Sunday, February 26, 2012

Has NZ Got Talent?

$1.6 million of OUR money (meant for arts and culture) will be going towards TV One's NZ's Got Talent reality tv series!
This follows the recent news that broadcast giant Mediaworks unashamedly props up its lame duck Kiwi FM with $300K pa of taxpayer bucks. Govt agency New Zealand On Air's CEO Jane Wrightson says this latest venture (aka the Simon Cowell benevolent fund) is a smart use (?!?!) of our dosh: "It's a wonderful opportunity for many types of NZ performers to entertain a nationwide audience". The public purse commitment is subject to a full budget being confirmed: no start date yet...
Across the road, TV3 has the rights to rival talent show X Factor, another Simon Cowell format. No application yet from TV3 for NZ On Air funding, But CEO Wrightson says she can't rule out our money supporting that too.
Cowell's ...Got Talent series is famous for discovering Susan Boyle but, if NZ Idol was anything to go by, don't expect anyone as earthshattering to come out of Godzone. TVNZ milked NZ Idol for three seasons, but let's be honest - can you name our three Idol winners? (For the record - and I had to Google this - they were Ben Lummis, Rosita Vai and Matthew Saunoa. Yea, right.) The excruciating shows resembled parish pump karaoke. Various kiwi musos openly criticised them, and refused invitations to appear. Singer Boh Runga said she'd "rather lick the inside of a toilet bowl", while TV Guide wrote "if NZ Idol was a horse, you'd have to shoot it. It really is that lame."
Artistic ability can't be created by media - it's either there or it isn't. How many significant NZ bands have sustained international careers since the days of Crowded House? Ummmm... And despite huge efforts to raise the percentage of NZ music on radio, we still don't see kiwi artists dominating the charts for ever and a day.
Does this indicate NZ is not that supportive of local talent?
Or is the talent simply not
And does a tv reality show really constitute 'arts and culture'?

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