It may well be one of the longest-running Afrikaans TV shows and, even if you don’t watch it, you sure know what it’s about. Thinus Ferreira looks at the revamped show, premiering on Thursday.
Noot vir Noot
SABC2 (DStv channel 192)
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After almost three decades, the game show Noot vir Noot has undergone a massive music makeover to bring the guess-the-song format up to date for a new generation. Emo Adams replaces Johan Stemmet as host, and the new set looks a bit like a nightclub filled with neon lights. There are shorter games, a pacier tempo and they’ve dumped the live “musiekfabriek” in favour of funky and sassy DJ Shelly (Rochelle de Bruyn) on the decks.
Shelly hilariously and unintentionally photobombs every scene as she “whoop whoops” over Emo’s shoulder, and I’m predicting she’s set to become the revamped show’s breakout star.
With a more techno and emoji-infused presentation, the producer, Stemmburg Television, and SABC2 hope to lift slumped ratings and attract a new, younger crowd.
Just like when Trevor Noah replaced Jon Stewart on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, comedian and entertainer Adams isn’t trying to duplicate Stemmet – who is moving into a behind-the-scenes role as series director – but is bringing his own cosmopolitan style to the programme.
Contestants now sing karaoke – endearingly off-key – and get points and money for successfully singing missing words.
Artists still do guest performances, but with a more Saturday night clubby vibe. The studio audience has been moved from the bleachers to three straight rows right in front of the stage to bring them closer to the action.
With its icons, photos and on-set big-screen TV displaying clues, the new Noot is geared towards the smartphone generation, which feels comfortable communicating and being rewarded with smiley faces for the right answers.
Play along and try to recognise songs from a few autotune synthesiser notes, and decypher blurred photos of artists from Pink and Britney Spears to Afrikaans singers like Bobby van Jaarsveld.
Adams lovingly laughs – and sometimes sings – along with the contestants, and is lightning-quick with hilarious quips after contestant gaffes and answers. The contestants are still average Joes and Janes from across South Africa’s cities and small towns.
The new Noot looks and feels more diverse and, while still aimed at a predominantly Afrikaans audience, is much more inviting and accessible to a broader demographic and people who like music generally.
While some older, traditional viewers might feel alienated by all of the changes, the new “emo” Noot vir Noot is a tune-up for the game show that is gearing up for a new decade.