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REVIEW: Host hits bum note in The Big Music Quiz

ReviewAnthony Farrell

Darren McMullen
image - Seven Network

The success or failure of celebrity-based quiz shows comes down to three defining factors.

  1. A smart yet funny quiz show offering up great questions.
  2. A great selection of celebs that not only get into the game but are also good sports.
  3. A good host that can interact well with those celebs appearing on said show.

The Big Music Quiz hits two of those three points and without the third, it painfully shows.

The premise is pretty simple; two teams of well-known faces show off their music knowledge over six rounds of questions. All of which are of course musical based with the loosing team forced into humiliation by ending out the show with a dance off.

The selection of celebrities in the shows first outing range from Screaming Jets front man Dave Gleeson to model Kris Smith to Winners and Losers star Melanie Vallejo and over the coming episodes includes Rebel Wilson, Ada Nicodemou and Kate Ceberano.

The big miss with The Big Music Quiz is in host Darren McMullen – he of former The Voice Australia host and House Husbands actor – does not mesh well with either the celebrity guests or the show in general.  I hate to say it as I like McMullen but the quick wit required to host these types of shows is missed completely by him as he manages to miss any and all opportunities for zingy comebacks…even when presented to him on a silver platter.

For example, in the first round of the first episode, contestants are given 20 seconds to identify the artist of a well known song, model Kris Smith says, “I remember 20 seconds being a lot longer than that!”  McMullen laughs and moves right onto a score check.  Heck, even guest Laurence Mooney (probably ascertaining the lack of hosting ability) attempts to have a decent crack at poking some tongue in cheek comments.

It’s a hosting gig perfect for someone like Paul McDermott or even Hamish Blake who have a proven track record with this kind of format.

The big Music Quiz is just that…a big music based quiz show, a flashier version of Spicks and Specks and based on the first episode available for preview, it’s without the witty banter between host and celebrities that make those shows even more watchable. The good news is that The Big Music Quiz is not a complete lost cause. The mix of fun rounds, easy to moderately tough questions and great selection of celeb guests pick up the slack.

If there is anything Seven could take away from The Big Music Quiz it’d be to cast a wider net when looking for a host and look into viewer interaction via an app or website.  A show like this would work perfectly with at home viewers so they can watch and play along at the same time on a second screen device.

The Big Music Quiz premieres Sunday August 28th at 7:00pm on Seven
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