It’s not uncommon for clips of famous people competing on old reality shows to crop up now and then. For instance, here’s Emma Stone’s surreal first appearance singing ‘I’m a Bitch’ on something called The Search for the New Partridge Family.
However, outside of charity specials, it’s rarer for currently famous people to show up as contestants on talent shows. And yet…
Yes, that is the real Jessie J performing on the real Chinese reality show Singer. The format actually sounds pretty good – famous stars sing other people’s songs, with a winner crowned at the end. Even the sob stories are more celebrified compared to your usual contestant on X Factor. Jessie J sang I Have Nothing by Whitney Houston, and told the story of how the singer’s death in 2012 affected her.
“Unfortunately I was in the same hotel when she passed,” she said, “and I want the Chinese audience and everyone else who is going to see it around the world to know, one how much I love Whitney Houston and two, to see how hard I push myself vocally.”
Jessie J went on to win her episode – the first Anglo-American to do so in the history of the show– and it’s piqued our interest.
We can see Singer working well in Britain. In fact, come to think of it, the spinning-chair madness of The Voice seems more like the kind of foreign-TV curiosity Chris Tarrant used to laugh at than this. We would watch Singer on a Sunday: Paloma Faith vs Lethal Bizzle vs Ellie Goulding; Ricky Wilson vs Olly Murs vs Robbie Williams, etc etc etc.
Simon Cowell, get on it.