Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Britain's Got Talent

Unfortunately, it's also got a lot of vulnerable people with borderline personality disorders and no discernible skill as entertainers who believe that they can change their lives if only they are given a chance to show the world what they can do. They want to follow their dreams, though sadly in many cases, these dreams are predicated on talents that do not exist. Wishful thinking, no matter how desperate or how great the quantity, is no substitute.

I don't tend to watch reality television programmes. In truth, I don't watch much TV, period. I did catch up a bit of "Britain's Got MORE Talent" last night. They seemed keen to showcase the more ridiculous acts, and sadly, magic featured quite heavily in there, to the point where presenter Stephen Mulhern, himself a magician, decided to step in and convince the judges that magic can be done well.

One of the acts I saw was a chap who calls himself Flash. Although we didn't get to see much of his magic, we probably saw enough. What we did see was arguably adequate for a small close-up gig, but not for stage, and certainly not for a Royal Variety Performance. His insistence on doing the first couple of lines of the Flash Gordon theme certainly didn't help. Zany can be good if you can bring your audience with you, but if you can't (and he couldn't) you just end up looking like a twat.

He seemed relatively sane compared to some of the other hopefuls - even though his MySpace page might suggest otherwise.

One of the other contenders had sold large chunks of his DVD and video game collections in order to "travel in style" to the audition. (He made the journey by bus.) One has to wonder just how far he had travelled if indeed he had to sell 90 DVDs and dozens of games. The saddest thing about this young man is that he is determined to make it big, and thinks that of the three things he is currently studying (singing, dancing and some other performing art), singing is his strong card. Yet it was clear from his performance that he is tone deaf. He couldn't carry a tune if you wrapped it up in a Gucci bag and thrust the handles into his chubby little hands.

There was another, even worse than this guy, who groaned his way through a terrible few seconds of Shayne Ward's dirge "That's My Goal". Not only was this one unable to hit the notes, he didn't seem to know many of the lyrics, or to be capable of articulating those that he did know in a way that made them intelligible. Yet afterwards, he seemed angry - really angry - at the judges comments and reaction to him. Definitely an unstable personality there, and probably a mental problem of some kind.

Yet SyCo (the production company) will cheerfully exploit this young man and others like him in the name of entertainment, and the masses will continue to lap up this kind of public spectacle, in the same way that our forebears flocked to Bedlam to laugh at the loonies.
And so many people believe, like that strange pink-haired creature from this year's Big Brother, that to be featured on a show like Britain's Got Talent is to be amongst "The Chosen".

Makes a fellow proud to be a human.


Da Nator said...

Yes, it's amazing how these reality shows work. The public seems to love seeing the worst of humanity. Because of this, Mrs. Nator refuses to watch early episodes of American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance, etc. - she just waits until the public auditions are over and watches the top contestants. I watch it all, but with a liberal dose of the TiVo fast forward button employed.

I saw an interesting comment from a school principal on a news program the other day. He pointed out that so many shows on American TV are all about competitions, where only one person can win by beating and/or betraying all the others, and everyone else is a loser. Team spirit seems to be a thing of the past...

Anonymous said...

Isn't it the human way to compete? Isn't that how we became who we are? I seem to recall a certain caveman hitting another certain caveman over the head with a rock.

Wait, I'll bet they were American cavemen, what was I thinking ...

Qenny said...

The problem with these shows is that often the people who are competing are completely unaware that they are barking up entirely the wrong tree. If you can't swim, but you can dance, you enter a dancing competition rather than an Olympic swimming event. With so many of the contestants, someone should have done them the kindness of pointing out that they have no skill or talent, and advising them that perhaps they should re-evaluate their goals.

A corollary to this is that so many people seem to have a very strong sense of entitlement that is completely devoid of any notion of merit. They think they deserve x, y and z for no other reason than that they simply believe they do. No question of earning that entitlement, or meriting it by their achievements. Just simply a very strong notion that they are entitled to it.

Al said...

"A corollary to this is that so many people seem to have a very strong sense of entitlement that is completely devoid of any notion of merit."

Like that Charley on BB? "I'm an unemployed it girl" - not quite like the other unemployed it girls who have huge inheritances waiting in the wings though, more of a schemie saaf laandener who is in for a right shock when she's booted out.

Qenny said...

Is she the one that so wants to be like the irritating little madam from last year's BB (the one who ended up briefly dating the guy with Tourettes) that she even uses some of her catchphrases?