Diminishing returns on TV kiddie talent tilts | Inquirer Entertainment

Diminishing returns on TV kiddie talent tilts

/ 12:10 AM May 29, 2014

MOMS and their Mini-Mes from Malabon, Montalban and Mandaluyong in the Little Miss Philippines competition of “Eat Bulaga” photo: EAT BULAGA FACEBOOK PAGE

Kiddie talent tilts are the rage on TV these days, with “Little Miss Philippines” on “Eat Bulaga” and “Mini-Me” on “It’s Showtime.” In addition, “The Voice: Kids” just started telecasting and “I-Shine Talent Camp” is also in the offing!

We fully understand why these kiddie talent searches are popular with TV producers and viewers, since Pinoys generally dote on listo kids who can up and perform at the drop of a handkerchief.


Unfortunately, past experience has taught us that young talents generally have a built-in limitation in terms of productivity and effectivity that adult performers don’t have.

Growing up


The youngest child discoveries start their performing careers as early as age 3—but due to the predictable physical onus that comes with growing up, they’re no longer deemed precocious

LEA SALONGA’s Mini-Me on “It’s Showtime” photo: www.veooz.com

and cute by the time they reach their 10th birthday.

This means that kiddie performers have only some seven productive, “earning” years to look forward to— and by the time they realize this, it’s already too late!

Child singers have an even bigger problem: If they’re boys, their “boy soprano” voices change, break and “croak” when prepuberty looms. Even female kids experience a less drastic vocal change, so they should really make a lot of hay while the show biz sun shines!

There’s a name for this limitation that makes child talents’ careers inherently too short for comfort: It’s called the show biz Law of Diminishing Returns and all program producers and parents of performing kids should always keep it in mind and chart their wards’ careers according to it, before it catches up with them and their increasingly nervous and insecure talent.

So, TV people shouldn’t be all that eager to conduct talent tilts for kids because many of their discoveries will end up dissatisfied and frustrated.

The show biz scene is sadly littered with once cute and popular kids who have been left hanging high and dry by the steady march of their tender years toward the much-dreaded “Bermuda Triangle” of puberty.



Certified superstars

Both Niño Muhlach and Aiza Seguerra were only 3 years old when they endeared themselves to the viewing public and became certified superstars—but even they weren’t spared from the awkward predicament of eventually becoming too “old” to be deemed endearing.

It’s a good thing that their respective parents were judicious enough to save their earnings for the proverbial rainy day when the offers stop coming—an even more inevitable reality for child talents.

Only a few years ago, Zaijan Jaranilla and Jillian Ward were among the most popular and in-demand child talents around. But prepubescence has caught up with Zaijan, so his TV exposure has become more limited, with his handlers judiciously choosing age-appropriate projects for him, before he “officially” becomes a “tween” and then teen actor.

For her part, Jillian is still regarded as a child performer but she’s grown up some and is also not as busy as before, with Ryzza Mae Dizon stepping into the spotlight. But even Ryzza Mae will eventually have to acknowledge the inexorable passage of the years—so, who will take her place?

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TAGS: “Mini-Me”, Eat Bulaga, It’s Showtime, Lea Salonga, Little Miss Philippines
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