When celebrity jurors quibble–and clash
TV talent tilts have become quite popular and prevalent this season, with local editions including singing, dancing and “total performance” competitions folded into programs, like the various talent searches on “Eat Bulaga” and “It’s Showtime,” or as separate shows, like “Born to be a Star” and “Pilipinas Got Talent.”
In these and other tilts, the choice of judges has become a plus viewing factor—and additional bone of contention. Like in TV tilts abroad such as “American Idol,” “The Voice” and “America’s Got Talent,” celebrities are usually tapped to do the honors, with decidedly mixed results.
Being popular in their own right, some celebrity jurors have a hard time leaving center stage to the “unknowns” whose performance they’re vetting.
Some of them feel that they have to come up with “quotable” comments and controversial verdicts to call attention to themselves and to make their shows “eventful.”
Trouble is, some celebrity jurors get carried away and their inflated egos bump and grind against one another, resulting in conflicts that generate too much heat and notoriety.
Some weeks ago, we caught a disagreement among jurors that boiled into an embarrassing display of temper and temperament.
The rift had to do with conflicting views on key factors that talent tilt jurors should prefer and uphold.
One judge felt that exceptional talent, pure and simple, should be the deciding consideration.
However, another juror batted for a “totally stellar” package, so good looks should also be considered as an important factor.
To further complicate things, yet another juror was smitten with a contestant and subjectively voted in her favor. How to resolve the impasse and come up with a compromise decision acceptable to most of the disagreeing and disagreeable people involved?
That finally happened, but not before more caustic accusations were exchanged, and a threatened walkout aborted!
We saw a similarly contentious tiff between judges souring things up on another talent show, so it’s time for ground rules to be established, before more “star wars” ensue:
First, celebrity jurors have to remind themselves that, yes, they’re a viewing plus for the TV audience, but the main focus of the talent tilt should be on the aspiring contestants, not on the stars or ex-stars vetting them.
This may be hard for stars with huge egos to accept, but it’s a “given”—so it has to be “taken.”
Thus, judges should focus, not on projecting themselves in the most attention-calling way possible, but on the real reason they’re there—to help contestants evaluate their plus and minus points, and to keep improving as performers so they can “survive” up to the tilt’s final square-off—and win the title up for grabs!
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