Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Britain's Got Talent...my verdict

I have to confess that this year was the first that I have watched Britain's Got Talent. I watched the first episode and like so many others, I got sucked into the Susan Boyle story and continued watching.

Now I'm quite cynical and I understand how this sort of programme works. The emphasis on back stories to arouse sympathy, the judicious editing, the hyping up of the 'chosen ones' are integral to any Simon Cowell vehicle. And we, as the audience, like to turn things on their head with our vote.

Don't get me wrong, I'm really glad Diversity won. I didn't actually vote, but if I had it would have been for them. They were fantastic on the night and over the series came up with three polished, witty performances. What's more, they all seem like nice, educated lads who can overturn prejudices about street culture and I hope they have a great future ahead of them.

But I felt exceptionally uncomfortable about the semi-finals and final. I felt I was being manipulated. I didn't like seeing young children in distress on live TV. And I didn't like seeing what the media has done to Susan Boyle.

Whilst I realise that nobody could have predicted the YouTube, Facebook and Twitter phenomena, the production team must have known that she had learning difficulties. It is possible that her intellectual and emotional functioning level is not much higher than that of the distraught 10 and 11 year olds who left the stage in tears. Along with learning difficulties often come mental health issues such as anger, anxiety and depression, caused by trying to cope with a world which is incomprehensibly not black and white. Somebody should have understood this and put expert support in place.

Hopefully whilst in The Priory, Susan will be helped to come to terms with what has happened to her over the last couple of months. Then I hope she will be nurtured and allowed to develop without being made into a freak show. If nothing else she deserves that.


Casdok said...

Yes i to hope Susan keeps the right support - something she sould of had earlier.

Unknown said...

Ditto what you said.

DJ Kirkby said...

I agree with everything in your post except I wanted Stavros Flatley to win. x

Cathy said...

Stavros Flatley were great too, DJ. One of those acts which could have been terrible but was actually very funny :)


BooksPlease said...

I didn't vote either but am glad that Diversity won. I thought Susan was very good and I felt very sorry at how it has turned out for her. But I also felt really bad about little Hollie Steel - that semi-final was just terrible for her!

Cathy said...

I agree what happened to Hollie was horrible and very uncomfortable viewing. I was surprised her mother let her go on again.

Sue Guiney said...

This was the first time I ever watched this series and it was compelling, I have to say. But i absolutely agree with everything you said. It can be a dangerous game they're playing.