Live at The Showbusiness Finale

Louie Spence’s Showbusiness had only just begun when an invite to the live finale landed in TV.com’s inbox. At this point we knew a theatre production was being planned; the on screen clues suggested a Snow White drag show was on the bill. With this assumption we learnt a very valuable lesson: when a show-off like Louie is in charge anything can happen.

And anything did happen: including an “impromptu” wrestling fight between a Simon Cowell look-a-like and useless talent agent Rob Davies. The Snow White drag extravaganza was never meant to be, but viewers knew this by the time the finale arrived on TV. “I reckon this is bigger than the Oscars” exaggerated another crap talent agent, Colin Evans, to camera at the start of last night’s episode; this just before the voice over man announced the show was a “sell out”, when it was neither paid-for nor full. Showbusiness is nothing if not hyperbolic.

This series has been particularly guilty of exaggeration. Not only were there break-out dance routines, like in last season, but there were more staged scenarios purposefully more obvious than the last. Regular fans on the night lapped up the strange comedic moments; newcomers appeared more baffled.

We were surprised to find the mood so infectious considering we’ve never been Showbusiness fans. We enjoyed watching Louie Spence’s improvisation first hand, when the production apparently encountered a technical error; we laughed as “cougar” Tricia got rolled awkwardly out of a rug; and we clapped along as Chesney Hawkes belted out “The One And Only”. Thing is, the finale, like the rest of the series, was too heavily edited and suffered from excessive planned “hilarity.” The sheer number of pre-recorded gags thrown in seemed desperate, especially as half of them weren’t funny. In comparison (and we never thought we’d be saying this) the first season was far more tame, and it was much the better for it. Do you agree?

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