Saturday 24 March 2018

Talent shows and judges:

1The Voice Aired: RTÉ, 2012

Best judge: Bressie. Smart, thoughtful, with well thought-out comments and constructive input for all contestants.

Worst judge: Kian Egan. It's hard to stomach a member of Westlife pontificating on others' musical worth. He told one contestant, "I didn't feel you were up to my standards." Snigger.

Best spat: Not one. All far too polite.

Best sound-bite: "Sorry I didn't hit the button" -- Brian Kennedy admits he would have picked a friend of his, Tara Blaise, if he'd known it was her during the blind auditions.

2 The X Factor Aired: ITV/TV3, 2004-now

Best judge: Pantomime dame and Dark Lord in one, Simon Cowell..

Worst judge: Gary Barlow. Tries to be mean and moody.

Best spat: Tulisa Contostavlos and Kelly Rowland had a fiery on-air row, with the former accusing the latter's act of bullying her own.

Best sound-bite: "There's as much chance of you being a pop star as me flying to the moon for breakfast." Who else? SyCo.

3 You're a Star Aired: RTÉ, 2002-2008

Best judge: Linda Martin. She was forthright when required but never needlessly cruel.

Worst judge: Brendan O'Connor. He has pretty good insights into music, but the sneering seemed to never end.

Best spat: Linda said she "felt like punching" fellow judge Dave Fanning for uncomplimentary remarks.

Best sound-bite: Brendan O'Connor -- "Who the hell put her in that dress? Whoever sent her out in that should be shot."

4 Britain's Got Talent Aired: ITV/TV3, 2007-now

Best judge: Piers Morgan. Morgan doesn't soft-soap contestants, true, but his views are reasonably fair.

Worst judge: Kelly Brook. Poor old Kelly lasted approximately one day.

Best spat: The endless sniping between Amanda Holden and Simon Cowell provided a sub-plot to the main event.

Best sound-bite: "You have all the showmanship of a peanut" -- that man again, motor-mouth Cowell.

5 The All-Ireland Talent Show Aired: RTÉ, 2009-2011

Best judge: John Creedon. The Corkonian belied his cuddly image by proving entertainingly argumentative and bolshy.

Worst judge: Dana. Much too nice.

Best spat: Shane Lynch accused the other judges of "voting tactically" to eliminate his dance act Raw Crew.

Best sound-bite: John Creedon jokingly threatened Dáithí Ó Sé that he'd be "answerable to me and my gang" if he kept stealing talent.

6 Masterchef Australia Aired: Freemantle TV/RTÉ, 2009-now

Best judge: George Calombaris. He's clever, thoughtful, learned and looks pretty cool.

Worst judge: None.

Best spat: Judge Matt Preston had to deny allegations of vote-rigging after Julie Goodwin won Season 1.

Best sound-bite: George Calmobaris -- "Jonno's a weird guy and I hated Aaron when I first met him but I've since grown quite fond of him."

7 America's Next Top Model Aired: UPN/The CW, 2003-now

Best judge: Tyra Banks. Boisterous, bullish, barmy and beautiful.

Worst judge: Janice Dickinson.

Best spat: Contestant Elyse Sewell went on a spectacularly foul-mouthed and funny rant against her fellow contestants in the first series.

Best sound-bite: J Alexander -- "My motto is, walk like it's for sale and the rent is due tonight."

8 Strictly Come Dancing Aired: BBC, 2004-now

Best judge: Arlene Phillips. A professional choreographer, she's clearly very knowledgeable about dancing, and earns sympathy points for being unfairly dropped in 2008 for Alesha Dixon.

Worst judge: As in Masterchef, none really springs to mind.

Best spat: Len Goodman called fellow judge Craig Revel Horwood a "sod".

Best sound-bite: Bruno Tonioli -- "Tutankhamen in a frock would have done a better paso doble."

9 Popstars: The Rivals Aired: ITV, 2002

Best judge: Louis Walsh. The Mayo man is affable and cheery, and always tried to be constructive.

Worst judge: Geri Halliwell. The former Spice Girl is clearly no expert on music.

Best spat: Midway through the show, singer Peter Smith shocked everyone by abruptly announcing that he was actually ineligible for the competition because he was too old.

Best sound-bite: Louis said of contestant Emma Beard, "She's great, she's better than any of the Spice Girls" -- while Geri listened on.

10The Apprentice Aired: TV3, 2008-now

Best judge: Jackie Lavin. Knows how to kick ass, but not quite as terrifying as the other fella.

Worst judge: The other fella. Also known as Bill Cullen. Best spat: Breffny Morgan -- the self-styled "Breffmeister" who became this show's biggest star -- got into a heated row over the naming of a chocolate bar.

Best sound-bite: Bill Cullen -- "You guys couldn't sell ice cream on a hot day."

Irish Independent

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