Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Australian Idol - All Must Not Have Prizes

"Mum, if everyone is special, that means no-one is special"
Dash Incredible

I have a confession to make.

I love Pop Idol. And Australian Idol is even better than its British namesake. I love Australian Idol for two reasons;

i) being a bit of a singer-songwriter myself in my youth (i emphasise the 'bit'), i appreciate the many genuinely talented young artists they feature on the program.

ii) it is by far and away the most politically incorrect program on TV

"You’ve got looks that would turn heads but you have a voice that would turn stomachs", one particularly talentless blonde was informed.

Not-so photogenic Kalgoorlie teenager Jennifer Farrenkothen was told "You remind me of Pink’s older sister: Stink".

For many young people, this show is obviously the first time in their short lives that they have been told they are not wonderful or gifted or a star. They are informed, brutally, that they are ordinary and will never make it. I am all for building up our children's confidence but wildly inflating a child's opinion of himself will not do him any favours in the long run. The return to earth is crushing if postponed for too long.

The judges are an odd bunch but i assume they all know something about what it takes to become a pop star. One girl with a beautiful voice was told she 'needs to shed the pounds'. This was the best advice anyone could give her because she has the talent to make it. It is refreshing to hear such frank and constructive advice as opposed to the usual lying crap of 'we're all beautiful'.

My one criticism - cut the bullying of the truly talentless. Politely usher them off the program and move on to the next contestant. You don't need to humiliate the genuinely awful.