Reality TV shows about the “training” of juvenile and child performers make for decidedly cautionary viewing as these examples show: On “The Next Big Thing,” a talent developer named Trapper, who boasts that he’s the most in-demand and popular talent trainer in New York, each week puts his “top” juvenile starlets through the wringer to bring out the best in them.
To motivate them even more, he subjects them to special tests, like last month’s auditions for a famous amateur singing tilt that has been known to discover the stars of tomorrow.
Trapper selected his best talents for the tilt, and they came up with quite an exciting group number. Even if they didn’t win, a talent manager and booker expressed interest in some of Trapper’s individual students, so the stress and hard work turned out to be worth it.
Trapper means well by setting high standards for his students, but he can also turn viewers off with his “dictatorial” ways. To get what he wants, he sometimes pushes his wards hard—perhaps too hard? Since many of them are children, they should be treated with greater understanding and consideration.
We know that show biz is a very competitive business and you have to be tough to be successful, but Trapper should still know when “enough” may be “too much.”
Another talent training show on TV is the weekly reality competition, “I Know My Kid’s a Star.”
At week’s end, one child-and-stage parent team is asked to exit from the competition. The expectation is that the ongoing weeding-out process will result in the show eventually coming up with a genuine, certified child sensation!
To date, however, most of the bets have come up short. What’s worse is the fact that their mothers or “momagers” have been upstaging them as far as the show’s focus is concerned. The moms are all over the place, pushing their kids, feuding with other momagers and making snide comments about their kids’ rivals, generating a negative atmosphere that is a big turn-off!