The series premiere of Oxygen's new reality show The Next Big Thing focused on performance coach Trapper Felides, the students he helps and the assistants who help him. It's not surprising that this show exists, considering the success of the conceptually similar Dance Moms and Toddlers & Tiaras, but as much as I would love to watch Trapper's kids in a talent show, their staged, over-exaggerated drama is just not entertaining enough to fill an hour. The kids' talent is definitely real, but many other aspects of the show, well... not so much. Here are some of the moments from the series premiere that made me roll my eyes at how hard The Next Big Thing is trying to be the next big thing:
Anytime Trapper is in a Confessional
Trapper is probably just a naturally animated guy, but whenever he gets in front of the camera, it comes off like he's been rehearsing exactly what he wants to say for hours. His attempt at witty remarks and explaining his anger/excitement/shock to the camera plays like one of the auditions he sends his kids out to.
The Giant Becco Restaurant Commercial That Suddenly Erupted in the Middle of the Episode
People meet their friends for lunch all the time; that's real enough, right? Well, usually they don't over-enthusiastically discuss the restaurant the entire way there, and then loudly fawn over the food when it comes. Then again, most people aren't paid to eat at certain places in front of camera and lighting crews.
Tracy's Convenient Audition
Much of what Trapper's former/struggling actress assistant says is completely staged and fake, but her audition for a musical workshop was beyond over-the-top. Never mind that it happened to be right in the middle of Trapper's meeting with all the kids he was considering bringing to the important show at the Apollo, but watching her emotively belt a slow version of Kelly Clarkson's "Mr. Know It All" wasn't necessary. Call me crazy, but it seems like she may have been auditioning for more than just the people in that room.
Teen Pop Singer Sam's Feelings About the Younger Kids
It's understandable that the younger kids would be a little nervous for their interviews on the show, and I can understand why they would be prepped, but 16-year-old aspiring pop diva Sam should be able to talk into a camera without seeming like someone's whispering lines to her. Besides the fact that she joked about breaking young children's legs, she just made herself look like a complete idiot. No nicer way to say it. Good luck with that future career that requires interviews almost daily.
Rachel's Relationship with Her Mother
When Trapper first brought up the relationship between "rocker chick" Rachel and her very wealthy, fur-hat-wearing mother Tess, it was obvious that it was going to become completely ridiculous, but The Next Big Thing really took it to the extreme. Rachel's mom calling her a slut was probably supposed to seem cute and show that they're friends -- really it just pointed out even more that 16-year-old Rachel dresses like a 25-year-old, and that Trapper is more concerned about her seeming age appropriate than her mother is.
Actually, Rachel's Entire Personality
I know she's trying to become famous and everything, but this girl's persona needs some work -- so much so that I sincerely hope it's as much as an act as it seemed. Everything about her screams "trying too hard" and even though her voice is very impressive, it's easy to forget that when everything else about her is awful.
Trapper's Conversation with the Record Producer
The whole episode was based around this record producer, Tim Convy, going to see the kids perform at the Apollo. When he finally goes backstage, it's Trapper basically talking over him about Kat's accomplishments. Try as Tim might to have a normal conversation, that's apparently impossible for Trapper when there's a camera around.
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