Wednesday, 9 December 2009


[7.00 - French Time] Episode 3 of La France a un incroyable talent (LFAIT), the French version of Simon Cowell's Got Talent franchise, aired yesterday evening on private channel M6. This episode was build with a lot of dramatization around the publicized clash of the two male members of the jury - announced right at the start of the show. Keep in mind that in GT the true stars are the judges.

Now in its season 4, LFAIT (formerly Incroyable Talent) has a brand new jury: only « direct and intransigent » producer from Quebec Gilbert Rozon remains from previous seasons. Actress/director Valérie Stroh and comedian and humorist Smaïn are the new recruits. This year FremantleMedia France, the production company, and M6 seem to get the right formula for the jury and Smaïn is actually the good surprise of the show.

We already knew the man is a classy ad-libber that he's fun on stage. We were less convinced by his incursions in television fiction and in movies. After all, he played in the notorious terrible remake of a French movie classic (whose poster curiously vanished from his presentation this week). But his unlikely duo with Gilbert Rozon is as interesting as the tandem Simon Cowell/Piers Morgan in Britain's Got Talent or Simon Cowell/Louis Walsh in The X Factor.

Submitted for the approval of the LFAIT judges: So United Crew, another dance group - Diversity won BGT 2009 and it shows, a woman and her dog, a Country music dance family (who inspired to Gilbert Rozon a first snark to Smaïn), a "recordman", an electronic string quartet a la Escala, an impersonator who earned a Yes from Smaïn... and Smaïn got a « Will you stop to want to please everyone? » from his "direct and intransigent" Canadian colleague.

Make no mistake, the pair stole this third episode. The kid singing Show must go on, the 61-year old "intuitive dancer", or the dance troup "not pretending to be professional" (« And you're damn right » answers a cowellian Rozon) were there to pave the way for THE clash of the titans. Kevin & Blaise, a duo of "Fire charmers", lit the fuse (...) when Smaïn - who liked the number - revendicates his difference vs the [I quote] « American way » of Gilbert Rozon.

When the comedian and then the producer left the stage they broke the momentum of the episode. Puh-lease, guys! At least we were spared Simon Cowell doing a Charlie Townsend impersonation through an intercom like in America's Got Talent or BGT judge Amanda Holden dressed as a circus ringmistress (but Cowell is innocent for that one). C'mon, don't ever do that again.

All the magic of the show lies in the display of pleasant numbers and sometimes true talents hidden inside the nightmarish compendium which is usually GT. Breizh acrobatique, a group of seven amateur acrobatic gymnasts, gave us some poetry. Circus artist Correo was so "clouseauesque" that he was sympathetic with his big white balloon which recalls Rover in The Prisoner except that Correo has more charisma than Jim Caviezel.

The Compagnie A Balles et Bulles offered us an impressive jugglery number with skittle pins looking like a clockwork mechanism. The real Doctor Dolitle exists, his name is Benjamin and what he did with his dog and some ducks was extroardinary - not well handled the thing could have turned ridiculous. « Thanks to Smaïn for not buzzing » said co-presenter Alex Goude but Valérie Stroh and Gilbert Rozon did. « Gilbert can't dream anymore » added Goude.

The true revelation of this third week of LFAIT is Florian, 18 years, a magician who won three yesses manipulating CDs. It was original, the young man has style, the choice of the music for the tricks was elegant (a remix of The Hunt for Red October) and if he confirms in semi-final he would certainly fit into the price of the show this season: a worldwide tour with transformist Arturo Brachetti (and € 100.000).

A dancer named Skorpion was the climax of the episode.

Verdict: 5/10

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