Monday, January 16, 2012

Pop bands and TV produced 'talent'

So, this article isn't filled with any great pearls of wisdom. I admit I had never heard of this group before stumbling across them in a random wiki search, and whilst I had a momentary thought of downloading their music so that I could see what it was all about, I managed to stay the urge.

However, thinking about this group did lead my mind to wander to thoughts about contest based groups or talent shows. By this I mean shows like American/Australian Idol, Eurovision, Australia's Got Talent, Young Talent Time and so on. Granted, there are the rare occasions when such shows successfully create recording artists. I mean, who can forget 1974 Eurovision (even though I wasn't born yet) and ABBA winning. Not to mention our very own Olivia Newton John as a finalist. Shows like Young Talent Time yielded talent like Kylie Minogue and Tina Arena. Then of course there is the Spice Girls - annoying but highly successful. I do believe even NKOTB were a 'made' group and were quite successful.

But of late, are these talent contests really a brilliant step into success? I didn't see the likes of Lady Gaga, Pink, Rhianna or Adele winning a talent singing contest. I didn't see Michael Buble` (though I may be wrong) winning any talent contest. The only American Idol winners I ever hear anything from, or who have seemingly cracked the international market, are Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood. The rest of them just seem to disappear. Much could be said about those that win here too. Often, it is the runner up who is more successful. Sometimes, winning can in its own way be a curse. Jessica Mouboy seems to be doing quite well for herself, having lost to Damien Leith. And if you ask me, it wasn't until Guy Sebastian shed his Australian Idol success that his music became something worth listening to.

Do these shows unearth real talent - I believe that they do, or at least that they have the potential to. Are they operated properly? Of that I am not so certain. These contests seem to be less about talent and more about popularity. Granted I understand that the public are the people who buy the albums in the end, but when your host uses such phrases as "if you want to save your favorite you must vote"....when did it become about favorites more so than about the person who nailed the song, who entertained the crowd the most, who displayed a vocal ability unmatched by the others? When shows stop playing on the 'poor me' sad story of the contestants and focussed instead upon their natural talents and abilities, I will cast a vote. Until then, I boycott voting on any of those shows, for those very reasons.

This topic could lead me into my thoughts on reality tv shows like Biggest Loser - but that's an entirely different rant.

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