Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Popstar franchise

Quick! Read this idea before it's baked...
  (+14, -2)(+14, -2)
(+14, -2)
  [vote for,

This idea is, alas, already so close to being baked it's scary.

We're all familiar with the idea of the manufactured pop group - The Monkees was probably the first, and in more recent years we've had Kylie Minogue (in her mid-to-late 80's career), New Kids On The Block, Take That, Backstreet Boys (snigger!), NSync, The Spice Girls and so on, culminating in Hear'say, a UK based outfit shamelessly marketed as an invented group and selected from entrants into a TV-based talent show.

So, the next logical step is surely the Popstar Franchise - a producer comes up with an idea and finds a few talented session musicians to record some songs, as happens now. Then, instead of finding a handful of dull teenagers prepared to dance, lipsync and wear revealing clothes on television, under the Popstar Franchise system there is no 'original' group whom 12-year-olds must revere as their idols. Instead a limited number of franchise licenses are granted, and all franchisees perform on different TV shows, or in different venues around the country, all lipsyncing to the same songs. All fans get to see their favourite group 'live' and no one gets any unnecessary illusions that they're actually musicians or even worse, 'artists'.

As this is an awful prospect, I don't expect too many croissants for this idea but there you go - I thought it was just about halfbaked enough for here.
hippo, Jul 12 2001

Report on a Hear'Say tribute band concert http://www.thestage.../cview.pl?s=6&t=255
This shows that [angel] could be right. [Aristotle]

Hear'say tribute band announce tour(!) http://www.bbc.co.u...300401hearsay.shtml [Aristotle, Jul 12 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Hear'say tribute band announce tour(!) http://www.bbc.co.u...300401hearsay.shtml
[hippo, Jul 12 2001, last modified Oct 17 2004]

Meet the Girls from WB's Popstars http://teenmusic.ab...eekly/aa050801a.htm
[The Military, Jul 12 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]

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       You get an ironical croissant, not because I like it, but because I suspect that it's already happening.
angel, Jul 12 2001

       I like it from the employment aspect.   

       BTW do you know there are already "tribute" bands to the UK band Hear'Say that came from the Popstar series? This is getting very close to your idea.
Aristotle, Jul 12 2001

       The U.S. embodiment of the Hear'Say concept is a group called O-Town. The TV show was/is not just a talent show but follows the entire process including "life on the road," etc.   

       I can't wait till they get to the part where the drummers start to explode.
beauxeault, Jul 12 2001

       ...And the Canadian version is "Sugar Jones".   

       I guess if Hear'Say, O-Town, and Sugar Jones all release the same album next year, then we'll know where they got the idea...!
MrWrong, Jul 12 2001

       Presumably we'll end up with tribute franchises doing "cover synching".   

       BTW. I don't know if the "content" of O-Town's Liquid Dreams - a song about nocturnal emissions, for crying out loud - is actually a subtly subversive eroticisation of the male or just plain hilarious. (Take That as gay porn made acceptable and available on the mass market ... Discuss)
Guy Fox, Jul 12 2001

       [Aristotle] The fact that Hear'say (agh! That apostrophe!) has tribute bands is pretty sad but of course the appeal of being a Hear'say tribute band would be that no one could ever say that you had less artistic integrity than Hear'say itself. In my idea, being a Hear'say franchise band (to continue the example) would be even better as there would be no original Hear'say to which you could be compared.
[Rods Tiger] The KLF comparision is interesting - you can almost imagine the Popstar Franchise as one of their big ironic gestures, like "The Manual" and burning £1m or whatever it was they did.
hippo, Jul 12 2001

       I think such a group would have to be called "The Funky Franchise" ...
Aristotle, Jul 12 2001

       The problem with the name Funky Franchise is the spelling, its just too correct. To catch on with the kids you need something like "Unit-T", "Bra'thers," "Cal if/or Nia Boyz," "GudG'eye's," "Suite<>Harts," Th@s#it!, etc.
Op, Jul 12 2001

       I believe "Scandal'us" (groan) would also fit into that critera.   

       Australia also has "Bardot", which defies typical naming conventions by sounding halfway interesting.
mrkillboy, Jul 13 2001

       How about "Mime Form@t"?
Aristotle, Jul 13 2001

       "Re #"?
Guy Fox, Jul 13 2001

       The Mexican group PeterSealy refers to is Menudo, who gave us Ricky Martin. The funny thing is that the word Menudo is Spanish for tripe soup.
snarfyguy, Jul 13 2001

       This is soooo close to something that I was about to post that I'll restrict myself to an annotation. Either my sense of irony is not as finely developed as hippo's or I have more of my youthful idealism left than I thought. I envisaged running simultaneous popstar competitions worldwide but letting the fortunate few actually sing. So you'd simultaneously release singles in different countries but each country's single would be sung by their own "popstars" (of course they'd sound almost identical as the group would be picked for voice as well as looks). [sense of irony returning] You could make a killing on the import market for people who would want to collect all the versions of a single.   

       hippo: a croissant for listening in on my dreams.
st3f, Jul 16 2001


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