The Cellink Jingle and Song Competition premiered on local television (HJTV Channel 72 and NCN Channel 11) tonight. Not unexpectedly there were some pretty awful and pathetic performances from the contestants who auditioned in the Georgetown leg. None of those who performed poorly should feel bad though as none of their performances was more awful and pathetic than the performance of the central judge – gospel singer Cherlyn Maloney who was never shy in displaying her mouthful of glittering gold teeth (whoever made the decision to put someone with gold teeth in their mouth on television in this capacity is no less than a blundering idiot).
I would have been pleased if I could have reported that Maloney’s performance was just poor and move on. Unfortunately that was not the case. It was as if someone shoved a CD player into her mouth with a CD named “you have some more work to do” and pressed the play button whenever it was her turn to speak. She had nothing constructive to offer, good or bad. Whenever she spoke more than the six aforementioned words she was merely parroting one of the other two judges. She had no independent thoughts. This woman was laughable, an unreserved embarrassment and Cellink made a major and clumsy error in selecting her as a judge.
What was worse is that being the nice church lady which she obviously is (did I mention she is a gospel singer? And a pretty decent one at that as well.) she is incapable of making an independent decision on any of the performances which has a negative impact on the contestant. How can you have a judge who is afraid to criticize? At NO TIME did she vote against the vote of the first judge. She ALWAYS voted similarly to whatever the first judge voted. She was swinging whatever way she needed to play it safe and be nice.
It is patently obvious that she has no clue what she is doing and simply following whichever of the other two judges speaks or votes first. So once the first judge voted ‘yes’ the contestant knew that they were through to the next round because Maloney also voted similarly EVERYTIME. If the first judge voted ‘no’, Maloney also voted no EVERYTIME. She was not using her brain, she was merely ‘follow fashion’ as they say in local parlance.
She does the show a major disservice and reduces its quality and brings it down to a stage where it becomes laughable and not in a very good way.
The other two judges were better. Sean Bhola knows his music and that permeated in his comments but he overused the ‘silent effect’. He needs to moderate the use of his silent voting. When he was overly impressed he said nothing, simply voted ‘yes’. When he was appalled, he said nothing and voted ‘no’. He has to offer more kudos and criticism to the various contestants. The Cellink make up people also need to ensure that he does not look as sweaty and repulsive as he tended to look as the show went on.
One point of unwitting hilarity in the show was when Bhola chided a contestant for not making eye contact with the judges, asking her “what if when you opened your eyes there was no one here?” This was rather laughable as Bhola himself is massively guilty of burying his head in his notepad when speaking to the contestants. It was as if he was a naughty schoolboy trying to hide from the teacher. In fact all of the judges were guilty of this. It was as if they did not want to be on television. It does not make any sense. Whoever was directing the production (if there was a director of the production) is obviously not doing a very good job where this is concerned.
The other judge, whose name I do not know, was a lot too monotonous for my liking. He seemed to be almost exclusively concerned with ‘diction’ and nothing else. About 85% of the comments he made were “your diction is good, I can hear every word you’re singing,” or “your diction is not good, I can’t understand what you’re singing”.
Another criticism of him can be that he seems to have no personality, a cardinal sin for anyone who is on television. He seemed like an average, run of the mill, nobody from a little known East Coast Demerara village. He leaves no impression, makes no impact. He’s just there, the guy in the room who sips his drink quietly, does not say much, listens and who you forget as soon as he is out the door. However he does seem as though he has the knowledge and information needed to be a competent judge and perhaps needs to be coached in making a television presence.
The cheap t shirts which Cellink had the judges wear for a substantial portion of the show were tacky and hideous. Here’s a thought to Cellink – there is Cellink branding EVERYWHERE in the show, you do not need to have the judges wear cheap, tacky Cellink t shirts just for lil branding (the logos on their shirts are not visible anyways). They can wear classy shirts and tops (obviously you’ll want them to either be blue or blue dominated) which are going to make them look a lot more impressive, regal and authoritative than they did and as judges should look. Having them forced into those ugly t shirts is doing you more harm than good.
So in the final analysis two of the judges need to be given crash courses in television presence and the other one needs to be replaced with unhesitating urgency.