The anticipation is killing me. In just a few more days, the nation will join together in force to laugh, joke, sing, dance and be merry. There will be ladies, gentlemen, children, cats and dogs, Nannys and Grandpas all preparing for that big event that will be screened to the masses. Some are for it, some against but we will all have heard about it.
Britain’s Got Talent. Of course! Back on our screens and better than ever, BGT provides the platform for Brits – young and old – to grace the stage, perform their ‘talent’ and be judged through to Boot Camp or back to reality. Every year we are surprised, shocked, impressed and miffed by some of the acts. The tear-jerking stories of a one-eyed, three-legged dog dancing whilst holding an umbrella tend to steal the show, somewhat, but through the gimmick and dramatisation, a small amount of humbleness can be felt for our Great Britannia and its people.
My favourite from last week’s show was a young guy who sang Tracy Chapman’s Fast Car, dressed in his ‘sherbert lounge wear’ and looking as if we was about to go on a long haul flight ‘on Easy Jet’ – as one judge so eloquently put it. But after the preconceptions and first impressions had settled, he opened his mouth to reveal true talent and unassuming modesty.
The boom of judging and panel shows that appears on television now is phenomenal. X-Factor, BGT, America/Britain’s Next Top Model, So You Think You Can Dance are just a few. And then there are the mocumentary style shows, TOWIE and My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, further examples of spectacle that allow us, the British nobody, to judge and stereotype to the high-heavens.
I went for a job interview this morning for a temporary admin role at University and was confronted with a panel of three ladies with clip-boards judging every word I said, what I was wearing, how I spoke, how long I paused after hearing the question… Although I got good feedback from the interview, the concern over how one is judged still affects performance and confidence.
I’m procrastinating hugely from Nineteenth Century working class fiction and a dissertation that needs writing but I thought I’d leave you with one thing. Steven Hall is a 53 year old Telecommunications Engineer and in the build-up to his act, I think you’ll agree that we all judge him wrong. The grey suit might, but those hips of Steven Hall’s do not lie.