Wednesday, August 30, 2006

[The Life of Shaun #66] This is a small country

Living in the middle of a huge city on the edge of Europe, I sometimes lapse and forget that Britain is a small country.  To remember, all it can take is realizing you've gone from London to the other end of the country in three hours.  Or you can watch X Factor, née Pop Idol, antecedent to American Idol.

I'm watching it now and the talent level of the audition pool is leagues below American Idol.  Yes, there are great ones, and yes, America has just as many humorously bad ones, but I am talking about the average.  So many of the people who are going through to the next round wouldn't stand a chance in the States.  And hearing Simon say, to someone who'd surely be shown the door on American Idol, "you're fantastic" makes you feel a bit bad for him - it must be hard coming back to this after hosting the show over there.

I know the UK has hugely talented people - there just isn't nearly as big a pool to draw from.  To emphasize this they've even had to expand what they draw from.  There are three categories here now: 16-24s, 25 & overs, and groups.  In the end each judge coaches a category and they "compete" to have someone from their category win.

We could very well get another Will Young out of this season, but we're gonna have to wade through a lot more pain than my American friends will finding the next Kelly Clarkson.


Shaun Coley
London, UK
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