Everybody just calm down!
For anybody out there who thinks a theatre is where gall bladders are removed, I should inform you that the Da Vinci-like 'Westendproducer' managed to make his Twitter based 'Search for a Twitter Star' into a raging success, in spite of a lack of a major TV channels and billionaire Lords to market it, and it seems to have tipped the stage-watching world over some kind of cliff and into critical free fall.
Poor ALW was already onto a hiding to nothing, what with everybody in the world damning Superstar before it had even pulled up its man-nappy and gargled its way through warm up, but the stupendous array of undiscovered talent at the Lyric was, it seems, enough to make us all blow big fat raspberries at ITV and turn the kind of cheek that big fat raspberry blowing was originally designed for.
I shall not follow the crowd on this one. It's far too easy, and lazy, to grab the ankles of the likes of Jim Shelley at the Mirror as he, and every single other newspaper 'opinionist' from the Times to the Metro, rattles past on their cozy little band wagon of Superstar derision.
I shall, as ever, walk my own path. It usually starts off in the opposite direction as everyone else, but that's what I'm here for- we can all 'copy and paste'.
Ok, so Superstar looked like it was shot over three wet weekends on a mud flat in the Thames Estuary. That's because it was.
Ok, so there were moments when I had to check that the judges comments weren't scripted by Armando Iannucci, but at least we got to discover, on very good authority, that Jesus was a very focused ginger haired man.
Yes, I get it! There were many bad things about this new reality show but there were also a few things that we should all take some solace from before we decide to ignore the rip chord and let yet another crappy talent show slam into the dust like a sumo wrestler's back fat.
Let's look at the evidence so far.
Firstly, we haven't been subjected to weeks and weeks of really bad singers and bored, angry judges having to break the hearts of delusional deaf people. Alright, there were a few howling wolves in the clips as a Bez lookalike nearly turned his own head inside out and the human version of Orville the duck showed us all that Keith Harris really is the talent in that act. Not to mention the predictable tension that straddled a commercial break as the Rock Tenors were split up, but it was all done and dusted in two shows. Two little shows and we're almost ready for some live singing- makes a change eh? We just need to get back from that billionaires playground, Mallorca (or is it Faliraki, or Ayia Napa?) where the last of the whittling will take place.
Secondly, what kind of singing will we be presented with?
Is there a Jedward or a Vietnamese psychopath in a Tina Turner wig in these 'finals'? No there isn't.
What we are being so neatly steered towards, in a very short time, is a set of accomplished performers competing at a very high level. You won't find that on your average talent show tick list.
And just who are these people that we already know will be up for live week-night crucifixion?
Well, some are known to theatre-goers already and some aren't.
There are egos, of course, Nathan James has one so big he considers playing Jesus to be a step down in status and he's getting a lot of flack for it, but let's not forget what we're dealing with.
These aren't shelf-stacking poppets dancing on the end of some producer's strings to the beat of manufactured tension in the name of ratings, in spite of the format's best attempts to make them so.
These are people who need the confidence to get out there and sing so hard they have to look up to the gods for fear of sonic circumcision.
If Nathan didn't have the self belief he has then he wouldn't be the singer he is. I'm not saying it's for everybody and there are some very successful performers out there that are so nice you just want to give them a hug and a hob-nob, but Nathan does what he has to do to be what he is and he shouldn't' be lambasted for having the drive to succeed in an industry that requires steel gonads just to sweep the stage.
We need to see past the rubbish. All that 'Apprentice-like' nonsense about making a pop video in ankle-deep sewerage may have been laughably bad but it wasn't the meat of the show, it was just a bit of garnish to some genuine nerves and no small amount of bared souls. ALW can pretend to slam his furious fists down on his little trestle table with all the might of a miffed macaroon but it won't distract those of us who want to see a decent performer get a decent job for a change from the reality of this reality tv show.
We have talent before us and a role that most can fulfill to some extent, and we're soon going to be able to vote and watch as they battle it out EVERY NIGHT like vocal gladiators in our TV arena. The Producers can nail them to a cross, feed them with only five loaves and a box of fish fingers, and make them learn the words to 'Always look on the bright side of life', but it won't change the fact that they- unlike any other set of live talent show finalists before them, are all really quite talented performers.
It's a miracle!!!!!
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