TANTRUMS, tempers and talent are all on the menu tonight - as a South Yorkshire vocal coach takes centre stage on TV’s newest reality show.
The Sky1 programme Showboaters claims to be ‘X Factor on water’ and features 10 contestants battling it out for a one-year contract aboard a luxury cruise liner.
And Rotherham lad Nick Walton will be the mentor putting the wannabes through their paces.
“This show has got it all,” the 26-year-old performer and vocal manager from Whiston told The Star. “We’ve got Simon Cowell-esque judges, live performances in front of huge audiences and great characters with great talent.
“Each of them is desperate to win the prize of joining our entertainment team aboard Thomson Dream for 12 months, sailing around the Caribbean.”
Nick is no stranger to the reality show format. He made it to the final 50 on X Factor back in 2006 but, after failing to make the cut, the former builder auditioned for Thomson Cruises and left South Yorkshire behind to set sail for a life on the ocean waves.
“The life of a cruise ship entertainer is fantastic,” Nick said. “Your working day starts with rehearsals at 4pm, followed by cabaret and two live shows, before clocking off at around 12.30am.
“Days are free to hit the beaches, visit ports and relax with your friends, seeing up to six different locations a week - it’s a great experience.”
The TV show is produced by Yorkshire-based PEEL Entertainment, which organises live entertainment for the Thomson fleet of cruise ships.
“The cruising industry is absolutely booming,” Nick said. “Cruise ship entertainers have got a bad reputation thanks to people like Simon Cowell who look down on us and call us ‘cabaret’ singers.
“But the truth is I’ve seen more talent in my five years on ships than I’ve even seen in an episode of X Factor. wI think Showboaters is going to make that clear once and for all - it’s the real deal.”
Filming for the competition took place over a six-week period from February to April. As the series wrapped, Nick decided to take a break from the ships, admitting he was ready to get back to the ‘normal’ scene of auditioning and working in London for a while.
“Cruising is amazing but being on the ship is a bit like living in a bubble,” he explained. “It’s awesome but it’s not real life and five years is a long time to be away from the real world. I’m looking forward to staying in one place for a bit and letting somebody new step into the spotlight.”
Showboaters starts on Sky1 tonight at 8pm.