TV’s music-from-home spurt has finished its pop-music phase. Country is next.
Elton John hosted Sunday’s concert on Fox; James Corden did Monday’s on CBS. Both had plenty of pop stars giving at-home performances. In fact, both had Billie Eilish (shown here in a previous photo).
Now country takes over, on CBS. It will be Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood at 9 p.m. Wednesday, then much of Nashville from 8-10 p.m. Sunday.
Corden tried brief interviews Monday, with so-so success. We did learn that Eilish has been binging Fleabag (wise choice) and Chrissy Teigen has been making yummy food to eat with her husband John Legend. The stationary camera, alas, only gave us Teigen from the neck down.
Eilish was, once again, singing almost too casually. We wanted to remind her that the camera was on.
Legend and Andrea Bocelli (in Italy) sang strong ballads, accompanying themselves on piano. In Korea, the seven-man BTS even had some choreography. Corden said they were “isolating together,” which may be a self-contradiction.
But the best moments came with multiple cameras and music-video type editing. We saw some of that on Sunday with the Backstreet Boys (who are isolating separately, like the rest of us), Tim McGraw and Mariah Carey; we saw more on Monday.
First was Dua Lipa (in London), with cameras catching her back-up singers, guitarists and even some dancers. With slick editing, there were sometimes nine separate shots onscreen.
Then was the final number – Ben Platt singing You Will Be Found from the Dear Evan Hansen musical. Cast members (one of them, inexplicably, in a car) sang back-up.
Like Sunday’s highlight – Dr. Elvis Francois singing Imagine – that was the perfect combination: A talented singer was doing the right song for tough times.
It closed Corden’s hour … and left us optimistic for the two home-music specials still on the way.