選秀節目──在夯什麼呢？ Talent Shows —What’s All the Buzz About?
It seems these days that talent shows are all the "buzz around town"—the "town" meaning the world! For the past several years, television programs like Britain’s Got Talent and American Idol have been boasting over-the-top ratings in the United States and Europe while numerous others are doing the same in a multitude of other countries, like One Million Star in Taiwan and Let’s Go! Oriental Angel in China. It appears the search is on for those with gifts that outshine the brightest stars!
What has made these television broadcasts popular is their theatrical appeal. Inspiring singers, dancers, comedians, magicians, and instrumentalists take the stage and perform with passion. The greatest reason is a love for their art, but, adding to the drama, it can also be the desire for prize money, contracts, and fame.
Variety talent shows can be traced back to the wellknown American radio show, Major Bowes’ Original Amateur Hour, which aired for ten years from 1935 to 1945. Major Bowes, manager of New York’s Capitol Theater, provided the opportunity for budding artists to perform while the audience voted on who they liked the best. This format has evidently remained a favorite, for it is how many talent shows on TV are done today.
Some talent shows, such as American Idol and One Million Star, feature young singers that have a serious potential for becoming vocal pop-star idols. In these contests, they must have charisma and stage presence, and their personalities must be genuine and shine through to connect with the audience. In China, Let’s Go! Oriental Angel is a sister show to Let’s Go! Good Boys. In these programs, the contestants must bring serious acting skills to the stage as well as their own chosen talent. Contestants do their best in what turns out to be very dramatic presentations, all in the name of winning.
The wonderful thing about the popularity of these shows is that some communities in the U.S. are joining in with talent shows of their own as a way of raising funds for charitable institutions. Members of churches, clubs, and schools are putting their talents to good use and having a lot of fun in the process. With the help of the Internet, this measure of good will most likely spread to other countries as a way to reach out to others in need.