It is safe to assume that by now everybody has heard about Orange Beat Ya Street, the much-hyped new dance showsponsored by Telkom Orange. Basically, 8 of the most popular dance crews from 4 different regions in the country face off against each other with the hope of getting to the Ksh. 5 Million prize at the end. Hosted by artist Collo, OBYS kicked off on NTV last Saturday with the Nairobi hopefuls taking on each other in their region’s first round elimination show. Judges Boneless, Marion Munga and Moses “Qqu” Odhiambo were at hand to decide which four crew deserved to progress to the next round.
Overall, the show went straight to business without any of the pre-show sideshows that characterize competition reality shows such as this one – the format was simply “Dance, get out, dance, get back in, get your results and goodbye”. One could not help have a feeling that the show was a little rushed. I thought the first episode would at least have some background content on the lead-up to the Nairobi face-off, but nada! Perhaps the assumption here was that the background to the show had already been exhausted on social media hence no need to make that part of episode 1. As a result, the premiere episode had an mid-season episode feel to it whereby the audience has already established a connection/relationship with the judges and participants.VWV is the production house responsible for OBYS and I’d have thought these guys (the same guys who produced the 2010 World Cup) would have a bit more to offer than the usual.
On the other hand, the show did not disappoint when it came to the actual performances by the dance crews. The usual suspects, Wapi Wapi, FBI, Mobb Dancers and Black Blingers easily disposed of their opponents to proceed to the next round. Kenya Performing Arts Group were the odd ones out with their performance which incorporated more theatre than street dance styles (hence, the swift elimination by the judges and the audience’s mind even before they were through with their performance). The final four in this region are usually the top contenders for the final prize as evidenced by previous dance competition shows.
Speaking of other dance competition shows, it was a bad weekend for K24 as THEIR dance show called Katika (yes, yet another dance show *sigh*) which was scheduled at the same time as OBYS got absolutely no recognizable attention. To make matters worse, Deputy President William Ruto snubbed their live baraza event hosted by Belinda Obura the very next day. However, I couldn’t help but notice how spacious the Katika set is as opposed to the Carnivore set being used by OBYS. Is there any way they can swap? No? Okay…
So things are looking pretty rosy for Orange Beat Ya Street as it seems to have the Saturday 8-9PM slot on lock. However, Citizen TV have just started a new season of Sakata at a terrible time slot of Sunday 8-9PM, forcing it to split viewership with NTV’s Churchill Live and KTN’s Kenya Kona. My prediction is that Sakata will be moved to Saturday so that we can have the usual dog-eat-dog scenario of local networks fighting for viewership by offering THE SAME DAMN THING AT THE SAME DAMN TIME. The irony never ceases to amaze me. Watch this space.
So far, Orange Beat Ya Street is yet to prove that it will be any different from any of the other similar past/present shows airing on other channels. Perhaps it does not need to stand out anyway since Kenyans will always be pleased with any show based on the dance competition TV format.