How Not To Audition

For those who didn’t catch it yesterday on ITV (in the UK), here’s the closing audition on this week’s The X-Factor. Text book stuff, trust me.

Now, there’s plenty of ground to be made on commenting on whether the voyeurism of this kind of TV is healthy. I have to admit that I love and hate this kind of car crash TV. I do enjoy shows like X-Factor because on the whole I like to be entertained by people who can entertain. At the same time, the producers deliberately put together the good and the downright terrible so we can be awed by the talent and horrified by the utterly untalented.

No, plenty of people write blog posts about this kind of stuff, but I’m more interested in a more fundamental question – why do girls like Abbie and Lisa audition for shows like the X-Factor? Don’t they realise that they can’t sing? I’m not asking that in a kind of “Don’t they realise how stupid they look” kind of way, rather I’m really curious how people who blatantly can’t sing think that they can.

Let me put this another way. I think that I have a pretty good voice – that’s not vanity, that’s just be honest about one of the gifts God has given me. At the same time, when I listen to the likes of Leona Lewis or Rhydian Roberts, I know very clearly that I definitely don’t have a *great* voice. For this reason, despite my wife thinking I have a wonderful tone, I would never for a moment enter a contest like the X-Factor because I know that I’m just not good enough to win. So it amazes me when people who don’t have an even vaguely good voice line up in their droves to audition. Obviously there are those who can sing and think they might be in with a slight chance, but just aren’t quite good enough. There are also those who do it just for a laugh – they know they’re not going to get through and they don’t mind the judge’s scorn, they just want their five minutes of fame. No, I get that, but what I don’t get is those people who cannot sing, are tone deaf and yet seem to be horrified when the judges think they’re not God’s gift to the pop world.

Someone please explain it to me, this delusion that grips thousands of people every year. Thank you.

6 Comments on “How Not To Audition

    • I wonder whether we have raised generations of people who have little or no self-awareness or concept of their position within the meta-narrative, largely because we have obliterated the meta-narrative. People today don't have any real answer to the question "Why I am me" and therefore try to create (or achieve) a persona to answer the question.

  1. At first I thought their incoherent blabber when they were on stage was nerves, but it seems to be the case they actually were clueless as to why they were there.

    The audience were booing before the "shut up" – OK, it was only some, but don't they have the same arrogant attitude? They came to be entertained by the X-factor, which is a singing contest. They came to the auditions, which is so popular because "we can be awed by the talent and horrified by the utterly untalented." Booing bad singing is more reasonable – it's telling the singers that they don't deserve to go further in the contest. Booing interviewees who aren't giving you what you want (like answers), but still making you laugh (at them) and entertaining you is more rude than telling a hostile audience to "shut up".

  2. The meta-narrative these people have grown up with is "you can be whatever you want to be." It is all around – in films, on TV, sometimes even at school. Sorry guys, you can't.

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