29 March 2012

Britain's Got Talent has done it again. Also, Simon Cowell is a toad.

They've found another surprise talent.

As was the case in previous years, they have a viral sensation on their hands.  Jonathan Antoine is another not particularly physically attractive person who can sing quite well, very well indeed. However, so can the pretty Charlotte Jaconelli.  It is unfortunate that the camera and the sound mixer force her into the deep background, for her talent deserves better treatment.  Simon Cowell's comment that she might be holding him back is flat wrong, and rather evil.  Anyone can see from the opening of the video, where she is just brimming with confidence while Jonathan hovers shyly in the background, that she is not holding him back.  She is holding him up.  And, for a young man, Jonathan has the class to recognize that fact, though her comment to Jonathan at the end of the video shows that Simon's words have taken root.  Even beyond his considerable talent, I applaud Jonathan for being a class act.

The surprise that is seen in this video is the sort of thing that tends to win these types of shows, and it is unfortunately something that is completely lacking from Canada's Got Talent.  It is not always the greatest talent, but usually the greatest narrative that takes the laurel.  We see the winners, or the people who tend to have some longevity after the show, are the people who have a good story, or those who are not merely good, but good for... something.  Paul Potts was good for a short homely fat phone salesman with broken teeth.  Susan Boyle was good for a forty something homely woman with do nothing hair and caterpillar eyebrows.  Jackie Evancho was good for an eleven year old.  And so on.  It doesn't last, usually.  Who today listens to Paul Potts? Cleaned up and in a good suit, he is a solid mid level performer. It is no surprise, now, that he can sing a little.  Charlotte's talent is greater, I believe, than the judges give her credit for.  It's just that it is unsurprising.  Coming out, she is a pretty girl, confident and forward, answering all questions, while he looks uncertain, rather as if he would rather be somewhere, anywhere, else. The viewer expects her to be the talented one, and he is to be her backup.  Instead, she merely meets expectations, while he surpasses them- simply because you had none for him.  That is a large part of the reason why so much attention is focused on Jonathan:  He makes the better story.  Another Paul Potts or Susan Boyle.  The unexpected talent.

It is a new version of the old Horatio Alger/Ragged Dick story. The rags to riches story. The story that anyone, through dint of their own hard work, the use of their own talents, can make it big. I suppose that in economic times such as these, these stories are more popular than ever, and perhaps more necessary. It gives people hope to watch, and to feel, if only vicariously, the possibility that dreams can and sometimes do come true.

Addendum:  What in the name of all that is holy is Carmen Electra doing as a judge on a talent show? What, pray tell, is her talent? Besides looking hawt? While I admit people, particularly women, can go quite far simply by virtue (if that is the appropriate term) of being smokin', I do not believe that should qualify someone to sit in judgement over another's more tangible talents.

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