‘Sing to the Lord a new song’, the writer of Psalm 96 proclaims, and the new television reality program All Together Now is embracing that concept in a refreshingly different way.
We have had Australian Idol, The X-Factor, and The Voice, but where All Together Now breaks the mould is that while it is a competition with a prize of $100,000, the focus is on fun and quality entertainment, rather than a procession of contestants who excite either pity or ridicule. There is positivity about this program.
Where previously we might have seen a hundred hopeful contestants sing for just a few judges, this time there are 100 judges, led by team captain, Irish pop singer and former X-Factor judge Ronan Keating, for contestants to sing to.
The 100 judges sit in impressive tiered rows, and once the singers have had a chance to establish their songs, then the judges are allowed to start judging. And that’s where All Together Now proves that it’s not just another singing show, as host Julia Zemiro explains.
“This show is about celebration—there are no back stories, no recording contracts. The judges don’t just vote for what they like, but stand up and sing along. The sound is huge and joyous!” Julia tells Warcry.
All the judges are proven singers themselves, so when you hear them belting out ‘Oklahoma!’ with contestant Jared, it’s an aural treat to hear so many professional singers acting as chorus for the solo contestant.
So, where do all these judges come from? The answer is just about every form of popular professional music arena you can name.
There are talent managers, music theatre stars, pop icons, cabaret stars, professional backing singers, rappers and more. There is a pleasing diversity of gender, size and ethnicity among both the 100 judges and the contestants—there is no requirement to be young, beautiful and slim, a refreshing change in television land.
Among the judges are gospel choir directors Ben Gillard and Charmaine Jones, Light FM presenter and Kylie impersonator Lucy Holmes, cabaret star Michael Dalton, The Choirboys’ Mark Gable and music theatre royalty Amanda Harrison, Rhonda Burchmore and Salvo favourite Silvie Paladino.
When asked what kind of judge she will he on the show, Silvie answered “truthful, compassionate and constructive”, and that’s the approach of the whole show.
Team captain of the 100 judges Ronan sums up what is so appealing about All Together Now.
“It’s a family entertainment show packed full of great music with 100 people singing and dancing along to some amazing live performances—it sounds epic and I want to be part of it!”