions instead of permitting absolute dingbats to warble terrible cover versions in front of ice-hearted execs. I was also pleased to discover that any act reaching the semi-finals will have their work uploaded onto iTunes so they can start making real cash money from downloads.

However, on the other hand it’s got Fearne Cotton in it. Hmmm.


About Hilary Wardle
Hilary is a freelance journalist and copywriter who writes for a wide range of websites, magazines and newspapers, including Buzzfeed, MSN, The Poke, Chortle, the Guardian and the Independent. She specialises in arts and entertainment, comedy, video games and viral content. Contact her at

9 Responses to Must Be The Music- Part Ye Firste

  1. Eileen says:

    I have the same feelings regarding Fearne Cotton, annoying AND bland, what a combo!

    • penny louise says:

      bland,,fern is vomit? im soooooooooooo sik of seeing her bloody face yuk, pls pls dieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, like, disappear! go! imigrate! alaska? no thats too good, siberia yeah one way ticket to bye by land,

    • Annoying and bland- like a glass of tepid water. “I wanted COLD water, dammit.”

  2. Stewart says:

    Cotton aside, it was the format that wound me up about this show. From the pregnant pause once the act finished, until the judges revealed their verdict; to the incessant need to tell us who the judges after each ad break (coz, y’know- we forgot!). All this meant was we got to see about 4 acts per hour of TV. Thank god for sky+

    • penny louise says:

      sos yup, totally annoying, just fast forward past that dope of a fern n all the suspense’ing brakes n pausing b4 voting, what the hell? r we marionettes, robots or shitheads is that wot they think. wont watch again, wankers

    • “It’s Jamie Cullum. He’s a JAZZ artist.”

      Jizzwizard, more like. Sigh. Bland. It was all so bland!

  3. penny louise says:

    dizzy u letting yourself down man, c/mon..with all the respaect bro coz i luv ya

  4. pest control is necessary specially if you have an expensive wooden home and if you are cultivating some plants ~.,

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