“Star Academy”: time for the class council

Enola, Louis, Anisha or Léa. A few hours from knowing who will win star Academy 2022, TF1 can already rub their hands, whatever the choice of the public. The return of the flagship show of the 2000s was a challenge. Successful bet. Prime time on Saturday evening brought together an average of 4.2 million faithful (including replay), but above all 42% of famous housewives, a major target of advertisers, and 48% of 15-34 year olds. A feat at a time when young people are deserting traditional dad television to take refuge on the platforms. Same satisfaction for the daily broadcasts which reconnected with the rules of reality TV, however decried; 1.9 million fans and almost the same averages on targets as for prime time. star Academy made a successful comeback. Without succeeding in reconnecting with the prestige of the past.

During the press conference announcing the return of the program in October, Rémi Faure, the head of TF1 streams, was very clear: young people today are no longer the same as those of 20 years ago. No outbursts to be expected or thundering outings with rancid accents of homophobia, like the famous Jean-Pascal who, in 2001, estimated, open microphone, that dance was “for queers”.

Welcome to the Convent of the Birds

Indeed, the 2022 academicians are wise. Or at least seriously. No question here of fooling around, of flirting at all costs, of giving the image to grind to the amateurs of reality TV. No more devastated rooms, doors smashed in anger… The castle of Dammarie-les-Lys is the convent of the Birds crossed from the Petit Conservatoire de Mireille.

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To the StarAc 2022, there is no last row student. That of the first of the class motivated and crippled with doubts, “the mark of true artists” as the teaching staff likes to tell them. Admittedly, one can still suddenly suffer from a few outbursts of laziness, but one is quickly called to order by the director.

star Academy would it no longer be a reflection of today’s youth? Let’s not go that far. At 20, we like musicals, we sometimes play the piano, but we don’t always seem to know who Julien Clerc is or even Joan of Arc for that matter. We pay little attention to the culture of clash. We are benevolent, concerned about others and always extremely tolerant.

But if the codes of pure and hard reality TV are not welcome, students can still offer a few little viral phrases. Like when the very young Tiana, unable to find the right word in her vocabulary, confesses to one of her classmates that the first time she saw her, she found her “a little cocooned but in the sense positive “. “Silly kind? asks another. “Who is it, silly? » replies the kid, convinced that this is a first name.

A clean cast

In the end, apart from a few reactions dictated by spontaneity, nothing comes to interfere with the life of the castle. Not even Louis’ crying spells or the somewhat tiresome existential questions of the good student Anisha. No unbearable candidate, to be hated (Paola narrowly missed the mark)… Only Julien, the nice bad boy with long hair, subscriber to the bench of nominees but nevertheless acclaimed by the public during prime time advertising breaks, has vaguely returned with the Jean-Pascal and Georges-Alain of the past, without however reaching their level of stage incompetence. Result: not a head sticks out in this promotion, however nice it may be. And no potential winner stands out.

The watchword is simple: move around, there’s nothing to see… Here, we work hard. We work on the evaluations, we work on the bonus songs, we work morning, noon and evening and when we sit down, it’s to talk about performance. We are not here to prepare a warm place for ourselves in the coming seasons of Reality TV Angels. The evaluations are shown to us in their almost entirety, the repetitions too.

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What remains of the prime times of yesteryear? A Nikos as an autopilot as well as benevolent, an almost identical breakdown with his duets, his vocal performances, his calls for votes and his effective final suspense to find out who the students, in tears, will condemn not to return to the castle to borrow the road to collective oblivion.

Do not count on a Beyoncé or a P! nk (yet in full exercise of promotion for a few weeks) to create the event of Saturday evening. No international stars on the horizon this season, apart from a few rare Anglo-Saxon singers of the moment… Even the godfather, Robbie Williams, only made his appearance during the final to compromise himself with the last two finalists.

But the programming catches up with the French scene: Véronique Sanson rubs shoulders with all the artists of the moment, often stamped The Voice (Kendji Girac, Zazie, Amel Bent, Garou, Patrick Fiori, Vianney, Marc Lavoine) or even Zaz and Patrick Bruel, without forgetting the former winners of the show, Jenifer, Nolwenn Leroy or Élodie Frégé, and some representatives of the rap scene, from Dadju to Gims via Naps (interpreter inspired by “La Kiffance”) not still right at home on a Saturday night variety show.

A well inspired director

However, the show is assured. Despite painful sound concerns, everyone does their job nicely. But, alas, no quack on stage (barely a swing which refuses to give a little height to the divine Léa), no forgotten words, unfortunate falls or catastrophic performances. And therefore no dazzling progression intended to become attached to one student rather than another. However, Saturday night shows have evolved and are no longer afraid to keep up with the times. So in Star Academy 2022 we see Louis, a 20-year-old boy from the Lot-et-Garonne countryside, assume his share of femininity in a choreographed number on stiletto heels.

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On the teacher side, the same tone. No one should outshine anyone, even if Yanis Marshall, the dance teacher, pulls the fluorescent blanket to him, contenting himself with playing the diva card without abusing it. You have to see him during prime time commercial breaks strolling to the cheers of the public, decked out with an assistant to hold the trail of his pink poncho, willingly playing with his image. Without malice. However, it does not overshadow the rest of the faculty, visibly involved and unwilling to take all the light.

New: Michael Goldman, the director of the class, manages to make an impression with a thoughtful speech, a judicious choice of words to speak to the students, immediately outdated the former director, judge and party, Alexia Laroche-Joubert, too busy to boost the audiences of the show of which she was also the producer.

Result of our assessment: in this TV season, star Academy is a good student, serious, diligent and humble. With results above average, it still suffers from a small lack of roughness which the 2023 season, not yet signed but on the way to being, will have to remedy.

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“Star Academy”: time for the class council

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