Monday, March 2, 2015

REVIEW. The 14th Metro FM Awards on SABC1 once again an embarrassing, awful and awkward insult to viewers and live event broadcasting in SA.

The 14th Metro FM Awards broadcast on the SABC's SABC1 TV channel on Saturday night was once again an embarrassing, awful and awkward insult to South Africa viewers and the local TV industry - a badly done live broadcast marred by bad sound, inept presenters, bad camerawork and editing and shockingly bad production values.

The bad TV trash in Durban started with the barely audible welcoming and introduction by Minnie Dlamini and T-Bo Touch whose mics were not channeling through while they were drowned out by loud background music.

From this haphazard start - and off-key T'Bo Touch mistakenly saying its the 15th Metro FM Awards - the 14th Metro FM Awards just went from bad to terrible, along with the disgusting sound issues right through the show and every time Minnie Dlamini and T-Bo Touch talked.

Whether he did prepare or not, T-Bo Touch came across as unprepared and somewhat manic throughout the night as if he didn't pre-study his script, or kept to it, if even there was one.

One wonders whether the people put failure fare like this on their CV's afterwards?

It remains unforgivable that Metro FM which is a SABC radio station and the SABC which is a broadcaster struggle to do acceptable standard sound and visuals for a live production year after year, showing more mistakes Saturday night than Minnie Dlamini does fake hair and wigs.

Why was there a white mic cable running across the stage? Does the stage design and set construction not allow room to drill a hole? Why did play-on music continue once winners are already on the stage and started doing acceptance speeches?

Why did cameras show the ground at times and then spinning and then shaking? Why was their sound echoes and then silence as sound got cut entirely while people try to speak, and standing behind too high mic stands?

"Backstage" the 14th Metro FM Awards coverage was as cringe-worthy bad - from unprofessional Pearl Modiadie's cordless mic sound problems to the unbearable live TV badness when she asked AKA to "exclusively" reveal his child's name. He blatantly said "no" with silent tension you could cut with a knife.

If you put trash in, you get trash out, and that's exactly what happened: an insult to viewers.

Later, the SABC, the producers and the 14th Metro FM Awards couldn't even get their own SABC's famously matricless Hlaudi Motsoeneng's name right - or on the right side of the screen - in yet another hopelessly embarrassing and eye-popping mistake.

The limelight loving Hlaudi Motsoeneng popped up to present an award - identified on the wrong, left side side of the screen as "Hlaudi Motswedeng".

Hlaudi was actually standing on the right hand side and his surname is actually "Motsoeneng". It made me wonder who is running this error-filled show and getting away with it year after year?

"Pay your TV licence! Pay your TV licence! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!" screamed Hlaudi "Motswedeng" with his arms held high brandishing a black Metro FM Award in a cringe-worthy and surreal moment when there was still an hour of the awards show to go.

Once again, as in previous years with the Metro FM Awards, the SABC, SABC1 and the producers of the 14th Metro FM Awards chose to show viewers shots of empty chairs and even people sleeping and dozing off.

They seem apparently unable to fathom that by showing empty chairs and sleeping people that it unconsciously, yet directly, signals to viewers that a live awards show is not actually worth watching if even the people attending are not in their seats, or sleeping.

It was again hilarious - and oh so bad - when the floor cameras followed, and showed people getting up and walking after winners' names were announced ... people who then didn't make it to stage, or were not actually supposed to go to stage - like when Zahara's Phendula won.

Yes. The winners are supposed to be a secret to the audience until  the reveal, but do not even the producers and camera operators at the 14th Metro FM Awards know who will win, where exactly they're sitting, or that they're supposed to cut away when you're live camera shot is on someone who is not actually the person going to, or supposed to be, on stage?

It was good to see Maps Maponyane and his father Marks Maponyane introduce the Best collaboration category.

The 14th Metro FM Awards In Memoriam segment was also professionally produced - with a brilliant and beautiful South African TV first: projecting the names of those who had died on the overhead screens but also on the side of a white grand piano (although the show omitted some names).

The 14th Metro FM Awards was executive produced by Deana Heslop-Mthembu with Nadia White as TV director.

The irony is likely lost on SABC executives like Hlaudi Motsoeneng screaming at people to "pay your TV licence" - that the masses are asked to pay money to get trash television, badly produced, like the Metro FM Awards back in return. It's insulting and viewers deserve better.

With the badly done 14th Metro FM Awards now over with a failing grade, it remains to be seen what the quality will be for viewers of the 3rd AfricaMagic Viewers' Choice Awards up next this coming Saturday, 7 March on MultiChoice's DStv, and then the South African Film and TV Awards (Saftas) on 20 and 22 March on M-Net's Mzansi Magic.

UPDATE 3 March 12:00 - A reader tells TV with Thinus the 14th Metro FM Awards on SABC1 also spelled Beatenberg wrong while the band was performing.