JACOBSON CALLS THE SHOTS
IT was only a week or so ago that Shane Jacobson was getting his gear off for an adults- only audience.
Now he’s back to hosting Little Big Shots, Seven’s family-friendly shiny f loor show that, in its first season, “rated its pants off.”
The charm of the series is the scope of skills on show, with no child singled out or pitted against one another – providing a platform for talents beyond the usual singing and dancing contests.
From cattle auctioneers and junior woodchoppers, to encyclopedic minimasterminds, the format was created by Ellen DeGeneres drawing on the most talented and mind-boggling kids she could find on YouTube.
For a show man like Jacobson, the spontaneous nature of conversing with kids comes with its own magic.
“Being a grown-up is about being on Earth long enough that people say, ‘ No, you can’t do that’ or ‘ That’s not right’ or ‘ No, there is no magic’,” he tells TV Guide. “It’s at that point where you understand your responsibilities and the risk of things. But for kids, the world is still a magical sphere to them and because of that, every third question they answer is hilarious.”
Audiences responded to the feelgood factor, with Little Big Shots regularly pulling big numbers ( posting 1.6 million viewers nationally on debut) and out-rating more established rivals like The Block.
If there was a criticism of the series last year, it was one of the elements Jacobson says he loves the most – the mix of children brought in from around the world.
“People missed the joy of this a bit,” he says. “This format’s about finding children from around the world and celebrating their talents.”
He adds: “I will defend the show to the end on this. Aussie kids have the chance to go on talent shows now, but this is about celebrating kids from anywhere in the world.”
Contestants from India, Ethiopia, China and beyond have delivered some of the best moments on screen and off, he says.
“It’s been quite beautiful,” he says.
“We’ve had parents in our audience who tear up and cry and say, ‘ I can’t believe I’m here in Australia because of my child’s talent.’ Some of these kids f ly all around the world and appear on multiple shows … it’s like a youth exchange program.”
LITTLE BIG SHOTS
7PM, SUNDAY, SEVEN