December 11, 2010

JBJ fears for reality show kids


Jon Bon Jovi fears youngsters competing on reality TV talent contests such as "American Idol" will struggle to become enduring stars because they aren't given enough time to perfect their craft.

The Bon Jovi rocker has appeared on the show twice as a mentor to contestants, and although he appreciates the entertainment value of such competitions, he worries that many aspiring artists will crumble after experiencing instant fame.

He tells Larry King, "Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, I can go (through) the list of guys that would have all been thrown off... What artists have established, like the aforementioned, (is that they) were telling their story their way. They were stylists. And those kids (on the TV shows), they're all very technically - you know, good singers - but that does not an artist make.

"And being thrust into that spotlight where 30 million people are watching you every week, you win the contest and, by the way, you'd better have a hit record tomorrow. Wow!

"I had 21 years to write that first record. You know, you have a year or two after that to develop who you are on the stage. So it's very hard on those kids."

And Bon Jovi admits he finds a lot of other reality TV shows, such as "Dancing With The Stars," annoying - because TV producers could use their time working on charity projects instead.

He adds, "All that reality stuff is bothersome to me because I just think, you know, a show like (King's charity show) 'Heroes' could be such a better use of time. And there's just so many better things that we could be doing."

I have to say - interesting points. I never saw the reality competitions the way he did, and I definitely see his point. And as for the last part about reality shows being a waste of space - I agree completely. I don't watch reality television (I hardly watch television, period) for many reasons, but this is one of them. We could be using that time and space to do so many better things with our culture. But alas, we are a nation obsessed with the lives of the shallow and gossipy, the likes of Jersey Shore, and making sure we keep up with the Kardashians. (No offense meant whatsoever to those of you who like those shows - they are just examples of how riddled our TV networks are with shows about other people's lives.)

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