The 2007 series of Indonesian Idol will soon begin just as American Idol, which has a large following here, enters its final episodes. Indonesians have long dismissed the value of this reality show as an effective way of spotting talent. None of the previous four (or is it five) winners, like past winners of rival AFI Indonesia (copied from Mexico’s La Academia), have been able to cash in on their victory, and few survive the grueling show biz challenges in order to become second-rate TV actors.
Those who manage to get television work are not even singing. The rest just disappear. Which just goes to show that most of them were voted into Indonesian Idol not so much for their singing abilities as for their looks. Many also made it into the final rounds because their supporters and family members were able to mobilize people to send in the text messages, sometimes even doling out money or prepaid cards to people to send text messages voting for them.
Indonesian Idol and AFI Indonesia, along with offshoot programs of “behind-the-scenes” activities, are popular for their entertainment value. Very few people take them for serious singing and talent competition programs. These are just two of many reality shows invading our TV screens that have helped people to escape from the reality of life. And I have to agree, they are certainly fun to watch.
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