‘Be an encourager. The world has plenty of critics already’. – Dave Willis
I hate TV talent shows. I find them abhorrent. I hate parents who encourage their kids to get on these shows even more. And despise schools that double up as exam factories for the rat race. The idea of spending an hour in front of TV watching Jhalak Dikhla Jaa (the Indian version of BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing) or Indian Idol horrifies me, and it’s not because of the singing or dancing.
It’s absolutely everything else.
I hate the soft piano music playing when a contestant from Ferozabad tells you the heart-wrenching story of how her glass factory worker dad died and how all he ever wanted in his 48 years of life was for his daughter to get through to the live finals on some TV show he probably didn’t even watch.
I can’t stand watching talented men and women, reduced to tears at every juncture. “I’m sorry but you’re not…GOING HOME YOU’RE THROUGH TO THE FINALS!”
Three or four judges, who’ve been given some strange and unusual all-knowing power by some ethereal being sit by, ready to make or break.
Worse than any of this is the blatant exploitation of people that I suspect and fear may feature somewhere on the vast and complex spectrum of mental ill health.
But quite often in the early stages, people who are not very good – despite sometimes having the delusion that they are – seem to make it through from the initial selection stages to get on TV.
The producers know this will make for great television and so put them on the box. They might as well give us all eggs to throw. The sadistic pleasure of watching MTV Roadies auditions is proof of this.
Placed like fools in front of fat, greedy kings, they tell the world how much they want to be famous.
The judges at their feasting table lick their lips hungrily as the poor person gets to work singing at the top of their lungs or dancing their ass off. Their family, who should protect them rather than expose them to this mass ridicule, look on encouragingly.
Like a scene from a horror movie, everyone laughs.
For the person on the stage, it must be a devastating moment. Sometimes they seem unable to absorb what’s really happening.
I can’t imagine the masterminds behind talent shows care much for protecting the vulnerable. I hate that most of all.
Anyway, I’m participating by exhibiting my art and also volunteering at our upcoming community talent show this weekend. This is nothing like the regular TV talent show. There are going to be no ‘judges’ or ‘prizes’ of any kind. Every single resident/participant is whole-heartedly applauded, appreciated and every kind of talent is encouraged. Zero judgements! Someone wants to come and play the mouth organ for ten whole minutes? – Yes please! (Loud Applause)