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November 16, 2005

Defending Idol

I have to defend Australian Idol from some ridiculous statements about its failure to rate on TV. I have read repeated statements, when reporting the poor ratings for this series of Idol, attributing its performance to the "end of the talent pool" or similar. This is utter crap.

If there is a shortage of talent showing up on the show (I dispute that, too) it's because of the ridiculous way they screen the talent at the start, which makes for entertaining TV (in a lowest-common-denominator sort of way) but for awful talent selection.

Most of the best available talent has more important things to do than hang around all day waiting to audition for a one-in-million TV show. They're out working on their preformance and improving themeselves - something this show does not give them! Therefore, a lot of the "talent pool" is ruled out at the very start.

The other factor that's ignored is the unrealistic expectation that people who've never been near this level of performance before can just develop and provide in it insuch a short time - and that the ones who do have anything else to offer. That assumption is completely demeaning to every artist who has spent their lives developing their art and improving their performance. It's a full-time job and not one that can be learned in the duration of an Australian Idol season. Please give credit where it's due ...

If there is a rating slump on this season, it's because a lot of people don't want to watch the same thing twice. I ignored the first series because I thought the concept was obscene, tuned in to the second because a lot of people told me it was interesting and ignored the third (current) one because I don;t have time to watch it all over again.

Of course, there's a proportion of people who will watch it, because they enjoy it, and they care about the talent on display. As Channel 10 have said, 1.2 million viewers is pretty good going for a Monday night and well worth doing again. So let's, perhaps, ask for a re-jig of the formula for screening (my own X-Factor experience was enlightening) and leave the talent alone. They're doing their best and there's plenty more where thay came from.

Posted by Huge at November 16, 2005 11:07 AM

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