P. Diddy's Starmaker

Common Sense Media says

Aspiring singers compete for big break; some iffy stuff.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

There’s lots of focus on becoming famous and developing talent into something marketable. But a love for music is also discussed.

Positive role models

Diddy and his professional team aren’t always the most eloquent (sometimes they're painfully honest), but they're clearly trying to help the aspiring singers develop their talent and their star potential in their own way. The contestants come from all walks of life (and some have the difficult life stories to show for it) and sing in a variety of styles/genres.


Occasional arguments between participants.


Contestants' movements and gyrations are often somewhat suggestive.


Diddy doesn’t always use clean language, but words like “f--k” and “s--t” are fully bleeped. 


Combs’ record label, Bad Boy Records, is mentioned frequently. His other brands and collections are also visible.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

None shown during the competition/performance segments, but there's always the chance contestants could partake at home.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this reality series -- in which singers compete for the chance to be signed to Sean "P. Diddy" Combs' record label -- features lots of entertaining musical performances ... as well as some arguing, sexually charged dancing, and strong language (though the strongest words are bleeped). There are also plenty of references to Combs’ music, companies, and products. Some of the contestants have difficult life stories that may be distressing to sensitive viewers (for example, one has a daughter with leukemia, while another turned to music after his father died). Given that and some of the behind-the-scenes content, this one's best left for teens.

Parents say

Kids say

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What's the story?

Rapper/entrepreneur/self-proclaimed star maker Sean “P. Diddy” Combs is looking to mold and launch the next big music sensation -- in P. DIDDY’S STARMAKER, 14 singers compete for that chance. The contestants live and work together in a Beverly Hills mansion while preparing for a weekly live concert, where their performances must impress Combs and his panel of judges -- including producer Richard Jerkins, music exec Tamara Corniff, and choreographer Laurieann Gibson. The singer with the weakest performance at the end of each show is eliminated; the last crooner standing wins a recording contract with Combs’ label and a chance to make their musical dream a reality.

Is it any good?


Starmaker takes on a bit of an American Idol  quality by focusing part of each episode on each contestant's on-stage performances. But there’s also lots of typical reality show drama during the days before each concert as contestants work with various professionals to improve their voices, movement, and image. Occasional musical curve balls thrown by Combs make the journey that much more interesting.

Unfortunately, the pressure of competition leads to occasional but heated arguments among the singers, as well as other tension-filled moments. But overall, the show offers some interesting behind-the-scenes glimpses into what makes a music star, while also offering entertaining musical performances from some very talented individuals.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what it takes to become a music star. What kind of talent and/or training does someone have to have to make it in this competitive industry?

  • Are singers who win reality music competitions guaranteed a successful career? Why or why not? Can you think of any success stories from other shows?

  • How can music help people when they're facing hard times? Do you think music can help people heal?

TV details

Cast:Laurie Ann Gibson, Sean P. Diddy Combs
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:Streaming

This review of P. Diddy's Starmaker was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent of a 12 and 15 year old Written byAMAZINGGRACE August 31, 2009


MONET is 18 on the show and she is bullied by the other girl contestants. MONET so far shows class and doesn't get mad or rude like the others. That shows kid's that even though you are bullied you can still be on top and make it! I love this girl MONET. Next week they just put her down all the time. LIZ even says MONET will look stupid in an outfit!!! Shows the class LIZ has but, I think when young girls see this and know that MONET can handle it they might feel that they can handle it too!!
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