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Debate Score:20
Total Votes:20
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 Enough with sob stories? (13)

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Mack(534) pic

Enough with sob stories?

So I was watching Britain's got talent tonight, for some unimaginable reason, and I see some magician perform.  This guy does some run of the mill trick about predicting the things the judges would choose in advance, etc, like I've seen too many times before.  

What really irked me was this:  In the middle of his act he plays a slide show showing how his wife had cancer and was pregnant but somehow both the baby and the wife survived (or something along those lines), and he said how that was "true magic."  He works his child into the act somehow, the details don't matter.  Of course everyone tears up, and he gets the "golden buzzer" to go through to the next round.

There were several other performers who were nothing special, but got full marks because of their unfortunate circumstances.  

This makes me sick.  The show isn't called "Britain's got sob stories," it's meant to be about talent.  Not only is it unfair to other competitors, but it seems disgusting to exploit something like that, as if pity is some sort of currency.  What gets me the most is how it upsets any sort of purity that a talent show should have.  People work hard on their talents, and I can only imagine what it feels like to them to constantly lose to people with sob stories.

Imagine if this happened in, say, gymnastics at the Olympics?  What if the judges were extra generous to competitors who had a sad backstory?  I know I shouldn't expect fairness from Britain's got talent, but some standards would be nice.

I'm just venting really, what do you guys think?
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3 points

I totally agree with you , I watched this segment of the show as I was looking for something worthwhile to view on the T V .

This was a fairly average performer ( I say this as a former magician ) who’s resorted to a cheap , lousy stunt to cash in and piggy back on his child’s misfortune one can see the amount of media attention he’s gotten no doubt soon to followed by paid magazine articles etc , etc ,

Shows like this are gut cringingly sickening , every emotional ploy is used to make the next round , if a kid with cancer gets you there that seems to be just fine , I wish I was a judge on that show as I would call them on it

I think Britain has gotten so far away from masculinity and teaching the basics of being a man that the society and culture has become its own worst enemy. From rabid self hatred, to demonizing anyone with a spine, to giving rewards to anyone without one.

2 points

I honestly think the producers focus less on who really has talent and go for who can sell more. I remember one of the talent shows I was watching America's got Talent and they choose Grace VanderWaal over a couple that had some stunning performances. While she is a good singer I really thought she wasn't exactly as stand out as the others. But hey, they want what sells and sob stories do indeed do that....or talented kids.

2 points

The sob stories rule the American scene, too. They even invaded the Winter Olympic coverage with a competitor whose granddad had recently died.

I understand the desire to add human interest, and trying to evoke an emotional reaction, but there is a better tack to take.

In the US, there is a game show called The Wall that only has contestants who have done some significant service or made some sacrifice for the good of others. The stories about these people are just as schmaltzy as the sob stories on shows like Britain's / America's got Talent, and they elicit the same sort of emotional response, but they are oriented toward encouraging and rewarding POSITIVE behavior.

Instead of putting the spotlight on misery and victimhood, The Wall celebrates empowerment and virtuous action. Ideally this will encourage viewers to make life better for others, and perhaps reduce the number of people who have lives that can be portrayed as sob stories on other shows.

1 point

It's a show. It does what it has to, to entertain viewers and make them feel the urge to pay to vote. Get over it.

2 points

Yes, but the show is also a contest. A contest where everyone has a chance and either makes or breaks it depending on their performance. What it isn't, is a sob fest where the guy with the wettest tears wins. Yes, the voters have to vote but it's not fair to the people who actually did well for someone with zero talent and amazing cry-on-command skills to win.

Mingiwuwu(1469) Clarified
1 point

Zero talent never wins but most talent also doesn't win. Learn to be good and also relatable in your backstory and you win.

1 point


Yes, but the show is also a contest. A contest where everyone has a chance and either makes or breaks it depending on their performance.


Si señor. Y’all need to stop pretending y’all got people close to u dying of cancer. I’m sick and tired of these people with no talent winning because of this...