Wow – what a response to my article, South African Idols – Glam, Sham or Scam? Idols fans are certainly a passionate lot. I am quite surprised about the outcry that my article has caused as it was purely from my perspective. I have been inundated with messages; people wanting to tell their stories, others with their very own theories.
All of which has led me to believe that Idols is indeed a SCAM.
Unfortunately the ugly race issue reared its head again! 'Of course it’s not about race' some said: “It’s about talent”.
I’ve spoken to some interesting people and received information from various sources, all giving me the same data. My conclusion? - Idols is not about talent at all.
It’s also not about one race groups' 'preferential treatment over another. No! It’s about the money!
It's about the Cell Companies, making a mint out of our votes!
It’s about Mnet pacifying their sponsors.
That is what it is all about! MONEY!
Let me take you through the Idols process.... You, the reader, decide for yourself.... Is it glam, sham or scam?
1. Thousands of hopeful musicians turn up on Audition day, many having slept on pavements in order to get a good place in the queue to audition before the judges. Myth! - They will NOT appear before the TV judges.
2. Contestants are put into groups of 10 to audition in front of an independent “judge” - who could be a music teacher, a singer or similar. Only 1 or 2 of the 10 will go through to the next round.
They will choose someone who is either very good or very bad. So... If 4 very good contestants land up in one group, tough ... only 1 or 2 will go through.
3. The next round of auditions are held 1 or 2 days later. When the contestant walks into the audition room, he/she receives quite a shock….the TV judges are STILL NOT there. The producers, directors and the entire Idols camera crew await his/her arrival!
4. This audition drags on, as the contestant has to answer many questions. His/her life, interests etc. are put under a microscope. Last but not least, he/she performs.
The producers inform the contestant that they will be in touch to advise whether he/she will audition before the TV judges. This only happens 2 weeks later.
Now why would that be? This is the opinion of those I spoke to :-
The producers and directors spend the 2 weeks going over the footage they have.
They decide who looks good on camera, who has an interesting story to tell and who they think the actual finalists could be. It's All about putting on a really good TV show. They need girls and boys, from different race groups, different genres, versatility and very importantly interesting characters.
5. At the audition before the TV judges - those I spoke to said they believed the judges' comments are scripted. That they have to say what the producers tell them to say, including whether it’s a Yes or a No to Sun City.
6. Now we all have seen on the TV show the person sitting at the door who hurriedly writes the contestants number onto the Golden ticket. Well one former contestant said the Koki ink on his Golden ticket was dry as a bone. As if it had been written out the night before.
7. Next they proceed to Sun City for theatre week - This takes place months before it is aired on TV. This year it was mid-April.
· This season - The Acapella performances - they went up in groups of 5 pre-decided by the producers. Each judge was armed with a script sheet provided by the producers. AGAIN, the judges had no say whether it’s was a yes or no.
· Contestants booted out early, from theatre week are surprised to find their air tickets home, in their names, booked about a month previously!!
· The Top finalists are decided on before theatre week. NO time is wasted by taking all that extra footage of every single golden ticket winner (just in case they make it to the final). The cameras are already focusing on the chosen few. A few other characters are filmed, just to make it interesting.
· Group stages are NOT scripted...But, it doesn’t matter how badly the contestants sing, the pre-selected finalists WILL go through. This stage of the “competition” is merely for them to get footage of the finalists, to highlight stories around them, in order for the viewers to become familiar with them, and/or start choosing their favourites.
10. Many things are manipulated at the live shows in order for Mnet to make sure that things go their way. Song choices, styling, filming techniques, lighting, sound can all influence how a performance is perceived by the public. Add to that the reaction and comments of the judges, which may or may not be scripted at this point
The Final 2 vote is audited and none suspect tampering. But.... do we know for sure if the previous results are audited? Mnet also shuns that question every year when disgruntled voters cry foul and demand to see the voting results. Why don’t they publish the results and shut people up already?.
11. Consensus is that Idols is not a singing competition it is a TV show and it needs to have good AR ratings in order to be able to receive the money it needs from its advertisers. The money they receive from voting is an added bonus. So all of the contestants and the public who vote are just puppets in their hands, who are manipulated into doing what Mnet wants.
0Contestants sign non-disclosure contracts and so most are unwilling to talk for fear of jeopardizing their future careers.
So....Ask yourself these questions, My fellow fans....
Are all of the above feasible and believable? If so -
Has this been fair to all the thousands of contestants who have taken part in Idols?
Has this been fair to the thousands of voters who spent millions collectively, over at least a 10 year period?
Is this corruption, or is this just how reality TV works?
IF this is how reality TV works, are we, Joe Public too gullible by entering these “competitions” and also by voting?
I know what my answers are!!! What are YOURS?
The rumours are still flying around about Mnet possibly having head-hunted a contestant for the win
This one still has too many unanswered questions. Taking everything else into account I do believe they are in a position to do such a thing. Things have been said in the comments of the previous article but I have no confirmation. So again many more questions
Why would Mnet need to head-hunt a particular contestant?
Is it possible that they’ve received instruction from the US licence holder?
Why has a certain contestant received preferential treatment? His audition certainly was rather suspicious - walking right in at the end of the day to an empty auditorium and then Unathi’s so over the top duet with him - does that not seem so scripted to you, as if planned - it probably was planned - by the producers - but why though??
Could it be that he is being 'used' like everyone else, to blind us from the real 'chosen one’?
OR - Is this just a vicious rumour started by someone just for the sake of it?
I’ve seen some comments that the rumours will negatively affect him – IMPOSSIBLE – unless it is proven to be fact. They say any publicity is good publicity. And the truth is it’s not really about him. It’s about whether Mnet would stoop to such a low level.
Mnet’s answer to the SONDAG paper.... 'The finalists haven’t been announced yet' and 'anything can still happen in theatre week' is ludicrous!!! We all now know that theatre week took place in April and we already know who the finalists are. 'The list' leaks out every year!
I wonder, why another Singing competition, 'Die Sanger' is starting on Tuesday on Kyknet? Is Mnet being the racist here? Two competitions running at the same time? - one for mainly whites and one for mainly blacks? - Does SA need that?
I do not have any answers to these questions.
I just wish Mnet would for once stop taking the public for fools and start answering.
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