It may sound sacrilegious to declare that Abba is experiencing a revival, yet admiration for the Swedish band has only grown in recent years.
The Mamma Mia! musical has now been on stage for over a quarter-century, ABBA Voyage is letting fans to see the foursome in concert in an unprecedented way, the two films were huge blockbusters, and new music from one of its stars just got people moving.
Following on from these achievements, the long-standing affection for the band and their string of singles is now at the heart of the new reality talent series, Mamma Mia! I Have a Dream, which features a countrywide search for the musical’s future stars.
The eight-part series will look for two ingenues to perform the parts of Sophie and Sky on the West End ahead of the stage show’s 25th anniversary, which has already been viewed by 65 million people worldwide.
The competition is hosted by Zoe Ball and judged by Alan Carr, Jessie Ware, Amber Riley, and Samantha Barks, who are on hand to put the aspirants through their paces with challenges, masterclasses, and performances.
While talent shows are nothing new, this seems completely new and has a feel-good quality that has been absent from reality television for a long time.
Thousands of individuals auditioned, and the group of triple-threats was finally reduced to 14, who were then whisked away to a beautiful Greek island where the show was recorded.
The anticipation is palpable as they meet, with genuine laugh-out-loud moments when it feels like we’ve accidentally tuned into Love Island as some of the young stars share their crushes with the camera before being reminded they aren’t going on romantic dates as the sun sets over their villa.
But, despite the fact that they are fully aware that only two will be the winners who take it all, the group really wants the best for one other, joining together and boosting each other up as they face setbacks such as sickness and a lack of confidence as they pursue their aspirations.
With three judges who have substantial musical theatre experience, the addition of Alan is a masterstroke for generating laugh-out-loud moments as he firmly proclaims that, while he may not have musical theatre skill, he’s been on stage enough times to know what’magic’ looks like.
Instead than having a vested interest in certain candidates as part of their team, the judges all gather together to provide guidance and comments to each one.
The four’s camaraderie is palpable, as is the good banter they generate, with Alan dishing out some friendly barbs (and sometimes harsh fashion advice).
Judy Cramer, the musical’s creator, is also on board. She has no influence in who is chosen, but she is present to see the process.
The competition will finally end in a live grand-finale broadcast from a London theatre, with the audience deciding who will be chosen and then take to the stage early next year.
While Jessie declares at the start of the episode that she is suspicious of people who don’t like musical theatre, this is a show that everyone can enjoy, whether they are an Abba fan, a musical theatre lover, or simply enjoy watching everyday people throw themselves into the spotlight in order to pursue their dreams.
Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! – I can’t get enough of it!
MAMMA MIA! I Have a Dream launches on Sunday October 22 at 6pm on ITV1.
Source My Celebrity Life.