Just checked my TV guide and guess what? “American Idol 2012” begins tomorrow night … 2 hours of what the guide describes as “the good and the bad auditions for a shot at stardom”. You know, every year for the past 5 or so when this show rolls around, I’ve told myself I’m not watching but I’m like a moth drawn to a flame. Those first few shows are a riot. I never cease to be amazed at how many “singers” think they have what it takes, not to mention the singers moms, dads, relatives and friends. And of course, the producers know this is probably the best part of the series, though “best” is the wrong word. Hilarious is more like it. So am I going to tune in? You bet!
And this all comes on the heels of the closing of the YouTube auditions for the first ever, Canadian TV history making show, “Canada’s Got Talent”. Auditions for that show started back in August (or was it earlier?) 2011 across Canada. After the 12,000 or so live auditions, some 200 – 300 (I believe) were called back to perform live for the actual judges who either sent them on to the next round or buzzed them off the show. Everything’s being kept confidential so the general public is still in the dark as to exactly who will compete in the actual live TV show which begins March 4, 2012, but in the meantime, so not to lose momentum and sustain interest, Canada’s Got Talent followed the lead of its American counterpart and over the period of about a week, held “last chance” YouTube auditions. Well that last chance to compete is now closed, but the fun has already started for those who have the time to go to YouTube and type, as I did, “Canada’s Got Talent last chance auditions” into YT’s search box. (See how addicted I am to these shows LOL!)
While looking at the videos on YouTube isn’t quite the same as what we’ll see on TV, it proves that Canadians of all ages also believe they have what it takes to be stars. It also shows something else: the greatest interest in competing comes from those who sing. There must be 100 times the number of singers to the number of magicians, dancers, ventriloquists, whatever, that have submitted a last chance video in the hopes of being selected as one of the top 20 on which the public will now vote, come January 23rd. And here’s the hard part for all the hopefuls: only ONE of those chosen 20 will be selected by the judges to compete in the actual TV show. What are the odds!
What has struck me most in watching this whole process is 2 things:
1) Either competitors hate reading all the important stuff or they’re too lazy to go through it all (which, quite frankly, if you want to become the next big thing, reading contracts and offers is crucial to your career and laziness is suicide)
2) There’s a lot of stage moms out there who really believe their child is the next Jackie Evancho or Christina Aguilera (when few of the darlings even come close).
In reference to my first point, my heart goes out to the behind-the-scenes people at Canada’s Got Talent who patiently replied to the same questions regarding rules and protocol over and over again. Wish I had a buck for every time someone asked how long their video had to be, could it be less than 2 minutes, did they have to sing a song on the list, could it be acapella, how many would be selected, how many would be chosen for show … on and on. The folks at CGT deserve a medal for patiently repeating the answers each time. They wouldn’t have had to do that if contestants just read the rules! The same was true in the earlier live auditions. CGT correspondent, Grahame, must have wanted to scream with the same questions being thrown at him day in and day out.
But it’s the second point that really interests me, simply because I can so remember when my daughter, who is a singer, was 8, 9 10 and had her eye set on stardom. She too had a massive voice, remarkable for her age, and was all about power. It wasn’t till many years later that she actually learned how to control that power so the sound was beautiful as well as powerful. Looking back now, and after watching some of those YouTube video submissions of youngsters belting out “Hallelujah” or “And I’m telling You” I’m almost glad they didn’t have shows like this when my gal was young because, quite frankly, there were times when she was simply shouting, trying her darndest to sing songs that were just too big for her. It was hard to take when I thought she sounded great and someone remarked “yes, she has a great voice but does she have to shout?”
Sadly, I know some of you moms whose child has entered this competition, or the many others that keep coming along aren’t going to like me for saying this, but we moms and dads need to be realistic about our childrens’ talent, or in some cases, lack of it. Maybe it’s just too early to share that talent with the world. Honestly, if you can step back and be objective about it, some of these little ones, cute as they are, sound dreadful. There’s too much focus on power and too little on good pitch, good sound and simply good singing of a song that is suited to their age instead of one meant for an adult. Is it fair to raise a youngster’s hopes so high at this early stage of their lives?
If there’s a Canadian Jackie Evancho in these “last chance” video auditions, it’ll be awesome. I haven’t seen her in the YouTube submissions online now, but I’m sure looking forward to see who the judges pick for that top 20 for us to vote for. I just hope they’re not all singers (which I doubt). After all, American Idol is going to give us months of that! Wonder if the show schedules will overlap ie. will American Idol be on at the same time and night as Canada’s Got Talent? If so, I know which one I’ll be watching. Variety is the spice of life!