THE REALITY OF TV TALENT SHOWS
Bailey’s ‘Skyscraper’ is the Christmas number one, while the more widely known and longer established Pharrel has to console himself playing second fiddle at number two with ‘Happy’. Strip away all the razzmatazz television hype surrounding Bailey and her song is an impulse purchase driven until now by ITV and the Cowell marketing machinery: which by the way has kept him at number one for the past few years as the modern day television impresario. Good or bad makes little difference in the marketing world as far as ‘Skyscraper’ is concerned, because the main driver of sales in this year’s race for the Christmas number one relies on the spirit of Christmas being a time for children and sympathy for those who suffer illness, with proceeds from the single going to Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity and Together For Short Lives - a charity which helps children with life-threatening conditions. Both excellent and worthwhile causes I wouldn’t begrudge a single penny to.
But. Put Christmas, sick children, and a successfully promoted singing talent together and you have the magic ingredients which send the marketing and PR partnerships who have worked on the Bailey campaign into orgasmic orbit, and execs from ITV will celebrate by chomping on a few congratulatory Cuban cigars over the festive period, while bottles of Krystal overflow into glasses at poolside resorts overlooking aquamarine seas the rest of us can only drool over in travel brochures while having to live with a very wet Christmas at home back here in the UK.
While all of this is going on let’s not forget that success is only a temporary stop along the way and not a permanent position. Success drives success forwards and you have to continue to be successful time after time, after time. Put another way success is like the continuing breath. You cannot breathe the once only and expect your life to carry on. Stop breathing and you die. Stop with the successes in the entertainments industry and you quickly fade into oblivion. That’s the harsh reality in the world of reality television.
Audiences are fickle. They will support until the next Bailey comes along; albeit under another name and appearance. Meanwhile the various entertainment industry execs in both television and music will feed their golden goose for as long as she keeps laying those golden eggs. So best get another single out there quickly and while she is still hot. Because after that, and without the charity causes to propel it the graveyard for television talent show has-been’s awaits. Right now Bailey is front page headline fodder. By this time next year she’ll be exceptionally lucky if she gains so much as two sentences anywhere else.