But the show was most certainly not a dud from the outset. With creative and financial investment rarely seen from the smallest terrestrial channel, a significant and extensive publicity campaign as well as several unique twists - a wildcard show, songs available on iTunes, no tedious audition shows - there was undoubtedly great potential in the format. So much so, that Network Ten in Australia snapped it up last month before it had even aired over here. However, the show's viewing figures have dropped dramatically in just three weeks, with numbers down to 587,000 last Sunday, and with a schedule shift to 5.45pm planned for this weekend, the show's future beyond this current run already looks bleak.
Dale Divas - the winners on this week's Don't Stop Believing
So where has it gone wrong for Don't Stop Believing? The most significant problem at the moment appears to be the judging panel. Anastacia is sometimes cruel by accident and Chucky tries to offer constructive advice, but the panel appear unwilling to get off the fence and tell a group straight up that they aren't good enough. Inspired by the US TV smash Glee, the show wants to give off the same good vibes as the high school comedy, but it defeats the purpose of a judging panel if they are just there to applaud and tell us that an act was great. And while we're ranting, why do we need four judges? There used to be a time when three was more than enough for a TV show. Duncan James or Tamzin Outhwaite could easily have been cut from the wage bill, without anyone blinking an eye.
Other problems include an overdose on the sob stories - surely every group can't have helped save a member's life? - a host, who although charming, is clearly learning on the job, and acts with so many members that you end up going cross-eyed trying to keep track of what's happening. Meanwhile, the addition of a DSB Supergroup merely over-complicates the show. The performers are clearly talented, but we have no emotional investment in the collective and their presence risks turning the show into a sprawling mess, not too dissimilar to the BBC's reality flop Dance X (look it up on Wikipedia if you were fortunate enough to miss it).
However, this blog wasn't designed to bash Don't Stop Believing. We went to watch it live last week and it's a slick production with one of the most impressive stages and productions we've ever seen on a live reality show. The colour scheme may be a bit lurid, but the show as a whole makes the likes of Strictly and Dancing On Ice look a bit stuffy and old-hat. And like we said at the start of the piece, there is definite potential in DSB. It's impossible not to be charmed by acts like the 80-strong, all-female barbershop collective Dale Divas. Chucky is very nearly a great reality TV judge. And call us camp, easily-pleased and old-fashioned, but we like a good old song-and-dance routine. Unfortunately, whether this is enough to save the show from the reality TV scrapheap remains to be seen.
Are you still watching Don't Stop Believing? Do you think the show has potential? What changes would you make? Leave your opinions in the box below!