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Topic: OT: Trends in Judging Artist (a new low on TV)

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  1. #1
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    OT: Trends in Judging Artist (a new low on TV)

    Last night I watched some of the Dance equivalent of American Idol (yuck) on TV... my daughter danced with one of the shows contestants in her dance company, so of course we wanted to see how he did. (That's my excuse.)

    He did great but the show was just horrid. Even though the dancers were good the behavior of the judges, and especially the "Exec. Prod. Judge", was just totally appalling. A new low in civility in my view.

    If you didn't see it, this guy (and cohorts) made Simon blah-whatever (who's plenty bad enough) seem at least slightly subdued. They just slammed anyone who didn't make the cut like it was some ghastly offense to try and be a dancer and not be (in their judgment) among the very best.

    What a disappointing trend... to watch people getting emotionally slaughtered and humiliated for having made an effort in the arts.

    I'm all for honesty, and I don't think it is particularly kind to lead people on about their apparent abilities. But what is this fascination for watching people get demoralized on TV? Not to mention the message this sends to young people about the value, and nature, of the arts.

    No surprise here on the competitiveness. I'd say, as I’m sure you all know, that the Classical Music field is highly competitive (as is pop).

    A string quartet has little chance of being booked for anybody’s Chamber Music Series if they don't win in France, and the level of piano students that is turned away in even statewide, let alone national, competitions is enough to send a young and talented music major to the history department, no doubt. But whatever happened to the social graces in such things?

    Perhaps it would be a little more understandable if the contestants were self righteous and condescending and such. But these are just seemingly hopeful students of a craft, humbly sticking there necks out there... and getting their heads crushed, as if they had done some egregious act.

    Triple freakin’ sheeesh!!!


  2. #2

    Re: OT: Trends in Judging Artist (a new low on TV)

    Back when I did demos for some really bad singers, I used to think someone needed to tell them to give it up because they didn't have a prayer of making it and they should save their money (not me of course, because I needed them to believe in themselves so they'd keep paying me! )

    But then if I think about it, I never made it as a rock star either, which is what I came to Los Angeles to do. So in the end, it turns out we were all the same, just dreamers. So I hate to see people's hopes crushed. Dreaming I was going to be an NFL quarterback (talk about hopeless!) or a lead guitar player in a mega-rock band was a big part of my life when I was a little guy and I'm glad nobody, or at least not too many bodies, tried to take that away from me, even though they would have been right that I'd never make it.

    Sadly, now there's an incentive (TV ratings) to crush people. I haven't seen the show, but these dancers sound like people who should SHOULD hope for that sort of success. I would much rather my 10-year old son believe whatever he wants rather than be resigned to being a worker drone when he grows up.

    - Mike Greene

  3. #3

    Re: OT: Trends in Judging Artist (a new low on TV)

    Couldn't agree more. Simon-Up-Himself-Cowell really makes my blood boil. He knows nothing at all about music, or talent. He's just been reasonably successful (apparently, although nobody had heard of him until he judged these shows) at marketing some acts, and suddenly he really seems to believe that he can declare night to be day, and day to be night, where talent is concerned. Imagine the effect it must have on a great performer to be told they're garbage just because Simon's having a bit of a hormonal day. I think the whole circus of reality TV - not just talent contests - is the most damaging plague in society.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: OT: Trends in Judging Artist (a new low on TV)

    Quote Originally Posted by Pingu
    Couldn't agree more. Simon-Up-Himself-Cowell really makes my blood boil. He knows nothing at all about music, or talent. He's just been reasonably successful (apparently, although nobody had heard of him until he judged these shows) at marketing some acts, and suddenly he really seems to believe that he can declare night to be day, and day to be night, where talent is concerned. Imagine the effect it must have on a great performer to be told they're garbage just because Simon's having a bit of a hormonal day. I think the whole circus of reality TV - not just talent contests - is the most damaging plague in society.
    Wow, I disagree. I find that Simon is dead-on just about every time. He calls it like it is, and his instincts are excellent.

    What happens is that people don't listen to what he's saying. Most often, when something is a mess, he simply says, "That was a mess." Or, "that sounded like Karaoke." Or, "that was like a bad lounge act."

    And it's true just about every time. In pop music, you can be a lot of things, but you can't be a mess, and you can't be affected in any way remotely lounge-like. That makes you DOA, and Simon is merely pointing that out with consistency--that pretty singing is not the brass ring in all of this. The essence of pop music is total clarity of presentation from every angle, and musical talent ***WHILE A GIVEN*** is simply one aspect of what it takes to construct a successful pop act.

    I get the idea that people really think the music business is about strictly musical talent. It is not, or rather, it is not 100% about that. In fact, once a person lands in the spotlight, those musical aspects simply have to be in place, and it is all of the other aspects that come under strain and scrutiny. It is all the aspects besides the raw musical talent that will determine whether the artist can win a sufficient following to subsidize future musical development on someone's huge cash investment.

    This is how it is. It's ridiculous to label it as bad. American Idol has been FANTASTIC for the music business in general. It is creating jobs for people like us. It is creating offshoot phenomena that employ creative talent. To sit and fume about it is crazy. Jump on board, and ride the wave!!!! Fun work is fun work.

  5. #5

    Re: OT: Trends in Judging Artist (a new low on TV)

    It's what happens when the tabloid culture meets the Survivor phenomenon, and then applied to televised competition. Rating above all else has always been TV studios' motto--except for the rare few surviving on public funding. This is what happens when we don't purge the likes of trashy daytime talkshows with fistfights from our airwaves--it errodes the general integrity of everything else on TV.

  6. #6

    Re: OT: Trends in Judging Artist (a new low on TV)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce A. Richardson
    Wow, I disagree. I find that Simon is dead-on just about every time. He calls it like it is, and his instincts are excellent.
    You must be kidding. Or you don't get the X-Factor. I'd agree with you, that Simon can be spot on when he's got no ulterior motives - or at least he can be spot on about what's marketable.

    But on the X-Factor the judges are also mentors to the acts, and Simon judges only with the survival of his acts in mind. And he's very, very clever at it.

    He's just done a week of celebrity X-Factor. There was a rugby player called Matt Stevens on, who was actually very, very good. He didn't eventually live up to his promise - every act became a little samey - but, at the beginning of the week he was head and shoulders above everyone. Simon realised he couldn't just rubbish the guy, because he was blatantly superb, and just telling him he was crap would have been a very obvious piece of biased judging. So he damned him with faint praise - told him he was OK but a bit tame. This was absolute nonsense, but appearing to give a considered opinion probably swayed a lot of gullible Brits into thinking, "Well maybe he wasn't as good as I thought."

    On the other hand Simon was mentor to the three most hideous acts I have ever heard. I never thought I would hear anything worse than that rendition of 'O Holy Night' that's doing the internet rounds, but the sound of James Hewitt singing, 'It's Cold Outside' made that sound like Elvis. It was like a bagpipe being electrocuted. As were 'The Four Chefs,' Simon's other group. Yet Simon spent all week talking to both acts as though they just had minor things to sort out. Like he told the Chefs that they needed to sing in Italian, because their accents were too thick for English lyrics. If he'd been going for the real problem he'd have said, "All four of you are tone deaf, sound like fingernails on a chalkboard and should be the first act to go."

    And that's what bothers me. The sly dampening of success for some, and avoiding the issue for the others. The effect it must have on someone who is actually very good to be put on a level playing-field with the absolute dross, and discussed as though your performances were similar...

    I may have spoken a bit hastily before. I'm not sure Cowell knows nothing about talent - although I still maintain that there are times he is so far off the mark it's not even funny. But what irks me is when I can tell he's actually bang on the nail, but cunningly tries to swing the voting against the decision he knows should be made. The other two judges are either too dim to see what's going on, or too polite to do the same.

    I wouldn't even mind these tactics - after all it is a game - if it weren't for the fact that Simon sits there and says, "Well this is a talent show, so I've got to judge it purely on talent," which is anything but what he's doing.

  7. #7
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    Re: OT: Trends in Judging Artist (a new low on TV)

    My wife is watching this dance show so I've been catching glimpses of it as I pass from the studio to the kitchen. It is really appauling how the judges are treating the artists. I'm sure the show is designed that way because "hey...it's working for Simon". The sad truth is that it comes off as being intentionally harsh, just for the sake of ratings...if it weren't then they would have exhibited the same behavior last year, which they didn't. I like Simon, because that's who he is...these guys are just being d*cks because Simon made it fashionable. I hope it backfires on them but I'm sure the world is eating it up and learning a whole new vocabulary and ideology of how these people think artists should be treated.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Patthoven's Avatar
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    Cool Re: OT: Trends in Judging Artist (a new low on TV)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jibrish
    " the behavior of the judges, and especially the "Exec. Prod. Judge", was just totally appalling. A new low in civility in my view.[/SIZE]

    "They just slammed anyone who didn't make the cut like it was some ghastly offense to try and be a dancer and not be (in their judgment) among the very best."

    "What a disappointing trend... to watch people getting emotionally slaughtered and humiliated for having made an effort in the arts."

    "I don't think it is particularly kind to lead people on about their apparent abilities. But what is this fascination for watching people get demoralized on TV? Not to mention the message this sends to young people about the value, and nature, of the arts."

    "No surprise here on the competitiveness. I'd say, as I’m sure you all know, that the Classical Music field is highly competitive (as is pop)."

    " whatever happened to the social graces in such things?"

    "Perhaps it would be a little more understandable if the contestants were self righteous and condescending and such. But these are just seemingly hopeful students of a craft, humbly sticking there necks out there... and getting their heads crushed, as if they had done some egregious act.

    Triple freakin’ sheeesh!!!
    I couldn't agree more.....
    Check out the other channels (E,VH1, oxygen, etc.)with aspiring young people such as models, aspiring chefs and a multitude of other arenas. Its a sad reflection on the morally bankrupt nature of "we the people".

    Pop television today, especially on the Major Networks is all about screaming out the message....... " if you can't win here, why should society continue to afford you water and oxygen"..... as in ....dissappear, die, do something , just go away for good OK?

    It's trickled down to a flotsome-like "neauveau trend" that caters to a rather massisve voyeuristic crowd of "better you than me" cheapshot lovers that can't get enough twisted satisfaction in their hopes to witness the evisceration of young people who have balls enough to try to "put it out there".

    Personally, I think its disgusting.

    If you don't think that this type of behavior has anything to do with how people move into a self isolative state of demoralization, despair and rage, your perhaps not very sensitive to the resonance and vibration of an evolving(or devolving) society(for better or for worse).

    Ironically, these dynamics share more than just a "whiff of resemblance" to those that evolved over time with the "young gentlemen" at Columbine High leading up to their day of "infamy". Sound absurd? Study the pathology of those two young people carefully, and it becomes rather apparent that the same kind of "go away,.. you're worthless" attitude was perceived and internalized by both of these young people in the few years and months leading up to the "big event".

    So, I think people that make this kind of "Television", suffer from an unabashed void or sense of themselves in the world.

    You have to be pretty arrogant and shameless to put yourself on the kind of pedestal that these shows afford their hosts and "judges" and then agree to have your role orchestrated as "Castrato Superior" as you meat out the kind of demoralizing evisceration that is found on most every every channel outside of PBS and a few others.

    So, I am happy to watch Animal Planet, the History Channel, PBS, some Discovery Channel and a few others. The rest have whored themselves out so badly, that they can't even see a way to attract a viewing audience without likening themselves to those, who in centuries past, also liked to watch human carnage( just in a physical form I suppose).

    Beside's I'd much rather have my 7 year old daughter watching two Polar Bears "hump in the wild", rather than expose her to the vacuum of soul that constitutes the bulk of the "soul murder" television today.

    Besides all of that.... the music is better on Animal Planet anyway .

  9. #9

    Re: OT: Trends in Judging Artist (a new low on TV)

    Firstly, I guess schadenfreude sells. It has for a long time.

    Secondly, how "good" or "talented" an artist is will be subjective, so don't expect to agree with the judges all the time about what they think... if you did, there'd be no need for judges or voting in the end anyway.

    Thirdly, I have no pity for people whose selfish dreams of fame and fortune are crushed. Unfortunately the media likes to encourage and romanticize these kinds of desires, and they ultimately profit from them, but they are not measures for true greatness or success.
    Sean Patrick Hannifin
    My MP3s | My Melody Generator | my album
    "serious music" ... as if the rest of us are just kidding

  10. #10
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    Re: OT: Trends in Judging Artist (a new low on TV)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce A. Richardson
    This is how it is. It's ridiculous to label it as bad. American Idol has been FANTASTIC for the music business in general. It is creating jobs for people like us. It is creating offshoot phenomena that employ creative talent. To sit and fume about it is crazy. Jump on board, and ride the wave!!!! Fun work is fun work.

    Hey Bruce,


    I have other views. One of substance and the other merely style.

    I think if you use the justification of capital gain, you can excuse almost anything… including pornographers, mercenaries; hired assassins, eggnog cappuccinos and a whole bunch of other really terrible things. It just seems futile to try and settle whether-or-not something is within good taste on the basis of whether-or-not it stirs commerce in a sector of the economy.

    In a more personal way I just really don’t believe that the “sake of commerce” justifies bad behavior in any way.

    There are just so many things that sell very well, but are not good for the individual or society… like tobacco, or even cocaine…

    And in reference to the “type” of show in general, aren’t they just playing on the “car crash” instinct. It’s effective for sure, but that doesn’t make it a good thing. Nor is it a matter of whether or not the “judge” is right about their abilities. What is being disagreed with here, at least on my part, is the method being used to deliver their decrees.

    As far as the Simon guy, and whether you like him outside of these questions, I just don’t… I think he’s kind of a whiney dink… but that’s just me.



    Peace.

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