G4

Act Three

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The bubble had burst and their adoring public had moved on to other stars. G4 -- with four classically trained singers (Jonathan Ansell, Matthew Stiff, Mike Christie, and Ben Thapa) and a near win on the 2004 season of The X Factor -- had opened their account with a number one album in March 2005, featuring classic songs ranging from "Bohemian Rhapsody," "Life on Mars," and "You'll Never Walk Alone" to "Nessun Dorma" and "Jerusalem." They returned less than nine months later with G4 and Friends, a second album including similar classics such as "Barcelona," "Miss You Nights," "La Donne e Mobile," and "I Vow to Thee My Country" -- and that album also hit the Top Ten. But as most reality TV stars had found, if you leave the public eye for too long, another set of similar artists will come along with a new series and you're yesterday's news, however good or talented you might be. Act Three was released for Christmas 2006 and couldn't even get into the Top 20 -- not that it was a worse album than the first two. At the right time, this would have been the chart-topper, with choral versions of yet more hit songs from the world of MOR and easy listening ("Volare," "Cavatina," and "Amazing Grace"), classical ("O Sole Mio" and "Toreador"), nostalgia ("We'll Meet Again," "Danny Boy," and "Silent Night"), and cutting-edge pop (the Boomtown Rats' "I Don't Like Mondays"; yet another Freddie Mercury classic, "Somebody to Love"; Gnarls Barcley's "Crazy"; and an Alan Parsons Project ballad from their Eye in the Sky album, "Old and Wise" [and how many G4 fans would have known that]). Perhaps it was the reality TV syndrome, which seemed to follow the law of diminishing returns pretty quickly, or perhaps too much competition from the similar group Il Divo, who also released their third album, Siempre, in the same week. Or just maybe it was that G4, talented and nice singers though they undoubtedly were, chose the wrong songs at the wrong time and delivered them with a lack of feeling, a lack of soul, and a lack of emotion. The game was up, and soon after this album had left the charts (after only four weeks), they announced they would be splitting up and it would be their last. Bring on the next reality TV group.

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