It has been 8 weeks since my last article on the Idols saga.
Please go to http://www.news24.com/user/AngelaMatthews for a recap.
The Top 18 were about to be announced and now we are about to watch the Top 4 show.
Corruption is a major problem is South Africa and it affects all of us.
Everyone complains about how corrupt our government is.
But when a few ordinary citizens try to expose the corruption within Idols we get shot down with arguments like – ‘it’s a TV show, it’s a business, they have to make money’.
This is one of a few comments from Gavin Koppell, Chairman of the SHOUT campaign, on my 2nd article:-
“The fact is, Idols is a television show. It is based on a very successful formula and contestants coming in to the process should really understand this. It is not for the faint hearted and sponsors and the channel are in it because it makes piles of cash. The winner is determind (sic) by our votes and therefore to cry foul is sometime a question of people not voting for whatever reason. Life is tough folks but the music industry, in particular, is a lot rougher and harsher. It does give massive exposure to those that enter but a career is not gauranteed (sic) even for the winner” .
Let’s analyse his comment and let me elaborate.
1. “The fact is Idols is a television show”.
This statement was made by several contestants as well. I read it in a magazine interview with Mark Haze. Chloe Kiley said it, when asked about leaving the show. What do they really mean by this? - That it’s a SHOW, that it is not REAL!
2. “It is based on a very successful formula and contestants coming in to the process should really understand this.”
This Idols formula has become rather predictable.
Gavin should know this though....
The contestants going into the process know NOTHING about what they’re letting themselves in for. The Idols registration is a quick process. Contestants are NEVER given a copy of a contract for future reference. They are sworn to secrecy so they can’t even advise future contestants. How COULD any of them have ANY inkling that once the 'SHOW' has started, M-net and Idols can and will treat them like puppets? How COULD Dominic Neill have understood that he would be a pawn, used for all sorts of hidden agendas? Agendas, which have nothing to do with his singing talent?
3. “ It is not for the faint hearted and sponsors and the channel are in it because it makes piles of cash.
Cash! The crunch of the matter! My previous articles said just that.
Contestants, becomes instant actors....Judges and mentors....seasoned actors. The public are led to believe by the judges that contestants make mistakes with song choices. But they are “persuaded” to sing certain songs and the musical directors and mentors supposedly “guide” them on how to sing them.
Simphiwe singing Bob Marley’s No, Woman, No Cry is a prime example.
What a SET-UP!!!!!
Contestants may even be forced to sing songs that are difficult for them, in the hope that they will make errors.
I gain more respect for every contestant who has ever taken part, with each passing episode. I’ve met some contestants who have been called egotistical and arrogant and they are anything but. I would sue for defamation of character, but they, (the contestants) can’t
- they signed that right away and M-net can say what they like about them.
I have personally witnessed the judges looking down at their I-Pads, reading scripted comments. This tells me a lot about their integrity. Gareth Cliff even had the audacity to tell a fan who dared mention the scripting on twitter to F... off.
I’m not surprised Mara went turned to red bull and vodka!
Is there anyone who doesn’t agree that the sponsors and the channels are in it because they make piles of cash?
4. “The winner is determined (sic) by our votes and therefore to cry foul is sometime a question of people not voting for whatever reason.”
Is it ? Is it really?
There is so much behind the scenes manipulation, that we can never tell the outcome.
The voting system itself is also so flawed...... it’s frightening.
· Virtually impossible to register for online voting – all complaints in this regard on the Idols page and emails to M-net go unanswered.
· Voting rules say 1vote per hour online – It’s actually possible to vote up to about 300 times per hour. We tried it...
Are there systems in place to check this??
· Multiple Mxit profiles allowed which means people can vote as many times as they wish without limit. Does the contestant with the richest fans win?
At least all sim cards for SMS have to be RICA’ed.
· Comments abound all over Facebook about how people outside of SA borders are voting –Is this ONLY online voting and/or smsing via skype? – another question unanswered on the Idols page.
· The voting page was blocked by internet security programmes. This problem was solved when the voting period was over – convenient or not?
· Requests last year for the results to be published were ignored.
M-net lied recently on their page by saying the results have been published every year. We want to see each week’s results. I believe mind games are played by the way they place contestants into the Top 3 and Bottom 3 etc.
· .AND .....what guarantee can M-net, Universal Music and other interested Corporates give us, that they don’t supply all their staff and their families with airtime vouchers and instructions on who to vote for? Far-fetched? - maybe?, but even the advert says - Idols, Anything is Possible.
5. “Life is tough folks but the music industry, in particular, is a lot rougher and harsher.”
So that’s just the way it is – the music industry is rough and harsh – and we as a society must just accept it. But that’s where Idols is so great – it gives UNKNOWN artists a chance – MAYBE!!! I have reason to believe that pre-auditions have happened just about every year. So it’s quite likely that the head-hunting story of Khaya has some truth to it, but he wasn’t the only one!!! Many artists are sent by their agents to attend these pre-auditions which take place before the advertised ones. Those selected at the pre-auditions skip all the way to the auditions before the TV judges. If it’s a way of finding good talent, fine – just don’t lead me to believe that the person possibly slept on a pavement for hours in order to audition.
Favouritism with regard to media exposure for Khaya has however been glaringly obvious. I would like to know why radio stations and newspapers seem to be puppets pulled by M-net’s strings as well. Isn’t our media supposed to be independent and free? – I find this trend very dangerous. Will any media have the guts to take this story further - probably not - they won’t expose the corruption because they can’t afford to lose the advertising revenue from M-net. We have a problem!!!
6. “It does give massive exposure to those that enter but a career is not gauranteed (sic) even for the winner”.
Massive exposure!! – yes, and it can all be negative – for example Dominic (there have been others). What gives M-net the right to treat this young man the way they did? (Oh yes, the elusive contract)
I pray that Dominic’s positive spirit was not totally broken by this experience. Some fans were so outraged about his treatment that they wrote articles purely in his defence - http://www.channel24.co.za/TV/FeaturedArticle/Team-Dominic-all-the-way-20120827 .
Let’s not forget their treatment of many wooden mic contenders that bordered on abuse.
The winners get a record deal and are very lucky if their first albums succeed. Good managers to market them after Idols are essential
It’s not an easy road, but some like Elvis Blue are proving that it can be done.
What happens to the rest?
When they should be building on the massive exposure given, they are restricted by their contracts.They can do NOTHING without M-net’s permission. M-net keeps them on hold for a year and if they prove to be really in demand, Universal have first option to offer them a record deal.
Other labels have to wait a year to sign any finalist and by then most have been forgotten.
Surely part of the process should be to teach these young artists about this “rough and harsh music industry” and to guide them – they are precious commodities in our country. M-net cares? - not about Idols contestants – they get used and tossed away !!!!!
Dear Gavin Koppell, and everyone else who tells us we don’t understand Reality TV and/or how business works :-
– must we as the ordinary voting citizens of South Africa accept this kind of behaviour from a Corporate just because this is business?
If your answer is yes, then I don’t understand what SHOUT is about – why don’t we just accept all the corruption in the government and crime in the country? – it’s all just politics. Right?
Or Mr Koppell do you prefer to just turn a blind eye to what’s really going on in Idols because you happen to have a family member who is involved ?
Please – Let’s all SHOUT at corruption in all forms
Good luck to the Top 4 !!!
Please also read this very interesting article about Reality TV in general.
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