Lately I’ve been fascinated by a new musical reality show “The winner is” where contestants sing six songs to win a million dollars. I watched the first episode purely out of curiosity and found it to be strangely compelling. First of all, there is no feedback from judges. All 101 of them sit up high observing and voting silently. Two people perform and then there are two scores that pop up on the big screen above – one is for one contestant – the other score for the other – but nobody knows which is which. It moves along quickly, part of its appeal. But the most interesting part for me was the fact that they let the contestants choose who they think did a better job – themselves or their competition after the panel of judges vote. If a contestant prefers the other before themselves - they are instantly rewarded with $10,000 and have to leave the show. If they are wrong and were voted with the top score but decide to take the money – they still have to leave the show. It is a wonderful tension. To me it’s pretty clear who wins every time. I have been wrong only once. But what puzzles me – as in any vocal competition is this: why can’t people tell when they are not as talented as someone else? Can’t they hear it? It’s the same on American Idol. People audition when they clearly don’t have it. And then they act so hurt and surprised when the judges are not impressed. What is the difference in their hearing? Is it different from mine? After all – there are not many who can claim great success like Carrie Underwood – an unknown until her entry on the scene several years ago through American Idol. But not everyone can boast of greatness – and that makes for great entertainment.
Ah the tension. The great human factor. Ego. Pride. Inability to hear anything else. It amazes me every time! How strong the desire to be the best, the most talented, the winner. And it continues to baffle me – this need that some people have – to be noticed – to stand out – to showcase.
I guess this is why these shows are so entertaining for the rest of us who would never dream of going on a show like this. It takes guts, desperation and last but not least - hopefully great talent.
I have heard some of that great talent already early on in this new show – and also have really enjoyed “The Voice” this season. I know that we soon will be hearing those voices on the radio!