I saw Britain’s Got talent for the first time last weekend. I’m not really sure how I’d managed to get through life before that point but somehow I did. It wasn’t by my own choosing that I watched it I hasten to add. It was one of those moments where I was with a group of people and rather than enduring meaningless conversation with each other it was decided that we should watch the Crème de la crème of British talent with hilarious witticisms from the world’s greatest double act ant and dec amidst ingenious put downs from Simon Cowell that would make even Anne Robinson wince.
What unnerved me the most though was the sheer obstinence and indignation of some of the people who were showcased. If you’ve never seen it before – stay strong – they show a clip of the person talking about themselves before they go on to perform in front of the live audiences and judging panel. There were a lot of overly-confident people. I love confident people. I have a lot of respect for people who can defy the critics and obstacles and go on to achieve great things in spite of anything. I am inspired by the stories of successful people who came from nothing and fought their way to the top. As someone who is attempting to harbour such confidence so that I can succeed in achieving what I want to achieve, I find other people’s stories of triumph in the face of adversity encouraging. I believe I have the ability, and so the only thing that is stopping me from achieving world domination is confidence. That’s what I used to believe, until I saw Britain’s Got Talent. Then I saw the other side of the coin (a coin that is obviously rapidly decreasing in terms of economic worth.).
There was one woman in particular who unnerved me. In her pre-performance interview she explained that she was a great and undiscovered singer. She went on to say that she was 100% certain that she could win the whole competition. She hated people who were signed on the basis of their appearance as opposed to their musical ability. “If people can’t sing then they shouldn’t be making music”. So she must be really good right? She has the confidence, the ambition. She talks the talk so surely she must sing the sing? She strides on to the stage and starts telling Simon Cowell how wonderful she is. She seems to have the audience on her side. So, all she needs to do now is sing and they’ll probably terminate the whole competition and make her ambassador for music, yes? … No! She opens her mouth (a good technique to employ if you’re a singer. You can have that nugget of information for free as I’m feeling generous) and then she starts to sing, although I use that word loosely. Immediately the crowd start chanting “off, off, off” and one of the judges buzzes. She shouts at the judge who buzzes and yells at the sound people to start the song again. Normally what happens is that the person continues when a judge buzzes until all three judges buzz and then they must stop. She starts to sing again from the beginning of the song and immediately another judge buzzes. Again, she demands that the song be restarted. The crowd renew their chants of “off, off, off!” and the woman (still seemingly as confident as ever) yells at the crowd to shut up. The song is again restarted and this time she gets through a whole verse of the song and half way through the chorus (sounding dreadful) before the third judge buzzes. She refused to accept the three judges’ criticisms of her singing. She accused the judges of not giving her a chance and then proceeded to blame it on the backing track and the type of microphone. She was still just as adamant of her ability in spite of the judges and the audience’s reaction and unanimous verdict. Suddenly, I started to re-evaluate my whole idea of obtaining success. I had always used other people’s self-confidence as a catalyst to fuel my own and to convince myself that I can prove to others that I am as good as I believe myself to be. But then Britain’s Got Talent changed all that. If the woman had managed to delude herself of her ability (in spite of mass-criticism) then so could I. Maybe I am simply delusional after all. OK, I get a lot of positive feedback about what I do but still, maybe their deluded. Then, before my eye (as only my left eye deems it appropriate to function) more and more people start to appear on the program, possessing oodles of confidence but without the talent to support it. If these people can go through life thinking they have a certain amazing ability and feel they have the confidence to prove it to the world then what does that say about me? I’m nowhere nearly as certain of myself as these people are, and they certainly beat me hands down in the confidence round. And it’s not like these people are a small minority of the population. X Factor is full of such people.
So Britain’s Got Talent was a rather demoralising experience for me. Britain’s Got Talent causes me to re-evaluate my whole life philosophy. If only I could be as clever and witty as Ant and Dec.
Before I go, I’ve got to share this with you. It was something really funny that Simon Cowell said on last week’s Britain’s Got Talent. There was a man who sang Lionel Richie’s ‘Hello’ rather badly and Simon buzzed and then quick as a flash said to the man. “Listen. Tell me, what’s the opposite of hello?” The answer is obviously goodbye and Simon was being really clever because he was literally telling the man goodbye but by taking the song ‘Hello’ and reversing the meaning throwing the song back in the man’s face. Hah! I wish I was as funny as Simon Cowell. In fact, if I had one wish in the world, I’d be a fusion between Ant, Dec and Simon Cowell. Wow! But alas, I’m only me.
P.S. This is kind of linked to the subject. You can download my parody of X Factor winner Leona Lewis’ ‘Bleeding Love’
here. (you see how I cleverly shoehorned that in?)
It’s also available on my
Youtube channel which is rubbish as it just consists of that song and nothing else. Also, being blind, the video is really rubbish consisting of a few pictures cobbled together and pasted in to ‘Movie Maker’. (I really know how to promote myself don’t I?) Perhaps if there’s an amazing animator or video designer reading, they might like to collaborate. We could wallow in the pit of obscurity together. Anyway, I like this version better as I added a few extra expletive beeps which I think makes it sound funnier. I don’t know what that says about my writing but anyway …