Behind Seven’s new singing show All Together Now: ‘It is not trying to find the next global superstar’

Mediaweek talks to executive producer Stevie Murray and presenter Julia Zemiro.

Julia Zemiro never thought that she’d be hosting a singing show. However, that is exactly what she is doing in Seven’s All Together Now.

“I wanted to find something to do that is scary. I am really at home doing RocKwiz and Home Delivery,” Zemiro told Mediaweek.

The person looking after the production of All Together Now for Seven is Stevie Murray. It’s been a busy year for the channel’s executive producer, who also looks after shows like The Chase, Little Big Shots and Take Me Out.

“I would not classify All Together Now as singing reality,” Murray said to Mediaweek early in our conversation. “It doesn’t take itself too seriously. It is not trying to find the next global superstar. There is no recording contract as prize. That takes a lot of pressure off the format.

“The main difference with this show and other singing reality shows is that there isn’t anywhere near the weight on back stories. We really only meet the contestants very briefly before they perform via a pre-performance interview.”

There are 100 judges on All Together Now with Irish singer Ronan Keating being the leader of the panel. The premise of the show is to get as many judges on their feet and voting for a performance. One performer from each heat round then goes into the grand final with a chance to win the prize money of $100,000.

This is Zemiro’s favourite part of the show. “I love that we are giving them the freedom to do what they want to do next… they are not locked into a recording contract,” she said.

Due to the scale and size of the show, as well as the number of people involved on-screen, it was important for the host to “be quick witted and fast on their feet in terms of their presentation and the physical nature of the show, where the host is moving around these 100 judges who are sitting on five different levels,” said Murray. Zemiro ticked all those boxes.

“I dropped half a dress size,” she joked.

“I would do all my hosting from the centre stage in high heels. Then I’d kick them off and put on these Vans to literally run up and down the stairs.”

Zemiro has previously hosted music formats like ABC’s RocKwiz and SBS’s coverage of Eurovision. She said these experiences were the perfect preparation for hosting something like All Together Now. “RocKwiz taught me all my skills in terms of improvising quickly on stage and dealing with music, musicians and people you have never met before,” Zemiro said.

Keating flew into Australia a few days before the filming of All Together Now was to start. This worried Murray about how Keating and Zemiro would work together on-screen as they did not have any time to meet each other beforehand.

However, to Murray’s relief, once the camera began rolling, he found out: “Their timing is perfect. They didn’t tread on each other’s toes.”

All Together Now premieres on Seven this Sunday October 7 at 7pm.

Little Big Shots season two

The numbers were down for the second season of the show compared to the first, which premiered in Australia in 2017. It faced some tough competition from The Block on Nine. “It’s a very competitive slot,” Murray said. “Big Shots still performed more than admirably.

“It is a challenging show to produce. You never know what you’ll get with the kids until you have something in the can.”

Murray said the general production of the show was better in season two than in season one.

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