The live episode: once upon a time a groundbreaking feat which has since filtered down through the soaps to feature everything from rooftop plummets to tram disasters and brick bludgeoning. The next step in its genesis? The Only Way is Essex’s live episode, of course. Gemma, Sam, Joey and the gang descending on Arg’s charity talent show – what could possible go wrong?
A lot, apparently. Any programme that begins with James Argent scurrying around backstage in his briefs makes for unsavoury viewing – that, swiftly followed by the sight of an orange Debbie Bright caught in her towel. Any viewers who made it past the first five minutes should be congratulated.
If you did you would have witnessed Chloe Simms’ tuneless rendition of Barbie Girl – a performance which made Aqua sound positively operatic. One Direction’s debut single Live While They’re Young was also butchered by a selection of cast members prancing around on stage, displaying their ‘talent’ (or lack of…)
Throw in the awkward silences caught on camera, the producers’ blatant attempts to rev up dull, scripted conversations and the inaudible, muddled debates between castmembers and you have TOWIE Live – a magnifying glass shone on the talentless exploits of Essex’s finest.
And it wasn’t long before incredulous fans took to Twitter to express their disbelief. Myleene Klass led the charge by asking her followers,
Have I drunk too much or not enough? #towielive.
— Myleene Klass (@KlassMyleene) December 3, 2012
Rosie Rose Cole decided to focus on the positives of the evening…
Omg all I can suggest is we embrace the fact that was for Breat Cancer Research and never ever speak of it again. #towielive
— Rosie Cole (@MsRosieCole) December 3, 2012
While Jamie Boyle suggested adhering to the traditional cliffhanger favoured by past live episodes:
Really wish #towielive had taken a leaf out of Corries book and just dropped a tram on them all.
— Jamie Boyle (@JamieSBoyle) December 3, 2012
@NickOverheard was one of many viewers to pick up on producers’ unsubtle prompts.
— NICK (@NickOverheard) December 3, 2012
Meanwhile Paul Carmichael launched a scathing attack on the stars of the show.
#towie live- Is anyone cueing these idiots? Television is committing suicide before my very eyes. Utter crap.
— Paul Carmichael (@MrCarmichael) December 3, 2012
The one highlight of the evening was recently returned Kirk Norcross who debuted a surprisingly decent singing voice when he took to the stage to perform Ain’t That A Kick In The Head. @luciecave observed…
Kirk looks surprised that he can sing. And that he can remember the words. And that we're still watching.. #TOWIELive
— luciecave (@luciecave) December 3, 2012
Following the error-ridden broadcast, Michelle Buckeridge raised the all-important suggestion…
I think we're witnessing the death of TOWIE. Car crash (and not in a good way). RIP. #TOWIELive
— Michelle Davies (@M_Davieswrites) December 3, 2012
Ever since the popular structured reality show first burst onto our TV screens in October 2010, the endless ensemble of fake tanned, plastic surgery-loving, vajazzled Essex dwellers have provided the nation with love/hate television. But those championing its cause were left with little to call entertainment during last night’s airing and the question remains: has TOWIE’s ill-advised foray into live television resulted in a death of a different kind? There wasn’t a brick or tram in sight, but judging by last night’s backlash their fabricated display may have cost the ITV2 reality show the loyal fans who keep their repetitive exploits on our screens…
What do you think? Was TOWIE’s car-crash display television suicide, or has Essex still got TV mileage? Vote in our poll below… &lt;a href=”http://polldaddy.com/poll/6741723/”&gt;Has TOWIE Live killed The Only Way Is Essex?&lt;/a&gt;