Risky routines for child performers should be absolutely avoided
Some months ago, we watched a TV talent tilt for children, and wrote a negative note about a little girl who did a pole-dancing act. We observed that the act was too mature for the kid—and, more importantly, it was potentially dangerous, and shouldn’t have been thought up for the little girl.
Last Saturday, June 14, on “It’s Showtime’s” “Mini Me” finals, another risky act had a potentially more serious consequence: A 5-year-old boy who was dancing a Michael Jackson impersonation number—and, to impress both judges and viewers more, part of the dance had him rolling in on a board on little wheels—and with his body at an angle.
It turned out to be a risky gimmick, because the boy slipped and fell! To make things worse, he fell into an opening on the elevated stage, and would have dropped a distance to the bottom, if an alert adult dancer didn’t catch him.
To his credit, the little boy turned out to be a real trouper. Not only did he cope with the unexpected snafu, but he even ad-libbed some parts, to “fill in the blanks,” and ended the number with spirit, composure and precocious presence of mind.—“The show must go on!”
While we praise the boy (who ended up winning) and the dancer who caught him for their presence of mind, however, we should note that the show shouldn’t have allowed the performance of such a potentially dangerous competition number, especially by a kid, whose young body is vulnerable to injuries—and worse!
Yes, the kid’s handlers wanted him to come up with an especially “impressive” number, but it should have been vetted and nixed by the show. It’s one thing to come up with an attention-calling number, but quite another when it’s risky and a little child’s safety is involved.
To make things worse, later in the same “Showtime” finals, another child dancer, a little girl, again to impress everyone, was lifted, spun around and practically “manhandled” by two older dancers!
To their credit, some of the show’s hosts made known their objections to what they had just seen. Now, that’s more like it.
In the light of these questionable instances we’ve cited, we urge all TV shows with child talents and contestants to strictly disallow any and all potentially risky moves, gimmicks and other “highlights.” Vulnerable children should be protected, not exposed to any danger.
We trust that other people will weigh in on this score, to convince kids’ exceedingly competitive stage parents, coaches, mentors, choreographers, etc., that accidents and injuries should be absolutely avoided on TV tilts and other shows from here on in. No hope or expectation of “victory” is worth it!
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.