Saturday, 5 June 2010
Britain's got X-Factor or how Darth Cowell ruined music
Speaking of dance , classic, Jazz and West end, competitions just for dancers are no better. If you have any experience, been to school too long, have a real choreographer, or are currently in an off off off off broadway production of any kind, you won't get on the show. The winners go on to steal your spots in the big productions where a barely talented, inexperienced dancer singer is fronting a show with 100 angry back up dancers and singers who are better but forced to be in the chorus , because the girl up front won a competition. Would you rather see Catherine Zeta Jones or the new Dorothy, whoever she is? Which one is worth £100 a seat and which is a bit of a rip off?
In short, if you are any good at anything , in the UK there is a system to channel you from young person to seasoned performer . This system has produced exemplary singers, dancers, musicians, actors, writers and all round performers. If you have a child who is talented, be honest with them, take the time and use the system that has been there in some cases since before Shakespeare. There is no replacement for hard work or training, nor is there any excuse in a country as old and as varied to limit the choice of musical and dance style to just the one. Doing that nearly killed tweed and it's killing music now.
Let me point out one last thing. These acts that we are supposed to be giving a huge break to, must be good enough to be part of a decent variety circuit that is supported by television and local music hall type places. Variety television has been struggling of late due to poor choices in booking and perhaps the presenters. So that leaves us an act that can sell singles, fill auditoriums across the country at £30 or £40 a ticket minimum for an entire 90 minute show. The acts that benefit will be ones that have some genuine variety , a story to tell and personality.
So what about BGT super week? we have the final 10 , who by the way under normal circumstances would be 20, and go on for weeks yet, being dropped one a week. But this year it's the World Cup and I think Simon Cowell doesn't want to do it any more.Lets look at the finalists.
Kieran Gaffney Musician Little drummer boy: Boy in search of a band to play for in a few years, won't win .
Liam McNally Singer The little lad with the big voice: Sadly should have been sent to voice classes and a choir years ago. As it is, his voice will break and his career beyond BGT will be short and inglorious.Boys and girls like him can be spotted in time and trained if the parents just know where to look.
Janey Cutler Singer The great grandmother with the giant voice. She could get a small following but will be dropped like a hot potato by Syco the moment she is yesterday's news.
Twist and Pulse Dance act The pioneers of Streetomedy. Pioneers of nothing, and yet another of a long string of street dancers who will only flourish in multi act venues and cannot sustain a 90 minute show of their own.
Christopher Stone Singer The singing accountant: He's al right but he won't sell tickets, cd's or singles.
Paul Burling Impressionist The man of a hundred voices.: My pick to win, but judging by my track record, he'll be lucky to get mid table. But I hope I'm wrong. 20 years honing his craft, he deserves respect and he is a genuinely entertaining person.
Connected Singers The boy band of tomorrow: I hate boy bands, but I suppose they may give JLS a run for their money. Even if they don't win they have already won. Would have loved to see them over 12 weeks... Look at all the money you're throwing away Simon.
Tina and Chandi Animal act Best friends, dance partners, soulmates: My personal favourite to charm the crowd and they may get a lot more work in telly now. Good luck Chandi, Another one we would have loved to see for much longer.
Spelbound Gymnasts Gravity defying feats: First to admit I can't do any of that stuff, but there are acts worldwide, some as close as France who are far better and more established that will blow these guys out of the water. They won't get any work in the proper variety circuit until they get much better.
Tobias Mead Dance act The street dancer with the liquid limbs: Lord spare me.... another one who could not sustain an entire show by himself. His career will be limited by the BGT travelling circus this summer then goodbye .
The truly sad thing is that a number of acts that would have benefited from a full normal run over the summer would have been ....
Kevin Cruise, camp cruise singer and all round entertainer, So bad he was good. un like Jedward, he knew was a bit of a joke and consequently brilliant.
Stevie Starr , swallower and Shane Mcgowan of circus freaks, was impossible to take your eyes off him...
Neil Fullard Sinatra channeller and bouncer. Would have been great for the the run and on the back of it go onto Benidorm to entertain the masses there.
Kev Orkian would have done some great stuff given the chance, but we'll never know now.
The Arrangement... Posh Britain's next big thing. I honestly think they will be around far longer than Herr Cowell thinks.
Enjoy the show, Hope for the best but don't be too disappointed if a performer with no need to sing, compose, play an instrument, engage the audience or otherwise be as well rounded as Bruce Forsythe , Ant and Dec or the Pythons wins. At this rate, it looks like the whole genre is dying a deserved death. We can only hope what comes after this will be a lot better.
Back on Monday with the regular post.... Thanks for reading.