When the Untalented Audition

Epic Fail – When the untalented audition

It’s after dinner and you take your cup of coffee into the living room, relax in your favorite chair and tune into America’s Got Talent. Fast-forward 15 minutes into the show and a girl walks on stage, the lights dim and the audience quiets. The music is cued and begins to play, she lifts the microphone, inhales and opens her mouth and….

Holy crap! Your jaw drops, you blink your eyes to make sure you are not in a nightmare, look back at the TV screen and either laugh or think, “What the…!”

You know what I mean… the ones that come out all full of confidence or attitude and as soon as they open their mouths and start their act, the judges raise their eyebrows, get confused looks on their faces, or even snicker and the audience is in shock.

You’re nodding your head now, aren’t you? I know you are.

Now I know there have been many very talented people discovered on shows like The Voice, X Factor, America’s Got Talent and, of course, American Idol. But there have been many more who have tried out and gotten embarrassed and offended when laughed at or booed off the stage. They are at a loss or confused by the reactions their performances received because of their misconceptions that they could sing or even dance.

It blows me away at how delusional and crazy so many people actually are.  What makes them think they can become the next American Idol or X Factor champion when there’s absolutely no chance of that happening? And why would they put themselves through auditioning? Well, I think I’ve narrowed it down to two reasons: 

  1. They know they’re terrible but want the attention. It’s their one moment of fame, to be on TV or watched on YouTube.
  2. They don’t realize how horrible they actually are. It’s a case of an inflated ego or they actually do believe they are talented.

These days many people want to be famous, even if it’s just a minute or two. People want this fame so badly they’ll do anything to get it. Auditions of this sort are often hilarious and very amusing, with some of the worst ones that audition achieving what they set out to do; getting lots of attention.

Rewind back 20+ years or so. In the past, being famous for something meant that a person was actually talented. But today, having celebrity status is considered quite differently than generations before. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with soaking up a couple minutes of fame. If a person recognizes that they don’t have the talent and wants to open him/herself up for criticism and ridicule, then go for it! No sweat off my back.

But it’s a different story entirely when people put all of their hopes and dreams into becoming famous rather than concentrating on a more normal attainable goal. If you actually watch the auditions of the many talent shows, TV or not, there will always be contestants who admit that all they want in life is to be famous. Unfortunately, these individuals are often unsuccessful, but it does give some insight into their mindset. Many who sign up to audition really do believe that they have what it takes to make it big, however deluded their opinions are.

Having self-confidence is a wonderful thing; don’t get me wrong. Feeling capable of accomplishing anything is amazing, especially when self-esteem is right up there too. While a strong sense of self-confidence and self-esteem will create new opportunities, it can’t and doesn’t change reality. Take singers for example. Some of the worst are overly confident with no musical sense whatsoever, not grasping that their singing is dreadful. Their high self-esteem creates an inflated ego, making them feel that they are better than they actually are.

Others have a more balanced sense of self and a normal amount of self-esteem but are told repeatedly by parents, friends, teachers, etc. that they’re absolutely gifted at singing and dancing, what have you. This is mostly done because those giving the kudos don’t want to hurt feelings, and want to be encouraging or think dreams should be pursued no matter what. After hearing praise over longs periods of time, people will trust in their abilities and don’t truly realize how truly untalented they really are. Even if they’re terrible they believe they’re good because they’ve been complimented for so long and ultimately become brainwashed.

All of this can be quite entertaining for the audience and the judges; me included. But when the judges deliver a reality check, it stuns or angers these contestants when they hear the cold hard truth. Several probably spent years believing that success is waiting just around the corner, making the truth pretty hard to swallow especially experiencing this feedback in a very public manner.

But you know what? Whether it’s good, bad, or ugly – it’s all entertainment to me.

Special thanks to Lissa St. Clair for this guest post. Lissa was one of my very first readers and has supported me and my writing since the beginning. She is not only an inspiration, but also a great friend. You can learn more about Lissa on her blog The Psychotic Scrivener and also her Facebook Fan Page for her soon-to-be-released book for young teens, Dear Purple Lenora

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  • SharonGreenthal

    There’s funny bad and then there’s bad-bad. My grandfather was a singer and had perfect pitch, and from him I developed a keen ear for bad singing – it’s painful for me to watch the auditions (so I don’t).

  • Deb

    This is why I quit watching singing shows. Part of the problem is that you can’t hear how you really sound. I think I can sing okay but everyone tells me that I’m terrible. I’m even sick of these kid singers. That little girl that sings opera gives me the creeps!

  • http://www.bigaandlittlea.com/ Roshni Aamom

    So true! I have two friends who love, love singing, but it’s hard for others to keep a straight face when they start singing…they’re that tone-deaf! At the same time, when you see their passion, it seems cruel to tell them.
    But, for someone who’s going to stand hours in line waiting and then be booed and ridiculed…I would definitely have told that person to stop! Trouble is, maybe they wouldn’t have listened! :/

  • William Kendall

    I think things like American Idol hurt people in the long run. If you want to be a musician, you need to pay your dues, do the work yourself, build yourself up. Not appear on a talent show, prepackaged by what someone else expects of you. It’s no way to make a real career, and I think that’s reflected on how few of these people have actually been able to make a go of it.
    I’ve never watched these shows- it’s like fingernails on a blackboard, as far as I’m concerned, but even then, you can’t escape it.

  • http://www.shirleymaya.com/ Shirley Maya Tan

    There are some who think they could receive the fame and attention as William Hung did when he was “terrible” but became famous anyways. I don’t watch any of these talent shows – be it singing, fashion, modelling or love match-making. It isn’t reality as real life reality but “crafted reality”. Like Andy Warhol famously once remarked about people who will do anything for their 5 minutes of fame. Those who want to passionately pursue their art or perfect their craft, work very hard and usually, are not interested in grabbing their five minutes of fame.

  • Emelie Samuelson

    Ugh. It hurts!!

  • http://www.blog.theregularguynyc.com/ Phil Holtberg

    Wow, great post! You said it here. We also watch some of those shows and can’t believe how bad some of these people are. Little to no talent yet they get up there thinking they are going to be superstars. So funny but sad at the same time. Too my glory hounds out there now.

  • Paula @ Vintage Kitchen

    Some shows go both ways, don’t they? You find amazing voices and can pretty stayed glued for an hour watching horror auditions! I’m ashamed, or not really, to say I enjoy them. I’ve come to admire persons who are not easily embarrassed.