Secret Talents of the Stars
By Emily Ashby,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Celebrities' new tricks are great fun for fans.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The series proves that celebrities aren't always perfect and can suffer some of the same insecurities that everyday people do. Judges' comments are usually positive and encouraging, but occasionally a contestant is told he/she "sucks." Still, the stars take it all in stride, and the show's overall tone is light.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Rare mild innuendo -- like a woman's comment that contortionist skills might have helped her save a failing marriage.
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Products & Purchases
The show's Web site is mentioned many times, since it's the only forum for viewers' votes.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that there's little iffy content to worry about in this reality series, which is more about fun than competition. Judges usually offer encouragement rather than actual criticism, and the eliminated stars are always gracious in defeat. Viewers -- especially fans of individual contestants -- will certainly like seeing the celebs' less-celebrated skills and watching them weather the ups and downs of competition on a new level.
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What's the Story?
Bragging rights are up for grabs in this reality series, which pits 16 celebrities against each other in a tournament-style competition of hidden talents. The contestant pool includes award-winning entertainers and world-class athletes, but there's no way to predict what will happen when they step outside their comfort zones and try their hands at secret passions like stand-up comedy, juggling, and singing. Judges Debbie Reynolds, Brian McKnight, and Gavin Polone offer their impressions of the contestants' efforts, but it's viewers' votes that ultimately decide the stars' fates.
Is It Any Good?
It's always fun to see celebs outside their professional element, since it gives us a glimpse of their more human side, and SECRET TALENTS OF THE STARS doesn't disappoint in that regard. The celebrities are honest about their fear of failure and issues with self-confidence, and there's something endearing about watching accomplished entertainers and athletes like Clint Black and Sasha Cohen battle stage fright like, well, a normal person.
There's little outright competition among the stars, who seem to simply enjoy the experience, so as reality TV goes, this show is as family-friendly as they come. It may lack the glitz, polish, and suspense of American Idol or America's Got Talent, but it has a charm all its own. And aside from being fun, the show encourages families to talk about topics like self-esteem, handling criticism, and overcoming adversity.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how to handle criticism and judgment. Do you think it was easier or more difficult for the contestants on this show to compete because they are famous? How did they respond to the judges' comments and the voters' decisions? How does it feel to be criticized? Do we hold celebrities to a different standard because of their fame? Is that fair?
- Premiere date: April 8, 2008
- Cast: Brian McKnight, Debbie Reynolds, John O'Hurley
- Network: CBS
- Genre: Reality TV
- TV rating: TV-PG
- Last updated: February 24, 2022
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