I despise most (if not all) of the so-called “reality” TV. This may seem like an odd position for me to take , since I work at a Fox TV station and American Idol is our bread and butter. I made a good friend while I was at the University of Cambridge, who put it this way; ‘Look at the TV, then look away…THAT’S bloody reality!’ It seemed to have so much more effect and resonance coming from Greg and his thick Australian accent.
Despite my objections, “reality” TV has taken off and people seem to love it. There are so many shows with so many fans, reflecting different segments of society. However almost every show ends the same way. The attractive (or moderately attractive) person with an over-inflated story of making it out of nothing wins. America rallies behind the attractive people, boos the homely characters. I’d like to think this is nothing like real life, but so often we (myself included) still judge people by their looks. Tonight I was sent a clip that makes me feel very humbled. It’s from the British version of American Idol, called Britain’s Got Talent. Here’s the best version I’ve found on YouTube:
All I can say after watching that is, “Wow.” I think anyone watching this will think twice about our own prejudices and preconceived ideas about people based on their appearance, age or socioeconomic condition. I will be watching for more from Susan Boyle, because she proves what true beauty is all about. I think the most telling moments are in the reaction from the judges. Not what they said, but what they didn’t say. It was the expressions. Absolute shock. I think I had the same expression on my face when I watched. I everyone who watches it has the same expression.