Idols SA season 10 is done and dusted with the birth of a new star, Vincent Bones. Vincent pipped Bongie to the title amid revelation he received the highest number of votes ever.
He walked away with over R1,2 worth of prizes including a recording deal with Universal Music. There were other winners though who ironically were popular for their terrible performances.
Winner of the wooden mic was the Via Orlando comedian.
Another wooden mic contender Remember Lebese had the audiences at the finale roaring with his original composition Let It Go. The song had been repackaged, spruced up with back dancers, costumes and a beat and I bet the song will be a hit.
Soon we will be dancing to it at clubs and parties.
There you have it, not all record breakers and hitmakers have angelic voices neither are they all talented.
My concern with Idols though is you can now easily mistake it for a European or American talent search show. Over the years they were criticised for having many whites, but having resolved that, the difference is the same because all contestants sing like John Legend, Justin Bieber and other American music stars.
I also have a lot of reservations with Idols especially the manner in which contestants are demoralised and torn apart by judges in early stages of the competition, but just watching the final I had no choice, but to eat my heart out.
Maybe it is because I kept thinking from a Zimbabwean perspective and wondering why our own ceremonies, awards, shows and talent search programmes never reach that level.
We need to realise that stage sets, backgrounds, lighting and high standard technical systems will go a long way in sprucing up our events. The Idols finale was colourful and there was evidence of serious investment in making the event glamorous.
In many of our local events we tend to concentrate on good food and simple decoration more than we invest on the real deal stage event itself.
Show and event organisers are so particular about advertising events, security, food, and will pay anything to get fans and “guests of honour” to their occasions.
Some guests are even paid allowances and accommodated at expensive hotels just to convince them to attend events; are dined and sat at well-furnished high tables to appreciate their presence.
Nothing is completely wrong with that. The sad thing, however, is when it comes to the reasons why people must come to shows and events little is done.
Organisers of events and shows in Zimbabwe will try to cut all corners when it comes to actual stage acts. They try to get artistes for as cheaply as possible and do with as minimal stage craft as possible.
We are seriously lagging behind technically and on stage sets. We need to invest on using technics and stage sets and costumes to create colourful events.
The talent and creativity of our artistes will go a mile further if it is enhanced by good sound, lighting and stage sets. Nama and Zima for instance need to honestly grow in terms of presentation.
Let’s do away with the traditional pulpit presentations “nominees-are winner-is” template at these events. It has become monotonous and is no longer attractive to viewers and audiences.
It is as good as coming up with the same script and performance each and every year.
We need to be dynamic, resourceful and creative in order to attract the attention of world markets for our entertainment, arts and creative sector.
The difference now is that events are beamed across the continent via channels like Dstv and are streamed across the world via the Internet.
We simply need to put up our best and unfortunately that is one quality we are taking for granted.
Besides presentation of quality events the Idols SA finale inspired me to encourage our local creative sector to look and learn.
Vincent Bones has just had his career kick started. He and all those that made it to the finals have been branded, promoted, advertised and that alone will create avenues and highways for them in their music careers.
These talent identification reality shows are now a trend worldwide. We as Zimbabwe besides just our award initiatives Nama, Zima and maybe the talent search programme Star Brite, need to follow suit.
On the Gospel scene in South Africa they boast of Joyous Celebration and it has opened up opportunities for many musicians in that genré.
Local artistes fight a lone battle in trying to make it in the creative sector. They go out to scrounge for limited resources and a few have made it, but I think there is a lot of talent we have lost.
It is easier for co-operates, promoters and record labels to invest in collective efforts.
We need these reality show programmes because they are a litmus test for talent. At that stage artistes can be judged by the market they intend to serve.
It creates audiences and fan bases for them well before they even walk into the studio and when they do, record labels and promoters know they are investing in talent that is marketable and profitable already.
They know they are not selling ice cream to Eskimos, but rather a product in demand. As we try to create platforms for talent identification, development and promotion, we seriously need to learn from models used across the world. Keep walking.
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