(Published July 16, PDI-Entertainment)
By Oliver M. Pulumbarit
Celebrities perform and sometimes crack under pressure on the new ABS-CBN game show “Twist and Shout,” hosted by singers Gary Valenciano and Martin Nievera.
Every hour-long episode pits two three-member teams against each other in challenges that require them to sing while ignoring major distractions. A treadmill-like gizmo, a vat filled with freezing water and ice chips, and a smoke-blasting “volcano” are the contraptions the celeb contestants have to deal with while performing their chosen songs.
In the first episode, singers out-do each other. Balladeers Christian Bautista and Richard Poon sing as long as they can on the gradually speeding and tilting treadmill before falling off into heaps of foam blocks. Pop singer Nina is strapped in a harness, her body dipped repeatedly in cold water. In the same challenge, Frenchie Dy channels Aretha Franklin, unmindful of the coldness and even scooping up some ice to press on her cheek. In the last challenge, Juris and Bugoy stand in a volcano-like device that “erupts” thick gusts of smoke.
It was a fun first night, but because the “weapons of mass distraction” and the sequence of their use were the same the following night, the show became quite repetitive, even when the competing teams were lively comedians and band members.
The three judges--Aiza Seguerra, Jimmy Bondoc and guest Bianca Manalo--briefly comment on the performances and why they’re giving points to a specific contestant. While many of their reasons make sense, some don’t, reiterating that it’s a less serious show than most game shows. Those, and the number of points they give can be baffling, as pointed out by a defiant but still funny K Brosas during a deliberation.
Valenciano and Nievera, who perform the opening “Twist and Shout” song together, are okay hosts. It’s undoubtedly an easy gig for both of them, and they mostly look like they’re having fun. And while it’s fun to watch local celebrities doing their darned best to keep their balance or composure, “Twist and Shout” should present more distracting and disruptive ways of keeping contestants on their toes. The show has the potential to be truly wacky and edgy, so the possibilities have to be explored creatively, and soon.
“Twist and Shout” airs Saturday and Sunday, , on ABS-CBN.