From the St. Pete Times:
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More talent shows are coming, including a revival of Star Search. But are these programs discovering talent or serving as cheap knockoffs?
By ERIC DEGGANS, Times TV Critic, © St. Petersburg Times
November 25, 2002
Like many longtime musicians, Jimmy James has a talent for cutting to the chase when he has to.
The topic at hand: the rising tide of American Idol-style talent contests coming to TV next year, likely inspired by the blockbuster success of Fox's teen-oriented singing competition.
As the longtime guitarist for '80s popsters Tommy Tutone (867-5309), James has been around the music block a time or two. We met last Monday, when the rocker joined local entertainment industry types to judge WQYK-FM's end of USA Network's Nashville Star talent contest.
I had to ask: As a professional with more than 20 years in the biz, doesn't it burn his cookies to see shows like Idol make superstars of kids with barely enough experience to turn the microphone on?
"When you're a kid, people tell you you've got to practice and work hard to succeed, but once you get up the ladder a little bit, you realize that's not what it's all about," said James, entertainment director at Stumps Supper Club in Tampa. (He still plays the occasional Tutone gig.)
"Today . . . people want to be entertained," he added, noting that the local winner, 34-year-old Clearwater singer/songwriter Michael Graves, lit up the room with a spirited cover of King of the Road. "They're not looking for artistry. I had to learn that the hard way."
He does have a point.
There are probably hundreds of people out there far more talented than the likes of Justin Guarini and probably millions more talented than Nikki McKibbin.
They had the gumption to try out for the show though.
It must be disheartening for people trying to break into the business see people who are fairly mediocre gain fame and fortune because of a tv show.
I guess it's no worse than being a talented female singer/songwriter struggling for recognition while the likes of Britney (I need a Silkwood shower at the very mention of her name) make millions of dollars without one iota of talent.
Oh well, such is life.
On the flip side of that coin, shows like this provide a path to getting seen and signed, where that path might never have been offered without it.
So much of a recording contract is being "discovered" by the right people in the right place - it's almost like the chance of being struck by lightning. This helps even the odds a little, I think.
Originally posted by fluff
(I need a Silkwood shower at the very mention of her name)
What a disturbing visual.
I actually agree with that too John.
I guess I can see the argument from both sides.
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