I had a brilliant start to the bank holiday weekend last night. I watched some amazing vocal groups competing against each other in a ‘Pitch Perfect’ style competition and got to see Joe Jonas perform live… FOR FREE!
I was part of the studio audience for an up and coming TV show for the BBC called ‘Pitch Battle’. Shane and I, along with our two of friends Adam and Michelle, are all huge fans of the Pitch Perfect films. When we got four free tickets to a programme of a similar theme we were hugely excited. We got the tickets for free by signing up on Lost in TV. They offer free tickets for lots of different shows, you can have a look at what tickets are available here. There are lots of other companies that offer free studio audience tickets. I also use SRO audiences and have had the pleasure of watching 8 out of 10 cats does Countdown and also enjoyed being part of a pilot TV show audience for an ITV game show.
Companies that give free audience tickets tend to over-issue tickets so they can guarantee a full studio audience. This means getting to the studio early to ensure you get a good place in the queue! I really didn’t think we would make it in time last night; after finishing work we all rushed home to get ready and had to compete with busy rush hour traffic through and around Manchester. Luckily, we made it to The Studios at Media City in time but they only had standing tickets left. We were so excited we didn’t care! We went straight into the studio and onto the set which was amazing. It had a ‘Top of The Pops’ kind of vibe with balcony areas for people to stand and dance on overlooking the vibrantly lit stage as well as those seated on the floor level.
The show features six musical groups from around the country, they all compete in various rounds to secure a place in the live final. My favourite round was the Riff Off (Pitch Perfect fans, you know what I mean!). Last night’s contestants really looked the part, some head to toe in sequins and big hair styles others in dickie bows and braces. The singing styles of the groups varied just as much as their attire. There was a rock and opera crossover group, a chamber choir with a twist, an eighteen piece barbershop ensemble and more. On each episode, the six groups compete in various rounds to show off their singing skills and versatility in order to make it to the final. I won’t give away any spoilers about the group that got through last night; you’ll have to watch it when it comes to BBC 1 this summer.
Mel Giedroyc (as in Mel from Mel and Sue) is hosting the show – she was hilarious funny throughout filming yesterday and a great choice for the programme. The Pitch Battle judges are Brit award winner Kelis and choir master extraordinaire Gareth Malone. The show also features a different guest judge each week who goes on to mentor that episode’s winning group. Our superstar guest judge was Joe Jonas! At one point inbetween filming the whole audience ended up taking part in a sing along with him singing his hit song: Cake by the Ocean. It was brilliant! He also performed his new song ‘Kissing Strangers’ with the winning group as part of the final battle. Deke Sharon features on the show as a sort of co-host and musical expert; he is also the programme’s Musical Director. For those of you that don’t know, Deke is also the musical director for the Pitch Perfect films!!
I don’t know when Pitch Battle will be on TV, all I know is it will be sometime over the next few months and it will be on BBC1 on Saturday nights. I can’t wait for it to air so I can watch all the other episodes, our episode from last night and the live grand final. The one thing I’m not excited about is the fact that I might end up seeing myself on TV bopping about singing along with the performances! Hopefully I wasn’t caught on camera too much if at all! I’ll have to have a few glasses of wine the night our episode airs!
Before you rush off to book your free tickets I want to point out that there can be some drawbacks. You’ll probably have to queue up and there’s always a chance you might not get in. When this happens, some companies give out priority tickets for a future show so it’s not a total loss. There can be lots of gaps in the filming due to technical issues or other delays; most studios have a compere style host who keeps the audience entertained at these points. The guy last night was brilliant; he wore a “jaguar” print suit and cracked crude jokes whenever the techies had to deal with something. He kept our spirits up when things got a little boring and had us singing along to songs and chucked sweets into the audience to keep us happy. One final thing to consider is the time it takes to film. An hour-long programme on TV can take two to three hours to record. Last night we went into the studio at 6:30pm and didn’t leave until 10:30pm!
Having said that, I had an amazing night out with Shane and our friends. We got to see some extremely talented live acts and were thoroughly entertained throughout. I laughed and clapped so much that my hands and cheeks are still aching now. What’s even better is I didn’t spend a single penny! It was a great experience to be part of a studio audience and I cannot wait for the whole series of Pitch Battle to be on TV.
Happy Bank Holiday Weekend,
Thrifty Clair x