Saturday night saw Britain’s Got Talent return to our television screens, a programme in which we watch 40 minutes of adverts, introductions and ‘personal tales’ and about 20 minutes of contestants trying to prove that they have any talent.
The strange thing is that the show is called Britain’s Got Talent, but most of the time we don’t see anyone trying to convince us that they have talent.
Granted the programme adverts are a necessary evil for a channel such as ITV, but I found myself asking other questions while watching the show too, such as;
Were the crowd shots of people waving really necessary? Did we really need to know that a 13 year old drummer bought his mum and dad along? Or that dancer Tobias Mead has quite a sad personal tale to his audition?
No, we didn’t need to see any of this.
But it apparently makes good television so we’re stuck with this format, but is there a deeper issue?
The problem I fear is simple, Britain doesn’t really have much talent, that, or the talented Brits can’t see the point in auditioning for this type of programme.
So we’re left with a few acts desperate for a chance and some exposure and, in the unique case of BGT, children that want to perform on stage.
Thanks to the ‘supportive’ parents of these kids, (and the producers who think it’s a good idea) we get to watch as a number of children enter the show with no concept as to what performing in front of thousands of people and TV cameras is actually like.
(Do we need to be reminded about Hollie Steel? Who will always be remembered as the little girl who broke down on TV because she forgot the words to her song, she was ten years old)
At the end of the day Britain’s Got Talent leaves us with a very rare chance of something truly unique.
But how can you say that? Look at Paul Potts, George Sampson, Diversity and Susan Boyle.
With these four examples I can sadly prove my point, Diversity are unique in the sense that I can’t think of any other dance act that performs the same style of dance.
The stories of George Sampson simply loosing his boyish appeal as he grew older are easy to find, and as for Paul Potts and Susan Boyle, a large number of other artists can be named who perform the same style of music equally as well.
Charlie Brooker summed up the case of Susan Boyle perfectly when talking about last years BGT by describing SuBo talent, saying: “She’s not got the greatest voice in the world nor has she got the ugliest face”
The thing is, stories such as Susan Boyle’s make entertaining television for the mass public, these stories simply say; ‘If you have a talent but no one thinks you have a talent then maybe you really do have a talent.’
‘If not, we should all be able to laugh at your lack of talent and feel better about ourselves.’
That said, maybe I’m wrong and there is a great hidden star out there that can only be discovered by a show like Britain’s Got Talent.
Or, the fifteen seconds of fame culture is back once again, and everyone is still fighting for their brief moment in the spotlight.