The glorious trend of talent
shows to our screens is an amazing and exciting revolution, whole countries,
genders, ages, and groups get caught up in the celebrity fever which takes over
when these events are being broadcast and there is no doubt they have brought
in many a pretty penny to the organisers and other stars involved in the
productions.

Many people view these
programs with different eyes. Some see them as a lot of people clinging to
their ideal of fame and fortune, some see them as a waste of time, and some
people will defiantly switch off so as not to be included in the sheep growing
herds following these programs. However the program designers have become more
and more confident and ploughed more and more money into these events knowing
that as people, we love watching other people. We do get a bit of a giggle when
things do not go according to plan, or an act obviously appeared to be so much
better in their sitting room singing into a long handled broom, but there is no
doubt it is an opening of our eyes to the fact that the world is full of
amazing gifted and talented people.

But there is a downside as
well, sometimes the young or fragile who sang or performed quite happily to
family and friends are not always prepared or ready to take on global mass
attention and it can produce long term damage psychologically. It is
understandable that over a short period of time, the supermarket worker who
suddenly finds themselves under the viewing of millions and performing to
thousands of applauding fans can falter in disbelief. The price of fame does come heavy, it can
destroy old friendships, families, and futures, it can take over a life and
sweep those involved along in a fantastical way in complete contrast to what
they have been used to and that is even before the press and paparazzi get
involved.

Suddenly from packing
someone’s bags as they leave the shop, or checking out a loose spark plug in a
mechanics world, they are spotlighted and their lives are in every media outlet
from newspaper to online. Every event they are involved in, every venture from
their homes they make, every action they do is watched and taken by the ever
hungry throng of journalists and sensationalised. Whoever cared before if you
bought your pasta at the little corner shop down the road? Whoever asked you
did you buy your underwear from Marks and Spencer or John Lewis? Such trivialities
of life which were private and in some ways totally not anyone else’s business
suddenly are projected to world fame along with your picture. Hiding becomes a
very serious option.

Friends from the past can
become envious and suddenly reveal their deepest darkest secrets, unheard of
relatives arrive out of the blue to comment on the close relationship they had
with you as a child, when they had only ever seen you at family weddings and
funerals. People who you have known well suddenly eye you as a cash machine and
not the person who shared a glass of wine or two with them on a night out in
the local pub. The expectation of what you should and shouldn’t be doing
becomes a blurred line and it is all of this that is secondary to the
appearance on stage the very first time, or the signing with a Publisher who
gave you an advance for your first book. For the lucky winner they trade
something in their life, they have to be strong minded and determined and take
on not only a new found career but a new life. They need to be prepared for
criticism and spitefulness, and in some cases may even need protection.

Of course the niceties
outweigh a lot of the negatives which is why people still do it, there is the
money security and the acclamations and the feeling of success at something
they love. Interestingly a class of children were asked what they would like to
be when they grew up and over half of them were enthusiastic in their response
of “a celebrity”. In the world today the rise of such success has now in some
of our children’s minds become a career prospect.

The money making wheels keep
on turning, the viewers keep viewing and for a long while ahead it seems talent
shows are here to stay. Everyone who steps out on that stage, who fills in
their application form or who dreams of transition from dancing in front of the
mirror to performing all over the world, should remember the price of fame, it
is not always a bargain to be gained.