There are so many various karaoke TV shows. Some of them, like Carpool Karaoke, engage the audience thanks to the star guests. The others stepped out of the format of a regular show and turned into a real talent factory. Since the mid-1960s, it was hard to impress the audience with any kind of talent factories and music programs. At least until 2012 when the American cable truTV released a new game-show, which was one of a kind – Killer Karaoke.
By saying “one of a kind” we mean an absolutely insane show, where the contestants were offered to sing a song in karaoke under the extreme conditions, to put it lightly. Just to give you an idea: instead of a cozy stage, you have to sing in an aquarium, stuffed with snakes or toads.
The project’s show-runners were Steve O – a professional stunt performer, the star of the iconic “Jackass” show, and Mark McGrath, the lead vocalist of Sugar Ray. He replaced Steve O after he departed from the show. The hosts obviously had lots of fun, watching the contestants’ struggle. From the long list of “tortures”, the participants of the show were subjected to, there were a few memorable:
– Big Stank. A contestant has to sing while being sandwiched between two sweaty sumo fighters.
– Hair Raiser. A contestant, usually male, sits back in the armchair and has full or partial strip-wax treatment.
– Swamp Swing. Utilizing a special swing, the contestant gets dipped into water that swarms with reptiles.
Can you imagine the fever pitch during such challenges? Very few people managed to keep calm and restrain from screaming.
The play-off was any less exciting when the finalists were placed on the spinning disk which speeded up gradually. The last person who managed to stay on the turntable while never stopping singing was announced the winner.
The show made it through 2 seasons and was closed down partially due to the lower audience interest, and partially because of the growing criticism by animal activists, who were not okay with the fact that squids had to be mistreated like that.
Soon after the show was launched on the American television, the Killer Karaoke franchise emerged in Thailand, the Philippines, and Korea where it still runs and enjoys success. The Asian market is more tolerant toward TV projects, where the contestants have to go through nine circles of hell to get an aspired award.
Despite Asian clone-shows adopted the best practices of its American forerunner, and at some point even excelled it in terms of how refined the tortures (”a challenge” doesn’t cover it all, does it?) are, these shows are now lacking the overall spirit and drive they used to have. The contestants themselves, too, seem to respond less emotionally to various creatures, climbing up their heads while they’re singing.