Adding insult to injury
AFTER OUR article on the use of gongs in singing tilts came out, we witnessed another “gonging” event in the “Tawag ng Tanghalan” competition on “It’s Showtime”—and it further intensified our wish that the antedelluvian practice be discontinued.
This time, the recipient of the unwelcome “performance notice of discontinuance” was a young man whose nervousness made his singing unfirm and infirm, hence his being “gonged” in mid-number.
Like the lady we wrote about before, he was shocked and took it really badly. The segment hosts did their best to “lighten” the stressful moment for him—but they only made it worse with their flurry of “consoling” and/or “funny” words and actuations.
It was like adding insult to injury. They even invited him to complete the number, which he forced himself to do, looking and feeling miserable all the while.
Even less effectively, some of the tilt’s jurors tried to “explain” why his singing had been found deficient because he had allowed his “beginner’s nerves” to get the better of him, etc. —Gee, thanks.
Best of intentions
The disquieting viewing experience made us realize with greater unction that, even with the best of intentions, the “gonging” practice is too humiliating to be resorted to in these ostensibly more enlightened and psychologically sensitive times.
Even the tilt portion’s cohosts didn’t know how to handle the testy and touchy moment, awkwardly shifting from commiserating with and then trying to make the poor singer smile and “feel better.”
A psychologist should enlighten them on the complicated feelings generated by being humiliated in public, and then being assuaged in contradictory ways.
The “traditional” practice is no longer psychologically acceptable—no wonder it’s been discontinued in some other places, and replaced with other, less demeaning vetting procedures.
The best way to keep TV singing tilts’ performance quality up is for audition masters to eliminate less than competent singers beforehand, and not allow them to compete on-cam.
Rejection is always tough to take, but if it’s done in private, without thousands of viewers gawking and giggling at your misfortune, it’s a less “scary and scarring” experience—for sure.