More International Judges?

Are there no qualified Aussies?

I’m sorry, I just need to have a little rant. All the papers and gossip sites are buzzing about who the new judges will be on talent shows in 2013, and I just need to have a minor patriotic hissy fit.

When I was a kid, my mum asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. I said I wanted to be black. She asked what I meant, and I said that black people were so talented. They could sing, dance and act. They were a triple threat. She looked at me and said, Don’t you know that black people are oppressed? They’ve been enslaved, they got a bum deal? I, at that tender age had no clue what racism was, or understood slavery. I just knew that when I watched TV, black people were talented. Most people get one gift, singing OR dancing OR acting. It seemed like every black person on TV was just mega talented. I wished I was black….

It seems that whoever is doing casting for all these judging shows has the same glasses I had as a kid. Maybe not necessarily black, but it certainly is a foreign thing. They think all the talent lies in someone from overseas, and there’s no good talent in Australia. Well, maybe the producers of Everybody Dance Now thought the same as me…..

I get that these shows like Australia’s Got Talent and The Voice are international concepts and we live in an increasingly global market. People in Australia really do have to break into an overseas market to make money, and having an international Judge or Host brings some international perspective to the mix. But when your show is ONLY foreigners, or all but one, it’s getting a little ridiculous.

Take The Voice. It had Delta Goodrem, Keith Urban, Seal and Joel Madden. Two Aussies and two foreigners. Now that Keith is gone, they’re getting Ricky Martin. Now, I have to say, I’m conflicted on this one. I love Ricky Martin. I adore him. I could stare at him all day long. I first heard Ricky back in 1993, when I went to Honduras. When he was singing in Spanish, and hadn’t crossed over to the English market yet. I got back to Australia, and had to order CDs internationally. I loved his long curly hair. I loved that he was in a boy band called Menudo and had successfully transitioned out to being a solo artist. I was so excited when he crossed over to the English market, because then all my friends could understand who this Latin God was. I think Ricky is an awesome choice. He’s been an artist since he was a child, he’s a true cross over artist, and lets face it, the guy is sexy as hell and we all want to look at him.

But, the little patriotic voice in me asks why the hell do they need THREE foreign judges and only one Aussie? Delta will be the only Aussie left, and lets face it, she’s not the most popular judge on the show….Even the host of that show is only kinda Australian. The X Factor has Mel B and Ronan Keating, so they’re 50/50 too. They’ve got an Aussie host, so they’re kinda doing better in the Patriotic factor.

Now that Australia’s Got Talent is moving to nine, they’re going to revamp the show and there’s much speculation on who the new Judges will be. Victoria Beckham is being touted as the biggest want, and the poll asks which International artist would we like to see? How about a button for pick a fricken Aussie?

It’s bad enough that all the TV shows are now based on music. It’s hard enough for Australian actors and presenters to get a job without making everything about music, so that singers and musicians are not just on our radio, but they’re taking over TV as well. Now all those jobs are going to foreigner singers, it’s a double insult to Australian artists.

I guess it’s not just singing talent shows either. Even things like Celebrity Apprentice seem to have a token American. Is it that Australia just feels like they HAVE to have the validation of foreigners, or is it that no Aussie wants to work on these shows? I see all that’s written about Delta and Natalie, and I think that maybe Aussie’s are scared to step up into the role in case they’re hated on like those two are.

If I had any shred of singing ability, I’d leap at the chance to work on a judging show. Realistically though, for something like Australia’s Got Talent, you don’t need to be a singer. Most music producers can’t sing themselves, and AGT is about more than just singing. Plus, you really don’t need to be talented to say whether someone else is good or bad. We all judge from our couch, whether we have any talent or not. You don’t need to be able to make an apple pie to know whether one is good or not when you eat it.

I tell you what; I can’t sing to save my life, but I can act. I can talk in front of a camera. I even used to teach acting classes to kids. I’ve worked in Australia and the US, and more importantly, I’ve got TWO passports. An Australian one and a US one. How about I come home and at least host one of these talent shows? Australian audiences will get an Aussie on TV, and the producers can have someone with a US passport to fill that ever important foreigner slot…..