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Britain's Got Talent 2009


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#1 of 68 Francois Caron

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Posted April 19 2009 - 02:36 PM

I've noticed no one had posted a thread yet, so I figured I might as well start one.

Last week's biggest surprise was Susan Boyle, who floored everyone with her performance of a piece from the musical "Les Misérables". I was especially surprised at how fast her fame had spread around the world.

For anyone who hasn't seen it yet, YouTube - Susan Boyle - Britains Got Talent 2009 Episode 1 - Saturday 11th April

This week, it was the twelve year old boy and the saxophone player who were to me the stars of the show, although probably not at the same caliber as Boyle.

The low points were the three bratty teenage girls who simply didn't understand THEY DIDN'T HAVE ANY TALENT, and every single animal act which were all terrible (and almost set fire to the theatre).

The most outrageous? The male belly dancer. How did he get through, I'll never know.

The most annoying? The guy making farting sounds with his hands. Posted Image

This is just the second episode of the series, and there's always a chance someone might dethrone Boyle as the favourite act. Let's not forget it was a young George Sampson who break-danced his way to victory last year.

Any other opinions?

#2 of 68 Adam Lenhardt

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Posted April 19 2009 - 04:41 PM

Not sure how many people get "Britain's Got Talent" on here. Is it airing anywhere outside the UK? You can usually find BBC programming anywhere, but I don't know if ITV has the same licensing agreements? It's certainly not on my dial.

The Susan Boyle story has definitely penetrated the entire Anglosphere, though.

#3 of 68 PaulHeroy

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Posted April 19 2009 - 05:55 PM

Thanks for posting the Susan Boyle link, Francois. My mom was just telling me about that this evening - neither of us gets or watches BGT, she had heard it on the radio. Pretty stunning.

I do find it amusing though that this comes a year or two after the Paul Potts discovery when they were making similar raves, and listening to them now you'd never guess that.

#4 of 68 Stan

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Posted April 19 2009 - 06:53 PM

There are a few posts about her in the "American Idol" thread, I bumped into the story on MSN's home page, so watched a few videos.

Pretty impressive, and she was amazingly at ease on stage. Apparently she's been singing for a while. Found a recording of her doing "Cry me a River" from 1999. Maybe this will finally launch some type of career for her. May need some wardrobe help and a bit of a makeover, but she could do alright

I get BBC America, but don't think they show this. Seems like a lot of shows from the past few years, but not sure we get much that's really recent. Of course plenty of endless repeats of different Gordon Ramsey shows.
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#5 of 68 Francois Caron

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Posted April 20 2009 - 12:47 AM

Here's the twelve year old kid, Shaheen Jafargholi.

YouTube - Shaheen Jafargholi Amy Winehouse Micheal Jackson - Britains Got Talent 2009 Episode 2 - 18th april

His most likely downfall? Hitting puberty during the competition! It'll be the Peter Brady syndrome all over again! Posted Image

#6 of 68 Jon Martin

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Posted April 20 2009 - 05:29 AM

Isn't it amazing that everyone is talking about Britain's Got Talent, yet its US counterpart, America's Got Talent is the sleazy Jerry Springer hosted / Hasselhoff judged series that isn't that big of a hit.

#7 of 68 Francois Caron

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Posted April 20 2009 - 05:50 AM

America's Got Talent is a cesspool of sleaze, deceit, and just plain nastiness. Even worse, Hasselhoff and Osbourne aren't qualified to properly judge such a competition. And the crowds are incredibly unruly and undisciplined.

The judges of Britain's Got Talent however, (Morgan, Holden, Cowell) are perfectly qualified to judge such a competition. I'm especially proud of Amanda Holden who isn't at all a waterworks factory like her American counterparts. Pierce Morgan is pretty brief and straightforward in his judgments, and Simon Cowell is aggressive and nasty only when absolutely necessary. In fact, he's often much more patient than the audience, who still demonstrate a reasonable amount of restraint even at the worst of times.

The two British backstage Hosts, Ant and Dec, are very good at what they do. They truly help the contestants out the best they can. Even when an act is very, VERY bad, they acknowledge the act is bad, but do not destroy the individual in the process. Much better than Jerry Springer.

The British show is a true class act. The American show is complete rubbish.

A Canadian version of the show would never work. We're simply too polite! Posted Image

Next week's show should be pretty scary. Last Sunday's preview was insinuating that a sword act had gone horribly wrong.

#8 of 68 Paul D G

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Posted April 21 2009 - 08:25 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stan
I get BBC America, but don't think they show this.

For all the great British program(me)s there are BBC America is crap. Today is filled with 3 hours of How Clean is Your House, 3 hours of Last Restaurant Standing, 5 hours of Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares, and a couple of other shows each taking up 2 hour blocks.

I loved it when they aired Top of the Pops, but they only did so for a couple of months then took it off.

The UK version of The Apprentice is light years above the US version, especially the sleaze that is Celebrity Apprentice.

My wife is British and she wishes they'd show more programs that were of actual interest. We both would really like to see things like Britians Got Talent, and, yes, even Eurovision.

#9 of 68 Kevin Hewell

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Posted April 22 2009 - 07:40 AM

Quote:
I loved it when they aired Top of the Pops, but they only did so for a couple of months then took it off.

I don't think Top of the Pops is shown in the UK anymore.

#10 of 68 Bill Cowmeadow

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Posted April 22 2009 - 01:27 PM

Watch TV Shows & Movies Online, News, Reviews & Discussions - SideReel

Has a lot of british programming available, although it's a couple of days after it airs. You have to know the shows exact name for the search function to find the show.

Yes, Britain's Got Talent is a great show, America's got talent is total crap.

#11 of 68 Dave Mack

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Posted April 22 2009 - 03:02 PM

The whole Susan Boyle thing is so contrived IMHO. Make her look as god awful and frumpy as possible, have the judges roll their eyes and snicker and then, yes she sing well. NOT great by a longshot. I work backstage on B'way and hear understudies every thursday afternoon during a show's weekly understudy rehearsal that sing rings around her. Yes, she does sing well, maybe very well but it's not the "phenomenal" talent they are hyping. And if she were pretty it wouldn't even have made the news. Now Simon is saying "she will sell millions of units by the hoildays" or some such nonsense as if he had no clue that she could sing the way she did. Yeah, right..... And how much will Simon net off the record...?

#12 of 68 Adam Lenhardt

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Posted April 22 2009 - 03:51 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Mack
The whole Susan Boyle thing is so contrived IMHO. Make her look as god awful and frumpy as possible, have the judges roll their eyes and snicker and then, yes she sing well. NOT great by a longshot. I work backstage on B'way and hear understudies every thursday afternoon during a show's weekly understudy rehearsal that sing rings around her. Yes, she does sing well, maybe very well but it's not the "phenomenal" talent they are hyping. And if she were pretty it wouldn't even have made the news. Now Simon is saying "she will sell millions of units by the hoildays" or some such nonsense as if he had no clue that she could sing the way she did. Yeah, right..... And how much will Simon net off the record...?
Cynical much? Professionals on Broadway should sing better than an amateur from provincial Scotland. Why is it such a threatening thing that someone who doesn't fit popular culture's image of success acheive something notable?

Yes, she had to have been prescreened and yes, she's going to be a gold mine for Simon Cowell. That doesn't change the extraordinary fact that a completely ordinary middle-aged woman put herself out there in a very personal way and connected with audiences around the world.

#13 of 68 Paul D G

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Posted April 22 2009 - 08:41 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Hewell
I don't think Top of the Pops is shown in the UK anymore.

No, it's gone off the air in the UK. But it was still in production when BBC-A was airing it, albeit a week late.

#14 of 68 lukejosephchung

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Posted April 23 2009 - 09:48 AM

The first time I saw Susan Boyle's performance, it took me a week to pull my jaw off the floor...what a talent she is! And talk about judging books by their covers...Posted Image

#15 of 68 Dave Mack

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Posted April 23 2009 - 04:43 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Lenhardt
Cynical much? Professionals on Broadway should sing better than an amateur from provincial Scotland. Why is it such a threatening thing that someone who doesn't fit popular culture's image of success acheive something notable?

Yes, she had to have been prescreened and yes, she's going to be a gold mine for Simon Cowell. That doesn't change the extraordinary fact that a completely ordinary middle-aged woman put herself out there in a very personal way and connected with audiences around the world.

You really missed my point. I have no issue with her. Just with the way this whole "phenomenon" has been carefully orchestrated. It's just like with that "amateur opera singer" Paul Potts a few years back who also looked kinda funky and came out of nowhere. Then his past started surfacing. With Boyle, first, she is not an amateur. She actually has studied voice and recorded before. And has been trying to make a career for years. She was even on a charity record back in 1999...

Susan Boyle and Paul Potts: Not Quite Out of Nowhere - TIME


"Susan Boyle and Paul Potts: Not Quite Out of Nowhere


The story of Susan Boyle — like that of Paul Potts before her — is, except to the most jaded and curmudgeonly among us, completely irresistible. Fished, seemingly, from the bottom of the troll pond by Britain's Got Talent, these two humble, working-class, physically ill-favored souls were suddenly found to be capable of creating things of astonishing beauty. People reacted as if vast quantities of treasure were discovered in the trunk of a broken-down Hyundai abandoned on their street. It was always there, but nobody had ever bothered to look. Thanks to that grouchy Simon Cowell (and YouTube), the two amateur singers each became overnight sensations, bringing lumps to the throats and surreptitious wiping of the eyes to millions, including the show's judges.

Ugly duckling stories really do not get any better than this. And Britain's Got Talent milked them for all they were worth, cutting away to eye rolls and snickering by the audience and judges before the two wow-inducing performances. (Eye rolls and snickering, of course, can be taped at any time and edited in later, but never mind.) But exactly how untutored and undiscovered were Potts, who went on to win 2007's competition and recently released the CD Passione, and Boyle, who since her performance surfaced last week has become a household name on at least two continents? (See the top 10 songs of 2008.)

Their life stories, as told in countless profiles, are oddly similar. Potts, 39, was raised in a scuzzy part of Bristol, England, we're told, by a bus-driver dad and supermarket-cashier mom. Boyle, 48, was one of nine children whose father worked in a car factory and mother in a typing pool. At school they were both bullied. When he turned up in front of the judges, Potts was a dentally challenged mobile phone salesman, wearing a $50 suit from the supermarket chain Tescos. Boyle, with her gold dress, black hose, white shoes and hedgerow eyebrows, was unemployed and, yes, living alone with her cat, Pebbles. Nobody, the show made clear, had any idea they could sing.

Well, not quite. Luciano Pavarotti, for one, had an idea about Potts. While Potts' hometown, Fishponds, is not an upscale neighborhood, he went to St. Mary's Redcliffe, one of the best non-private schools in Bristol. After he graduated with honors from university, he went on a quiz-cum-talent show hosted by Michael Barrymore and won enough money to take singing classes in Italy. There he performed for Pavarotti.

Upon Potts' return to England, he worked his way through the amateur opera scene. According to the program for a 2003 Bath Opera production of Aida in which he appeared, he had already sung with that company several times and with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. But that same year, he had a nasty bicycle accident. Health difficulties and medical bills took him away from opera and into his job selling phones. (Read "Why American Idol Keeps Soaring.")


Boyle's story is similar but with fewer light notes. Her hardscrabble town was Blackburn in Scotland. She also auditioned for a Barrymore TV show, but didn't make the cut. Yet she took singing lessons and recorded Cry Me a River for a charity CD in 1999, the same year she made a demo tape. An observant Catholic, she often sang at church and on karaoke nights. So her talent was no surprise to her neighbors. "Everyone here knew she could sing," Jackie Russell, manager of the local pub, told the AP. "We were always saying, 'You should go in for talent competitions.'" What held Boyle back was caring for her aging parents. She entered BGT, after her mother died, because she was approached by talent scouts from the show who asked her to enter.

Potts and Boyle are not, in short, two undiscovered singers who never got their shot at fame. Their stories are less telegenic than the one sold by Britain's Got Talent, but much more common. Thousands of singers take their shot and fail, just as these two had..."

So yes, I am cynical. Not about her talent so much, just the ridiculous way this was pushed on an unsuspecting and gullible crowd. And they deliberately made her look as frumpy as possible. My ex used to do little guest fitness and nutrition segments on local and national TV and even for the small ones like Good Day NY, they had hair and makeup people on set so she could look good for TV. This was a HUGE national show and she came out looking like Mickey Dolenz. On purpose. And Simon and the other judges rolled their eyes. On cue.And then looked gobsmacked when GASP! she like thousands and thousands of other hopeful singer, artists out there, could actually sing decently, (And sorry, not amazingly...)
And yes, I work in the biz so I know quite alot about "show business".

The irony once again is if she were attractive, this wouldn't even had a made a bump on the news radar here.... But she's not, so WOW!!!!!

And Simon will make all the $$$$ I mean, good for her, I'm very happy that someone is getting recognized for their talent, but the real issue is the way it's happening here. Why couldn't she get a deal before? It's apparently because of the way she looks which is indeed a shame. But now, the whole thing is almost like a carnival. "Look at the ugly frumpy virgin with the beautiful voice!!!!" It's just nauseating on many levels... She might make a few $ but Simon and the rest of the managers, agents, marketers etc... will really clean up...

#16 of 68 Brandon Conway

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Posted April 23 2009 - 08:12 PM

I agree with you Dave. Jim Emerson had a great write-up about it on his blog expressing the same distaste with the shenanigans: Reality: What a concept - scanners

"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#17 of 68 Francois Caron

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Posted April 23 2009 - 11:39 PM

I'm not interested in being cynical. I'm more interested in being entertained. For me, BGT is simply a very entertaining talent show, nothing more. I don't really care how it's packaged, just as long as it entertains me reasonably well on Sunday nights. And if the background stories of some of the participants aren't entirely accurate, I can live with that. There's only so much of a person's life you can put on the air in less than thirty seconds.

Apparently, there actually has been an accident during the BGT auditions. We might see it this Sunday.

#18 of 68 Holadem

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Posted April 24 2009 - 12:54 AM

Kinda agree with Dave here... I had sent this article to friends last week, but never got a reply. I don't think people like to see healthy skepticism stand in the way of their fairy tales... Posted Image

WHY IS NO ONE SUSPICIOUS OF SUSAN BOYLE? - New York Post

What gets me is the whole "never been kissed" nonsense that news outlets are uncritically and mindlessly repeating like they always do. A woman would have to be hideous to a grotesque degree to go thru much of her life without a kiss. Miss Boyle is certainly no head turner, but she is not a freak of nature either. As a matter of fact, she is rather.... ordinary. And women like her have many suitors throughout their lives. The trouble is that we don't see a lot of ordinary people on TV and in movies so she sticks out like a sore thumb.

--
H

#19 of 68 Dave Mack

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Posted April 24 2009 - 11:43 AM

Hey Guys, sorry if I seemed snippy ot overly cynical.

My POV...

My mom was an opera singer, won a full bright to continue studying in Europe after college. Was progressing up the ranks, singing, even once recording an album overseas. Married my Father and gave it up. My father was an actor on Broadway, TV in the 50's and 60's who later taught acting and voice. His health went and he wound up working backstage on B'way. After his health got to the point where he couldn't really walk well or work anymore, I took over his job which is how I got into working backstage where I have worked for 20+ years as well as freelancing in TV, film.
I also trained classically for voice and was being pushed towards B'way, legit even opera when I gave it up to do rock and roll, (much to the chagrin of my parents...) My sister also trained classically and has performed, recorded and done quite a bit. She has had instances though where she was not given a part because she didn't "look right" for it even though they said she killed the vocal audition. (She is 5'10 and on B'way, many of the male leads aren't much taller and some shorter)

When I was in my old band and doing the whole dance with record companies, showcasing, auditioning, gigging, we were told many times things like, "We love the band, don't like the singer, he should be on B'way with his "look" and "sound" (meaning me) or to me, "We love your voice, the band has to go..." or "We love the band but not the look of the guitar player..." Many variations of these kinda things. Rarely was it about just the "artist" and his "art"... That's why it's "show BUSINESS". So My sis and I have some insight, also with our family background...

In the Susan Boyle instance it's just really sad that she couldn't have gotten further in the past, probably because of her looks. But now they are using THAT as the gimmick, the hook. I mean, why are people SHOCKED that someone who is considered unattractive can sing. Has talent. What does one have to do with the other? The whole eye-rolling and snickering by both the judges and the audience was tacky and quite sad. And if you know anything about TV, stage you know this whole thing was stage managed and orchestrated for maximum effect. There is already a Boyle backlash brewing and it's a shame. She can sing and maybe deserves some acknowledgment for that but not in the freakshow, carnival way they are doing it. She might make a few $ (and good for her) until she is "old news".
Simon will make a killing and emerge unscathed even though his whole, "I really had no idea she could really sing" is total BS as he is one of the show's producers and just getting on air the screening process is huge and very inclusive.

Anyways, good for her that she's getting some recognition. Believe me, it's not easy at all. It's just a shame it has to be done with, "Wow! SHE can sing! SHE has a beautiful voice!"

#20 of 68 Dave Mack

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Posted April 24 2009 - 11:53 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon Conway
I agree with you Dave. Jim Emerson had a great write-up about it on his blog expressing the same distaste with the shenanigans: Reality: What a concept - scanners


Wow, just read that. Very close to what I said.


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