Opinion: Do Musicians Who Turn Reality TV Judges Lose Credibility?
I hate reality TV; let’s get that out of the way now. This will be my most biased article on Rockhaq because this was always going to be an attack. The thing I hate the most about these shows isn’t how it gives people a free ride or how it’s killing the brain cells of about six million people weekly or that it all lines Simon Cowell’s pockets. It’s how they take a musician, an artist and turn them into some cult of personality freak show that the red banner papers can’t get enough of.
Tom Jones, Danny O’Donoghue, Jessie J, Will.i.am, Tulisa, Cheryl Cole. To be fair most of those didn’t have much credibility anyway but Tom Jones is a legend who’s been one of the few rocks in the music business and now he’s helping people cheat their way into that business. Tulisa who was an underground RnB star for years, preferred to throw away the group that made her career and judge X Factor. There’s no morals in musicians these days, it’s all about doing whatever you can to stay in the limelight, which is one of the main reasons I stick with alternative music and underground rap where the genre and the business is still pure.
But the main example is Cheryl Cole. She’s like some sort of paradox. Her group Girls Aloud shot to fame after winning Popstars, she enjoyed a steady career with the group then lost all her credibility by being a judge for X-Factor. Notice how she went from being a credible musician to jail bait for red banner newspapers who only care about her personal life (She should take a restraining order out against The Sun). She was made by The X Factor which helped her launch her solo career and put her in the limelight but then had it robbed away because she wasn’t wanted for the US X Factor. A year later and she’s still having a tantrum and has barely been seen in public (not exactly a bad thing…).
That’s the other thing I hate. The musician who has thrown their career out the window in terms of the credibility of their music, but they just get bigger because of the programme. Tulisa (helped along by a certain, ahem, tape) is massive in this country at the minute all because of The X Factor and Danny O’Donoghue is steadily gaining fainting “fans” because of The Voice UK.
There is nothing good about these shows. I can hear some of you arguing “But without these shows we wouldn’t have world-selling acts like Leona Lewis or Alexandra Burke”. My argument: If they were really any good they would have been discovered years ago which explains why so many of the past winners have disappeared. It’s because they’re not up to the music industry standard; they’re some randomer from Liverpool who was voted to stardom by crazy fan girls and old people that think he “has a kind face”.
This is now beginning to infect the alternative music scene. The Red Bull Jam is a competition done over the internet where fans are asked by bands to vote for them. The top voted then play a gig which is judged by actual musicians from the scene and the winner gets a label contract. Sound familiar? No effort for big rewards isn’t worth having and in a music scene where the fans and bands constantly scrutinise each other your band will just be the band that cheated their way to fame.
I know this article could be quite controversial. What do you think? Are these talent shows/reality TV things a good thing? Do the musicians that get involved in it have any credibility? Leave your comments below and we’ll discuss.