The One: Making a Music Star

TV review by
Lucy Maher, Common Sense Media
The One: Making a Music Star TV Poster Image
Real World meets Idol; tweens OK.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The positive: It's important to work hard to make your dream come true. The negative: The judges can be very critical of contestants.


Two contestants have a budding romance, and viewers see them kissing. Aspiring young singers of both sexes live in the same house.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the judges are pretty critical of the aspiring singers. While Simon Cowell & co. on American Idol also sling insults and snide comments at performers, the stakes seem higher here -- perhaps because viewers get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of just how hard these singers have worked for this chance. As a result, the criticism, while constructive, might hurt young viewers who identify with the performers.

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What's the story?

In THE ONE: MAKING A MUSIC STAR, 11 aspiring singers live together in a house and work with music industry vets in hopes of being the last competitor standing and winning a recording contract. The group, made up of young men and women between the ages of 18 and 27, live together in L.A. and spend each week working their voices and perfecting their image and choreography with music industry professionals -- including Andre Harrell, a music mogul who discovered Mary J. Blige; producer Mark Hudson; and singer/recording artist Kara DioGuardi. Once a week, the singers perform their song onstage in front of a screaming audience. Each is rated by TV viewers (who text in their votes), and the one with the lowest score gets the boot on the following night's live show.

Is it any good?

What sets The One apart from similar shows like American Idol and Rock Star: Supernova is that viewers get to see what life is like for these performers each week. Cameras installed in almost every room of the house capture weight worries, insecurity, and loneliness.

This Real World-lite voyeurism adds a much more 3-D feel to the show and enables viewers to get to know the competitors as they duke it out. The personal touch makes all the difference -- although it can also make it harder for young viewers to hear the judges criticize the singers.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about working toward a goal. Why is it important not to give up? But, on the other hand, how do you know when you've tried your best and it's time to cut your losses? How can critiques be constructive and helpful rather than hurtful? Other good topics of discussion include talent -- what is it, and what talents do your kids feel they have?

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