the reality TV myth…

The reality TV people do like to tell us that it’s all about finding talent, people with star quality, the ‘x-factor’ as the show-title goes. Which makes this quote particularly laughable –

“after last year’s winner, Steve Brookstein, sank without trace, X Factor bosses are confident they have found a real star this time around.” (from the daily record).

look, if they can’t find hugely talented people with a nation wide search, a TV budget and a captive audience of 10 million, the whole thing is a charade. I think I’ve said this before here, but the best that reality TV has thrown up so far is Will Young – an above average white-soul singer. Gareth Gates has vanished, Hearsay have vanished. Liberty X are hanging on, getting closer and closer to performing naked in the vain hope it’ll keep them an audience. If the shows had ANY validity at all they’d be finding the people who are genuinely the most mind-blowingly gifted musicians, singers and songwriters in the country. But they aren’t. They are unearthing malleable brainless pop-star wannabes that they can trap in usurious deals, make a load of money off then dispense with. No time is spent developing talent, no time is spent helping them to find a style, to practice their craft. It’s all about the ‘rags to riches’ story of someone who sings in the bath and then ends up on stage because of natural talent.

the problem with that is that that kind of ‘natural talent’ doesn’t exist. Some people have developed a musical sensibility sort of by accident, but to become a performer, to work with a band, to write songs, to communicate as a musician, you need to work hard. You need to do gigs, to spends weeks, months, years in rehearsal rooms honing your craft. That doesn’t happen in the bath.

I’ve worked with ‘naturally gifted people’ – they’re a pain in the arse. They sound great if the arrangement is exactly the same as the one they’ve been singing along with on the radio, because their skill is mimickry, not being a musician.

The reality TV shows aren’t set up to find musical depth, just one hit wonders and losers turned ‘boy dun good’ stories like Darius Dinesh and The Cheeky Girls. It’s shameful, and a blot on the music life of the UK.

All we need to remember is that it’s got nothing to do with us – we just carry on making the music that matters to us, avoid all the crappy competitions and flash-in-the-pan dancing for chicken BS. Music is worth more than that. Simon Cowell can shove it up his arse.

© 2008 Steve Lawson and developed by Pretentia. | login