The video below has been watched nearly 24 million times. I can only speak for here in Britain but Susan Boyle’s success has brought a smile to the face of a good few people at a time when not many people are feeling that cheerful..
Here’s the question Ros asked in his daily e-mail : Do TV talent shows celebrate mediocrity?”
Here’s a reply from WHYS listener Jackie in San Diego..
“What about a different focus–not whether they celebrate mediocrity but what do they celebrate (because it might be argued that they celebrate popularity, or “feel-good”/comforting narratives) and/or are they useful?”
Here’s what Tanya Gold wrote about our reaction to her (Susan, not Jackie) :
“Why are we so shocked when “ugly” women can do things, rather than sitting at home weeping and wishing they were somebody else? Men are allowed to be ugly and talented”.
So while Susan is to get a mention on the Simpsons , and a doll of her is being made, what do we make of the fuss about her, and talent shows in general ?
Are we celebrating genuine excellence – Kelly Clarkson and Paul Potts are talent show winners in the past who’ve gone on to have good careers – or are we rather patronisingly celebrating the plumber-with-a-great-voice, or the call-centre-worker-who-can-dance-quite-well ?