This is the story of a program that revolutionized the PAF. In the 2000s, Star Academy marked millions of viewers every week in front of their screen. A cult credits, emblematic teachers, stories of heart and rivalry, exceptional bonuses without forgetting the famous winners and the duets with the stars… Each fan has a memorable memory of the most famous small screen academy hosted by Nikos Aliagas.
So when it was time for the Saturday (and then Friday) evening bonus on TF1, the fans had their eyes glued to their televisions, ready to sing the famous anthem of the season. For some lucky people, the dream came to life live on set in the Plaine Saint-Denis studios. One evening of the final in December 2005, I had the opportunity to come and sing with my choir to accompany Johnny Hallyday, a great faithful of the show since the second season.
During this evening which was to see the coronation of a certain Magalie Vaé in front of 8.7 million loyal viewers, my friends and I sang in chorus My most beautiful Christmas on a large staircase surrounded by a philharmonic orchestra. In front of the huge stage, we were impressed and I remember having scrutinized every nook and cranny of the stage with wide-eyed eyes. But, there was no time to dwell on the details, I had to perform in front of the guests, students and teachers of the Star Ac’.
Between two rehearsals on stage, I remember the encouragement from Nikos Aliagas who reassured us. Or Kamel Ouali, the famous dance teacher who chatted with us just before the live. The best moment obviously remains our performance with Johnny, under the gaze of his daughter Jade in the arms of Laeticia Hallyday present in the public. A memorable moment fueled by the applause of the spectators.
The following year, I had the opportunity to come back twice with my choir for the sixth edition (won by Cyril Cinélu). First, for the third bonus, we gave voice with Eloïsha, one of the named students of the week, who defended her place with Little sister of Lââm. Then, at the end of the show, we participated in the great collegiate of candidates with a gospel choir on the hit We Are The World. A universal anthem written in 1985 by Michael Jackson is more relevant than ever.
Later in the season, we were called back for a new show with Yannick Noah, the godfather of Star Academy’s sixth promotion. For the occasion, he invited another candidate, Jean-Charles to share his ecological anthem to Citizen trees. A performance that Julia also remembers, invited with several of her friends to sing on stage. “Going to Star Ac’ is a bit of a childhood dream, so when a friend told me ‘come on, let’s go with the boys’ choir’, I knew I was going to be one of the privileged people of my generation”, remembers today the young woman of 27 years for Planet.
Among her salient memories, Julia also remembers “the very rhythmic backstage where you shouldn’t have to take the wrong side to go out”. Everything is a question of staging and timing during a live. It is with a certain nostalgia that she slips me to have even found our passage on the Internet. “I admit that the video is in my favorites”.
During the seventh season, Clara is only seven years old when she diligently follows the daily newspapers of Star Academy in front of her television. “It was my Friday night meeting with my mother. We sat on our couch, it was our moment like in front of Koh-Lanta”, tells us this fan fed to musicals and High School Musical.
Not a single day without missing Kamel Ouali’s classes after school. “I adored her because I practiced dancing a lot. And, all week, when I followed the daily newspapers, her dance lessons in front of my TV”, laughs the student still today. So when her mom surprises her by taking her to see a Star Ac’ bonus, it’s a little early Christmas. “It was the first time that I went in the public on a television set”, she admits for Planet.
That evening, Clara and her mother were amazed with an intergenerational program. Among the guests this Friday: Jenifer, Tina Arena, Martin Solveig, the group BB Brunes, Zucchero, the Bee Gees, Martin Solveig and Charles Aznavour. “It marked me because it was a touching moment with Aznavour,” she recalls.
A memorable memory for the schoolgirl at the time, despite certain sacrifices. “We arrived super early and we left very late. I’m not going to lie that we were a little badly seated in the stands,” she quips. “It seemed super long compared to what I was seeing on television”. This did not prevent Clara from discovering behind the scenes and enjoying this moment. “I had fun. We were told to set the mood, I was the first up to sing and dance”. Twenty years after the first season, these three fans will fall back into childhood when they hear the first notes of Love Generation in the credits of season 10, to discover this Saturday October 15 on TF1.