This show is one locked deep in the vault. It ran for two seasons, in 2008 and 2009, playing on TV One every Tuesday. For those unfortunate readers who are unfamiliar, Stars in their Eyes was a reality competition show, where contestants would transform into famous singers and perform as them on stage. With the few iconic words, “Tonight Simon, I’m going to be…” they would walk into a magical smoke machine, makeover room and then walk out as the spitting image of some mega-star. That transition would blow my tiny mind. Turns out the quick change is edited! I’ll never trust again.
It’s kind of hilarious to think about how many kids might have had their first exposure to musical legends through this show. I mean, I remember my brother becoming obsessed with the guy who performed as Meatloaf, but mistakenly calling him Meatball. It might have taken me a little too much concentration to unlearn that Avril Lavigne was not Megan Kane from Timaru. Revisiting the show though, it holds up. Some of the performances are genuinely pretty fun, and it’s all a bit of a laugh anyway. There’s also something charming about the production, with the makeup, hair and costuming meeting the camera swivels and zooms to create classic 2000s drama. Imagining a version of the show now, I shudder to think of the Billie Eilish impersonators. Maybe this one is better as a time capsule.
“Tonight Simon, I’m going to be…”