britain’s got talent

The Voice vs BGT: Cowell’s Monopoly on Showmanship

However much we hate him, anyone even vaguely interested in the saccharine world of Saturday Night Telly needs to say a quick prayer at the altar of Simon Cowell. Whatever side you came down on, the whole BGT/The Voice battle proved that, as an individual and a brand, he drives the whole weekend entertainment market(…)

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Publicity Stunt? What Publicity Stunt?

The great Ronan Parke caper seemed to just fizzle out yesterday. Pre- the Britain’s Got Talent final, it seemed the final hype was upstaged by a rogue blogger. The disgruntled record exec-come-whistleblower touched a raw nerve with his well-written conspiracy theory suggesting that Britain’s wannabe Beiber had actually been ruthlessly groomed by the Dark Lord,(…)

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The Ego Has Landed

Britain’s Got Talent has rolled around again and again the nation is gripped. Out with the old and in with the new. It’s been this way for a while. Remember, it’s not five minutes since the X Factor was all anyone could talk about, but that’s seeped away into the mists of time as BGT(…)

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The Cowell Question

The Observer is asking the big question – is Svengali in chief Simon Cowell essential to the X Factor? Two journalists debate the pros and cons, intersecting the public conversation surrounding Cowell’s migration to America. But neither address Cowell’s principal ingredient, his enormous power to influence the hype and guide the off-screen narrative. After watching(…)

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The Good, the Mad and the Twittery

This Sunday is the season finale of series four of Mad Men, and the web is alive with the sound of tributes and ‘best of the series’ video clips, including spoilers if you’ve not seen the entire run yet. Unless you’re in the UK, that is, in which case you’ll be watching episode seven of(…)

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Britain’s Got Cliché

It strikes me that all is not well in Britain’s Got Talent, that something is falling apart. This year, the show opened on 10.6 million viewers (a 44% share). By May it was on a 43%. After four weeks in, it is currently running down 5% on last year, which opened with 11 million viewers.(…)

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Gordon Brown and the Jinxed Career

Gordon Brown is jinxed. At the Number 10 reception to mark the second anniversary of the Prime Minister’s Talent and Enterprise Taskforce, Perri Luc Kiely, the frizzy haired 13 year old dancer with Britain’s Got Talent winners Diversity, took a tumble, hurt himself, burst into tears and is now taking top billing in the press(…)

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Michael Jackson’s Funeral: The Greatest Show on Earth?

And so Michael Jackson is to be put to rest – or his physical form is at least. There is no doubt that his name, his brand and his image will live on for as long as it makes money. Death is merely a chapter break in the life of Michael Jackson – it’s not(…)

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Boyle-ing Point: The Caustic Nature of Fame

There’s not that much of a gap between Phineas Taylor Barnum, grandmaster of the freak show, and Simon Cowell. Both Barnum and Cowell are exemplars of transmuting showbiz into mega-biz gold. The difference is that we look back now, 150 years later, and judge the freakshows that made Barnum’s name as exploitative and degrading. I(…)

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