Saturday, June 19, 2010

Britain's Got (Little) Talent: The SABOTAGE OF JANEY CUTLER

We know who won Britain's Got (Little) Talent. It was a bunch of gymnasts with paint on, including males who drew six-pack abs onto themselves with make-up. In second place, an ugly, gawky duo of best mates who "danced" liked spastic robots and won gales of laughter by occasional effeminate posturing at each others' behinds. In third, a pork-faced little brat with a blond Woody Woodpecker hairstyle who banged at a drum kit for a few minutes. While the judges sneered about acts failing to be "contemporary" they fawned over this little stub who thumped to 50 year-old surf tunes, acted out of breath and exhausted after one song, and displayed none of the variation and skills of a Ringo Starr or a B.J. Wilson. He didn't vary tempo and rarely veered too far from slugging at one drum as if trying to bully a classmate into handing over lunch money. In other words, he drummed like a 13 year-old.

Who finished out of the money? There was an impressionist who wasn't bad. Another favorite was a 40-year-old virgin and her dancing dog. There was, of course, the requisite fat choir boy singing in a voice that would make even Julie Andrews wince, and then there was 81 year-old Janey Cutler. She was the likeliest for Her Majesty to actually enjoy at a command performance (supposedly the reason for the judges to vote someone through and for the TV audience to select a winner on behalf of their queen!) Janey had her "Susan Boyle" moment on one of the audition shows, shocking the judges with her powerful voice on the Edith Piaf anthem "No Regrets." Surely the Queen would want to see this, and not some circus act, street dance duo or kid thumping a drum to "Pipeline." Oh. But insidiously, we forget, the real reason people get voted upward is a) to feed Simon Cowell's record label or b) to put asses in the seats at "Britain's Got Talent" summer tours, and c) because the final voting is subject to being rigged into a popularity contest, and it would be naive to suggest that the number of calls can't be manipulated by the show or young contestants and their hacker friends.

So what happened after Janey Cutler's brilliant audition? In the semi-finals she sang Shirley Bassey’s ‘"This Is My Life.” A change of pace with a slower song rather than another anthem would've been better. She could've brought everyone to tears with something like "September Song." But the big problem was that she was no longer singing to her own well-rehearsed karaoke track. This time, apparently dictated by the show's producers, she had to sing an unfamiliar arrangement. She was not fitted with the tiny earbuds that almost all professional singers wear these days…specifically so they won't be distracted by echo or other problems with a strange venue's acoustics. Did the producers decide that old, old Janey couldn't sell records for very long or tour very often? That might prompt sabotage. Fortunately despite her timing being off due to the new music track, Janey's performance was still far above the competition and the judges would not or could not deny her a chance at the finals.

For her last chance, the now desperate and worried Janey Cutler fell back to doing exactly what Susan Boyle did…rather than risk a new song, go back and try to wow them by repeating that first successful number. Only the producers weren't going to let her sing to her audition music. You could see the frown and concern on Janey's face as she struggled to find her way, unable to hear properly, unable to adjust to the new version of the song. At the end, even the judges had sympathetic looks of dismay. All three declared Janey "a fighter," and pretended that toward the end Janey had at least caught up to the arrangement and finished strong. No, she hadn't. The entire performance was dreadful and toward the end the poor woman wasn't even on key. Nerves? At her age, smiling Janey had seen enough in life not to be nervous. Throughout the shows, she'd smiled and laughed. She wasn't laughing when the newly provided music overpowered her and raced past her ability to sing. If Susan Boyle couldn't win a phone-in vote against a slum dance team, even with her best song and a nation rooting for her and millions having seen her via YouTube all through the past weeks, there was no way Janey Cutler was going to win against any of the young people in the final, and she didn't.

Your download is the first song from Janey, when things were magical, and when she had her own track that she picked out herself...and control of her destiny.



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Anonymous said...

I thought that Janey Cutler should have won..It really made me see what a fix that these shows really are....