One thing that’s true is that entertainment has over the years changed, today we have a lot more stars getting into showbiz younger than say 20 years ago, and reality shows have ensured that we keep seeing a stream of this new talent every year.
On the one hand I think this is wonderful, but on the other, has the quality of our entertainment not suffered for this? Shows like Pop Idol, X-factor, so you think you can dance, among others, are concepts that have been copied all over the world, in Africa, the best example, Nigerian Idol, and Hot Steps in Uganda.
I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes there’s a jewel in all that riffraff, that some deserving talent will be discovered, but more often than not, all I see are youngsters with get rich quick attitudes, confident of talents that are really non existent. There’s nothing at all wrong with dreaming, but where’s the reality check and who told everyone that they can sing, dance, model or whatever the contest they take part in?
A bit harsh you may think, but its true. Aren’t you tired of seeing so many people try out for contests that are ill suited for them and who can’t take criticism when its given? Well I am. I think much as we need to give a helping hand to young talent, may be it’s time for us to set some boundaries.
I was really disappointed with the X factor UK 2011, they seemed hell bent on kicking out the talent and keeping the wannabes, for lack of a better word. The likes of Frankie Cocoza, Janet Devlin and even in my opinion the winners of the show, Little Mix, continued to get the vote despite their lack of talent while worthy competitors like Craig Colton, Misha B and New Vibe were voted off the show.
What these competitions don’t tell their contestants is that the real work begins after the show. How many of the winners of these talent shows are still active and apart from being famous for winning a show, what have they achieved since?
2004 X Factor winner Steve Brookstein was a sort of poster-child for the treachery of reality-show-based fame, he only ever came up with his first and only single, Sony BMG cancelled his contract after just eight months and 2007 Winner Leon Jackson after his obligatory number has also slipped into oblivion. The only winner of the show that has achieved real stardom is Leona Lewis with three grammies and over 100,000 records sold internationally.
The answer is not a ban on such shows, but it would be a lot more useful if rather than rely the audience that these shows produce some kind of even scale for measure of talent. Based on this, maybe a lot more Leona Lewises will get their chance to show the world what they have to offer. If nothing changes, talent shows will soon lose the position of favourite child in many a home.