No, Johnny, 'You're-Not-A-Star'
A drummer with whom I sometimes work, caught the flu a while back and found himself bedridden for a couple of days. He's been around the block a few (thousand) times and figured he's just about seen it all. Then he flicked on the TV and saw You're A Star.
I know that some great singers appear the show from time to time, but we're talking about the initial stages of the programme–the auditions. His reaction was insightful.
'Now, I've been around a long time, I've seen many people do foolish things, especially in the entertainment business. I've seen people singing at weddings who should have known better but they were drunk. I've heard awful Karaoke singers murder the classics on a Tuesday night. But it wasn't until I saw the You're A Star auditions that I finally realised the frightening extent of mental illness in this country.'
Too true. It's the only explanation for some of the pitiful specimens that managed to crawl out from under some very dark rocks indeed. The most surreal moment is always when little Johnny hears for the very first time that he doesn't have the voice of an angel.
Disbelief, denial, anger, tears, rage, disbelief again.
He believes he can sing. And sing well. Brilliantly, in fact. Everyone tells him so. Everyone. Without exception, throughout all of his life. It's a known fact: little Johnny is a 'brilliant singer'. Fact. Full stop.
Except that out here in a little place we've come to know as, ahem, Reality, little Johnny actually sounds like someone caught their gonads in the hinge of a heavy oak door, and no amount of make-up, fake tattoos, denim hot pants, or even auto-tune will ever change that.
You completely suck goats, Johnny–wise up. Never, ever sing again.
Here is the American Idol equivalent, I've tried to find the most egregious example. Can you bear to listen to all of it?