**This is not an anti-American post. Canada's got no talent either (it all moved to the U.S. in the 80s) but right now, Canadian networks don't offer a comparable talent-torturefest to rip-off for a clever title. **
I was watching Dr. Phil yesterday (shut up), and he was talking to bitchy stage mothers who pressure their young children into being child stars in order to support their family and allow the unfulfilled parents to live a life of luxury in public eye. Phil is just trying to spare us from the future Dina Lohan's of the world, and for that, he has my gratitude.
I think it's fine to encourage your children to try acting or singing if they have a real talent and passion for it, but these kids really couldn't sing or dance or act. They were kinda cute, in the way that little kids are funny and adorable in their school recital, but they all possessed a terribly distorted sense of entitlement and self-worth. They were mostly wee hacks in training, saying things like "I'm a triple threat!" and "I'm going to win an Oscar by the time I'm 12!" One 10-year old girl actually said "I don't know what I'll do if I can't act and model. I don't know how to do anything else." You're 10, darlin'. Just stay in school and you'll do fine.
Every parent thinks their kids are super amazing, and it's great to give your kids confidence in themselves, but something pretty ugly transpires when that kid grows up thinking they are The Best Ever, and all those nay-sayers (i.e. - Simon Cowell, casting agents, audiences) just "don't know real talent when they see it". This is how fugly girls end up crying in the hallway of a hotel at an Idol audition, screaming "YOU DON'T KNOW ME, you f****** a****** co**su**ker! I'll make it widout 'chu! I can sing! I'M GONNA BE A STAR!!!"
Ok, yes, some of these kids have the it-factor, and some will become famous in spite of their shortcomings (see William Hung, or any number of pantieless female celebrities), but there's a much larger majority of depressed waiters and parking valets out there, living in the aftermath of their broken Hollywood dreams.
There's a fine line between thinking you're good at something and actually being good at something, and our reality TV pop culture has already created two or three generations of utterly delusional "entertainers". Of course, in a world of hit songs about umba-rellas and lipgloss, and a thousand D-lister reality shows on 200 channels, it's a lot easier to build a career without possessing the prerequisite criteria. Sometimes a network just needs warm bodies (with sweet racks). Persistence can be a good thing in show business, I suppose, but not at the expense of one's humility.
Just ask this guy!
Here's a well-respected judge of talent who would never trade his integrity for fame.