Britain’s Got Talent Syndrome

Britain’s Got Talent Syndrome

Why are people afraid to be honest with friends and loved ones?

When watching the freakshow that is X Factor or Britain’s Got Talent, I never ceased to be amazed by the number of “people” that come on to show the judges, and the viewing public their “talent”. Whatever that may be. They then proceed to embarrass themselves (and me – an all over body cringe seizes me, and I often start to sweat) on National television.

They story is always the same. The audience laughs or boos (or sometimes applauds the unbelievably awful performance), and the judges finally ask: “Why did you come on?” or “Who told you could sing/dance?” and the answer?

“Everyone/my Mum/my family/my friends”.

This is what I call Britain’s Got Talent Syndrome (BGTS). BGTS sufferers are unable to tell love ones the truth. They feel unable to advise Timmy that rather than having the voice of an angel, he sounds like an unserviced 1970s Ford Cortina skidding around a rather sharp bend. But why? Why on Earth would you let a loved one embarrass themselves on National television?

Edited on 19/08/2012 to add:

Having last night seen the abhorrent behaviour of Zoe Alexander (the self-labelled Pink Impersonator from 18th August’s X-Factor. If it was up to me there’s no way I would describe her as that), and the way her family supported and defended her (and her obscene rants and physical violence), I can now see that BGTS is contagious. Whether Zoe was infected by the BGTSO (Britains Got Talent Syndrome Organism) first, or whether it was passed to her from her mother or father is unknown, but it seems pretty clear that this entire family suffers from BGTS.

The girl is now claiming in the papers that she is now a “nervous wreck”, and she can’t even sleep at night despite the fact the audition was actually held in June. Zoe’s convinced she was stitched up, and that her treatment was unfair.

Perhaps it was unfair – after all, if she has contracted BGTS from her parents, then I suppose there’s no way she would know just how bad she was. Shame on you, X-Factor: you really must introduce a BGTS screening process. Oh no, wait, that would make the show terribly, terribly dull – like The Voice.


  • ed says:

    I think its got something to do with the understanding that despite the fact that you are not that talented appearing on TV might actually give you the opportunity to escape a life of the mundane – going to work in a job you dislike, constantly struggling with bills and social pressure. With the fortune of a family member who has succeeded and passed that confidence down, you probably would’nt understand that sense of desperation.

  • Ola says:

    In addition to the above-mentioned desperation to achieve fame, it is clear that BGT/X-Factor directors take advantage of the public’s general ignorance of the pervasive power of mass media. Basically, people don’t realise what an exhibition they are making of themselves to the nation – until it’s too late.

    If it was explained to ‘performers’ that viewers will be laughing and pointing at them in public even a full year after their appearance on TV, then we would never see many of the milder cases of BGTS on our TV. As your physical reactions indicate, the producers of reality TV are extremely cruel. After all, they are more qualified to judge real talent than someone’s mum. In fact, this cruelty to the untalented is part of their job remit, when the power is in their hands to save some performers from themselves.

    I can’t even bear to watch such shows, but my local expert on such matters informs me that aside from her appalling behaviour, Zoe Alexander was indeed stitched up over her choice of song. Refusing to go out in public, nightmares and sleepless nights are quite believable consequences of typical BGTS shame for many months afterwards.

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