By adopting a formula opposed to the Emmy, Geminis have shown that it is possible to present quality galas in Quebec during a pandemic.
By forcing producers and broadcasters to rethink their ways of doing things, COVID-19 has led to a major overhaul of award ceremonies, which have followed the same recipe for decades.
Once the crisis is over, we could even keep some elements.
One of the best ideas to emerge from the 35th Prix Gémeaux is how to present the finalists in each category, if only to save time. By aligning the artists on stage at the start of the segment, we no longer need to wait while the lucky chosen one reacts on the floor, kisses his loved ones and crosses the room to come and pick his trophy. By bringing the candidates together, we make sure to have the winner's reaction cold, without him being able to digest the news.
Jimmy Kimmel flew the Emmy Awards in front of screens and an empty room …
This is also what we liked about the other televisual high mass, the Emmy Awards, broadcast at the same time on the ABC network. Admittedly, we all quickly got bored of the Zoom mode shows in the spring, but it was frankly entertaining to see huge stars like Hugh Jackman and Jennifer Aniston waiting in their living room for the results to be given, a camera (on loan by the Academy) pointed at them.
The Emmy Awards weren't perfect, however. It is difficult to understand why the organizers chose to open the ceremony by giving all the prizes in comedy. It was the wrong year to inaugurate this method, since (the excellent) Schitt's Creek dominated all the categories, so much so that after an hour and seven prizes given to the same group of people, it felt like shooting in round.
Recorded remotely, this edition of the Emmy without an audience and piloted by Jimmy Kimmel sometimes lacked warmth. And a few sound lag issues kept some segments (like the Friends actresses reunion) from really taking off.
As for Gemini, the disaster was avoided three short hours before the opening, during the Legault government press briefing concerning the COVID alert level.
Reached by phone the day after the gala, director Daniel Vigneault reveals that the entire team watched the conference to see if there was anything to change. To deal with any eventuality, officials had ordered a large quantity of black masks that they were ready to distribute to the artists placed in the pit.
“We were on stand-by,” emphasizes Daniel Vigneault. But we had been so careful that we weren't really afraid of everything going wrong. We had seated less than 50 people in the pit to be sure to respect the 2 meters. We were the first gala. We did not want there to be no more pandemic because of us! ”
The voice dominates
Quebec's first pandemic gala was no match for La Voix . Broadcast on ICI Télé, the 35th Prix Gémeaux rallied 854,000 viewers, against 1,459,000 for La Voix , which presented its Battle Songs. Last year, the ceremony had rallied 1,539,000 fans, according to preliminary data from Numéris. This is therefore a drop in ratings of 45%.
However, in September 2019, the competition was much less intense. TVA had proposed the musical Mamma Mia .
As for Double Occupation , the first Sunday broadcast drew 480,000 curious visitors to Noovo.
In the United States, the Emmy also saw a decline in audience. According to Nielsen, the virtual gala rallied 6,100,000 Americans, the worst score in its history.