I recently headed up the judging panel on a northeast talent contest. It got me wondering why people enter these things, such as X Factor, Britain’s Got Talent, and American Idol even when they are frightfully bad.
You know what I mean…the ones that come out all full of confidence or attitude and as soon as they open their mouths or start their act, the judges raise their eyebrows, get confused looks on their faces, or even snicker, and the audience pretty much laughs or thinks, “What the…?”
Although realising there have been stars born from these shows, there are even more that have been embarrassed and shocked at being laughed at or booed off the stage. They are at a loss or confused by the reactions their performances received because of their misconceptions that they can sing or even dance.
It blows me away at how delusional and crazy so many people actually are. What makes them think they can become the next American Idol or X Factor champion? And why would they put themselves through such an agonizing process of auditioning? I’ve narrowed it down to two reasons:
1. They know they’re terrible, but want the attention: a desire for a moment of fame.
2. They don’t realise how horrible they actually are: a case of an inflated ego or truly believing in their talent.
These days many people want to be famous even if it’s just a quick flash of time, giving them their moment on TV, on stage, or even broadcast on YouTube. People want this fame so badly they’ll do anything to get it. Auditions of this sort are often hilarious and very amusing, with some of the worst ones that audition achieving what they set out to do; getting lots of attention.
In the past, being famous for something meant that a person was actually talented. But it’s the era of living in a world that considers celebrity a lot differently than generations before. Some go after a 5-10 minute moment of fame and don’t even do anything much at all or have even the slightest talent. Their time in the limelight might not last that long, but a certain percentage of the population doesn’t care and wants everyone to see them and to hear all about them.
I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with soaking up a couple minutes of celebrity. If a person recognises that they don’t have the talent and wants to open him/herself up for criticism and ridicule, then go for it!
But it’s a different story entirely when people put all of their dreams and hopes into becoming famous rather than concentrating on a more normal attainable goal. If you actually watch the auditions of the many talent shows, TV or not, there will always be contestants who admit that all they want in life is to be famous. Unfortunately, these individuals are often unsuccessful, but it does give some insight into the mindset of a portion of us out there.
Many others who sign up to audition for a talent show really do believe that they have what it takes to make it big, however deluded their opinions are.
Having self-confidence is a wonderful thing, don’t get me wrong. Feeling capable of accomplishing anything is amazing, especially when self-esteem is right up there too. While a strong sense of self-confidence and self-esteem will create new opportunities, it can’t and doesn’t change reality. Take singers for example. Some of the worst are overly confident with no musical sense whatsoever, not grasping that their singing is dreadful. Their high self-esteem creates an inflated ego, making them feel that they are better than they actually are.
Others have a more balanced sense of self and a normal amount of self-esteem but are told repeatedly by parents, friends, teachers, etc. that they’re absolutely gifted at singing, dancing, what have you. This is mostly done because they don’t want to hurt feelings, want to be encouraging, or think dreams should be pursued no matter what.
After hearing praise over longs periods of time, people will trust in their abilities and don’t truly realize how untalented they really are. Even if they’re terrible they believe they’re good because they’ve been complimented for so long and ultimately become brainwashed.
All of this can be quite entertaining for the audience and the judges; me included. But when the judges deliver a reality check, it stuns or angers these contestants when they hear the cold hard truth. Several probably spent years believing that success is waiting just around the corner, making the truth pretty hard to swallow especially experiencing this feedback in a very public manner.
Many people take shows like X Factor, The Voice, Britain’s Got Talent, etc. extremely serious, yet at the same time there are the ones that treat it like an amusing challenge or game, acting absolutely ridiculous and outrageous, hoping to get front and center just for the attention.
Whether good, bad, or ugly it’s all entertainment to me.