I am so completely awash with thoughts as I start this post that finding a jumping-of point is gluing my fingers to my keyboard as my brain attempts to sort out a beginning, a middle and an end.
Ah … screw it … Dive, dive …
First, an admission: I have never seen an “Idol” show. Not since Arthur Godfrey’s Amateur Hour have I watched hopeful performers set themselves up on television to take the hits that standing metaphorically naked in front of the world can bring. I know who Simon Cowell is only because I own the Shrek DVD that has him as a special feature, but have no idea who others are who sit in judgement.
Postings on facebook today included many people linking to a vid from a program called “Britains Got Talent” … is there supposed to be an apostrophe there somewhere? … that shows a woman singing.
The “hook” here seems to be that she’s not a babe. Susan Boyle is a 47-year-old rather plain looking person from Scotland who has obviously managed to avoid being styled. She has bushy eyebrows, a double chin and a bit of extra weight under her matronly dress. Her hair is thinning, her accent billboards her roots, and her manner, although confident enough considering the cameras and the crowd, hints of self-deprication.
Since this is a program featuring talent, not a beauty pageant, I am having a hard time understanding why eyes are rolling in the audience and judges barely cover smirks as she introduces herself … much less the stunned reaction when she opens her mouth and belts out a perfect version of the difficult “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miserables.
Since when did someone have to look pretty … in some canned-for-mass- consumption sort of way … to sing beautifully?
Since the advent of music vids, perhaps? Are we no longer able to hear the magic without seeing the performer, and the explanation of just exactly what it is we’re listening to?
Many are referring to this moment in British TV as inspirational. Why? Because a dowdy lass of some years can sing?
Sorry, but I just find the shock and awe of it all disturbing.
Congratulations, Susan Boyle. You were beautiful before you opened your mouth.