Besides all the bad vibes of crime, crooked heads of state, doom and gloom - we South Africans are presented with some pretty funny stuff from members of population who fancy themselves on stage one day. This attempt at winning our major singing competition had tears rolling down my cheeks!
Is the 'Idols' show a recent arrival in South Africa? We just finished our 10th season in France, although the show has moved from a major channel to one of the smaller ones over the years. Nevertheless, it continues to interest me (albeit a bit less than 5 or 6 years ago) and it has produced some of the major new singing stars in France -- and just like in other countries, not always the person who won the contest.
The girl in the clip was not without talent at all but she was clearly in need of plenty of guidance. I am always sad when such people are dismissed without elegance. In the first few seasons in France, there was much merriment about the most horrible singers, but then people found it to be cruel and those excerpts lost their popularity. Nevertheless, every season still shows some pearls of the "worst of the worst" but generally they are people who knew ahead of time they had no talent and entered the contest as a joke in the hope that they would appear in that sequence.
Kerouac I'm not too sure how long Idols has been running but it's got to be around 10 years. In our case the panel of judges has one who is reasonably interested in talent, one who is extremely polite and kind no matter what, one who only sits up and takes notice when the person is truly talented, and one stony-faced bastard who runs nearly every contestant down.
Some of the applicants know they have no chance of succeeding but want to see their faces on TV. Others have absolutely no talent but live in a dreamworld and are devastated when denied a "Golden Ticket" to continue the stages up the ladder. These contestants are what SA Idols have put into a category called 'The Wooden Mike'. It has become very popular with TV viewers who relish watching the reaction of the judges and sometimes hilarious renditions of popular songs by the hopefuls. There are funny sequences but at times I have felt very sorry for the tongue - lashing they get from the judges. Mainly because they are the ones who are simple folk with no idea of the 'real world' of pop stars. One of our judges always tries to say something encouraging when he can see they are hurt or embarrassed.