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TV Talent Shows

Becci Stanley


It’s that time of year again, in which we brace ourselves for a tidal wave of judging panels, screaming audiences and squealing with the nation divided into two very different mindsets.

There are two clear debates for TV musical “talent” shows; one being that it is killing the music industry and is more a popularity contest than a showcase of pure musical wonderment, and the second being that it highlights bright young sparks and is an ideal way to really get your face out there. In my eyes, it’s kind of both.

The way I see it, I do not see what sense of achievement and the heart warming sensation of cradling your musical career from scratch these contestants get. I myself know bands that slave away day and night writing music to put out to about ten people on bandcamp, scrimp and save (sometimes even sell the clothes off their backs) to go on tour and put their everything into a passion they love; they may only achieve something as seemingly small as one person reciting their lyrics word for word as they flounce around on stage, but that is a monumental achievement that they themselves have spawned. On a talent show, everything is given to you: your lyrics, your costumes, your tour, your record contract, everything is spoon fed and although you get to live a lifestyle you have daydreamed about whilst singing into your hairbrush, it’s not a life you have REALLY worked for, it’s something you were given by chance.

If you were, say, a winner of this show, how would it also affect you to think you were only given this opportunity because of how you look and not because people think you are actually talented? Some money and popularity hungry loaches these days would revel in this for as long as they possibly could before eventually returning to their day jobs, but I’m not sure how I would feel about a nations view of talent because really, can you rely on such show to be judged on talent? I think not. I can put money on the fact you’re more likely to attract either screaming, drooling fourteen year old girls or masses of seedy teenage boys itching to see more of you in skin tight costumes signing provocative lyrics for their voyeuristic needs.

Putting this aside, some acts really have flourished from shows like this. JLS, Leona Lewis, One Direction, whether you like them they’re here for the long haul and have amassed an amazing following along with releasing some catchy as hell pop songs, regardless of whether they wrote them themselves or not. It’s very hard to get noticed these days, bands come and go and it’s very hard to do something people have not already seen a million and one times over, so if you CAN get through on these television shows some would say why not go for it? It’s not just about work, work, work it’s about life experience and it’s a chance you will never have again.

If these shows could appeal to more genres of music instead of girl bands, boy bands and solo artists it could create an incredible boost in the music industry and help more struggling artists who really deserve coverage shine amongst the masses, sob stories aside.

Whatever your opinion, these shows are here to stay, and who can argue they’re not brilliant entertainment? I mean be honest, who doesn’t LOVE watching the rejected auditions in which dazed and confused people warble and wail into the microphone that is now trying to strangle itself with the power cord? They’re light-hearted, sometimes tense and a great sing-a-long on a Saturday night when there’s naff all else on.