Reality Musicians or Studio Pop Tarts?

I know a vast number of people who will not watch reality shows such as Idols or X Factor, and this article is my reasoning as to why I think those people should give these shows a fair chance.

In a day and age where the technical capabilities of a recording studio are far beyond what anyone in the 60’s, 70’s or even the 80’s could imagine, there are an abundant amount of so-called artists selling thousands of albums; have thousands of fans who, excuse the pun, sing their praises and believe that they are truly phenomenal.

Then you hear your favourite artist is touring; you buy tickets for the show and you cannot contain your excitement.  Time drags, your pocket is stretched from the price of that ticket but finally, the moment arrives, you’re screaming and jumping and then the singing starts and you wonder where the “cat being murdered” noise is coming from?  Yes, that is how they sound before the technology wizards have altered their vocal chords.

This is where a show like Idols deserves credit; these are what I consider true artists.  These talented singers, not the warbling monsters who get voted in for the Wooden Mic, stand in front of some of the most judgemental people, and I am not talking about the Judges either, I am talking about the viewers.  The harshest critics who think they are musical gods and goddesses and in a way they are; they are the important factor, they are the ones relied upon to spend their money keeping the real talent in the competition.

Many people refuse to watch Idols for many reasons – they don’t like reality TV, they believe the show is fixed, and they don’t like pop music.

While I can’t assist you in the first two, but the last excuse has long since been banished.  Voices of rock angels include Chris Daughtry, Adam Lambert, Jason Hartman and in this season of SA Idols, Mark Haze.  All rock singers, all belting out massive notes and giving the usual pop drivellers a run for their money.  Rock is glamorous, it’s rebellious and it ROCKS!

I have also heard the lame excuse that the singers who enter Idols are washed out performers who couldn’t cut it in the real music world.  To be honest, I sort of agree, but the reason they couldn’t cut it is because we live in the digital age where download supersedes buying an album, where illegally downloading supersedes purchasing the song, and where self proclaimed lovers of music choose to support these annoying pop tartlets who wouldn’t know a real song if it hit them in their disfunctioning vocal chords.

Idols is an opportunity for artists to make a name for themselves; yes a lot of them disappear after their 5 minutes of fame are up, but the genuine artists who are there for the love and passion of music are given the chance to do great things after the show ends and the hype around the new season starts.

In many cases it is never the winner who claims the fame; it is the runner up or one of the contestants that made the top ten that goes on to achieve super stardom.  I believe,  but don’t have proof, that this is a clever tactic by the producers or the record label; they do everything in their power to make the audience dislike the extremely talented one, bad backup music / singers, bad lighting, bad wardrobe, then they offer that contestant a record deal on the side once he / she has been voted off, one of the more mediocre contestants goes on to win and viola – you have two money making machines on your label.

In any event, for whatever reason you choose not watch Idols, give it a chance, just once, but watch the whole thing (even the parts where you cringing in your socks because it is so cheesy) and then if you still hate it, I will always feel like I played a small part in getting you to do something you didn’t want to for an hour.

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Angi Baleta
I am passionate about SA, writing and music. Love Rugby, Sharks Gal. Dream of travelling all the time. Paralegal by day..
Angi Baleta

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  • Joe Diedericks

    I agree with you on your point of view that we are hearing “true” voices during these competitions.

    Where there might a hint of talent in some of the voices the problem is that the main concept fails when it comes to the aftercare and management of the “artist”.

    I have to disagree with the fact that you mentioned Jason Hartman to the likes of Daughtry and Lambert. He simply isn’t in the same league vocally and performance wise he isn’t even on the map.

    This is a fundamental problem with most SA performers… they don’t perform

  • Fair point re: Jason, but do you not think that it is because the SA music management of the stars is the reason they aren’t up there with the bigger American names?

  • Donavan Morris

    The genre thing goes a long way. I mean, if they ever aired a South African version of Rockstar Supernova, I’d tune in. But the few names dropped here for the rock community are the vast minority of contestants and absolutely not the main focus of the shows.

  • I agree with that comment, but the amount of rockers entering shows like Idols are becoming more and more common. And they do take a lot of the attention because they are different to what viewers are expecting.