The Argument For TV Talent Shows
No one can be ignorant of the musical talent shows which adorn our TV screens most weekends. Whether it’s The X Factor, Britain’s Got Talent or The Voice, each programme promises instant fame and wealth to the ‘winner’ in the form of a recording contract or life-changing performance. In recent years, it is said that such talent shows are on the wane. According to TV critics, their popularity is fading as the general public begin to become immune to the format.
It has become very fashionable to criticise the TV musical talent show for being ‘fake’ a ‘set up’ or for playing on the emotions of the general public with heart-wrenching back stories. According to TV critics, the format is on its last legs.
However, it is important to review the success of the TV shows in terms of ratings as well as the contestants who go onto having great careers in music and entertainment. It must not be doubted that these types of shows provide a platform for people who ordinarily would not find success, because their talent would go unnoticed.
A prime example of this was the 2006 X Factor winner Leona Lewis. Leona, an incredibly shy receptionist from Hackney, was totally unaware of how talented she was. Family and friends encouraged her to enter the show and a star was born. Leona is now a critically acclaimed international recording artist, and has a huge fan base in the USA and beyond. This would never have happened for Leona, but for the talent TV show.
The list of successful recording artists which have been launched from TV talent shows is endless. If the last ten years of talent shows are considered, acts such as Girls Aloud, One Direction, Will Young, JLS, Alexandra Burke and Matt Cardle have gone onto to have recording success.
Girls Aloud were formed as part of a reality TV show in 2002, called Popstars: The Rivals. The show pitched boys against girls, and 20 artists were whittled down to 10 to form rival boy and girl bands. In the last few weeks, Girls Aloud have announced a 10 year anniversary album and tour, proving that success from such shows can be long-lasting.
However, for every Leona Lewis or Girls Aloud, there is a Jedward or Wagner which become joke acts. Unfortunately, this can make the shows a victim of their own success, with less talented acts getting voted through by members of the public.
Despite this, it is not possible to argue against the fact that the TV talent shows have been instrumental to the success of UK music across the world.
Article written by Michelle Jones, owner of a music studio London.