Kids exploited by reality TV?

On Sunday night a young girl was brought to tears on national television.

On Sunday night a young girl was brought to tears on national television for the gratification of reality TV audiences. How was this allowed to happen?

The girl, 12-year-old Romy, was auditioning for a place on the new reality television show The Voice Kids. For those who aren’t aware (I wasn’t), it is a singing talent show for Australian children of all ages. Contestants as young as seven have about a minute to perform a song in front of a live studio audience. Four judges listen to the audition with their chairs facing away from the stage, so they can judge the performance based on vocal merit. If they want to give the contestant the thumbs up, thereby offering them a pass into the next phase of the contest, they turn their chairs around to see the child behind the voice.

On Sunday night Romy’s performance of Turning Tables by Adele failed to impress the judges, and the 12-year-old girl burst into tears as she realised she hadn’t been chosen. To their credit the judges were clearly upset that they’d made Romy cry, and they got up onto the stage to comfort her, encouraging her to practice and return next year.

The problem is that Romy’s audition didn’t have to end up on national television. There will be hundreds of auditions which never make it to air. Because she didn’t get through to the next round, there was no reason to show Romy’s audition, except that the producers decided that a young girl bursting into tears would make good television, and it doesn’t hurt that the judges come out looking like the good guys.

So was it appropriate to include the segment in the program’s Sunday broadcast? Who has duty of care in this situation? The producers for choosing to show it, or her parents for letting her enter the contest in the first place? And is it right that children be allowed to participate in reality television at all, given the uncontrollable nature of live television?

You can see some of the other young contestants’ auditions in the following videos:

Molly sings Am I Not Pretty Enough

Sebastian sings When I Was Your Man

Abigail sings Empire State Of Mind





    COMMENTS

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    particolor
    9th Jul 2014
    9:03am
    WHATS NEW ??
    older&wiser
    9th Jul 2014
    9:27am
    Allot of the problem lies with the parents. Too many kids are told they are perfect, have the best voice, are over intelligent, etc and so have no concept of failure or realism. I saw this recently at a local show, where a youngster (around 6) after coming 2nd in an event, stormed off yelling 'mummy said I was the best'. Allot of kids can sing, but they aren't a second Beyoncé/Adele/Kylie. The sooner both parents and children accept this, the sooner we will see kids accept negative feedback and live in the real world
    trickyv
    9th Jul 2014
    10:19am
    Oh come on, let kids learn the hard way and realise they can't always all be winners, they want to go onto tv and show what they can do, what happens if she got to the next round and was knocked out, more tears maybe. I congratulate her and her parents for allowing it to go to air, it's shows not everyone can smile when they are beaten and that reality tv isn't always only for winners but losers too. Hopefully she will come back next bigger and better and get ot the next round, this is a learning curve for the BIG stage.
    LENYJAC
    9th Jul 2014
    11:33am
    TO YOUNG TO BE GIVEN FALSE HOPE BY A BUNCH OF NO HOPER (JUDGES?)THIS IS NOT LEARNING THE HARD WAY,JUST COS MUMMY SAID....AND TV STATIONS EXPLOITING THESE KIDS..???????
    Polly Esther
    9th Jul 2014
    1:15pm
    It's the old dangle the carrot trick. It can make the horse move forward, for ever reaching for the never gotten reward. Who really benefits the most? The horse or the rider? Or in the case of "reality" TV shows, the judges do I believe. However if the horse has a kind master it will partake of the carrot at the end of the ride. You know, you win some, lose some, it's life be in it. My opinion anyway. Most importantly though, "Lead us not into temptation"
    particolor
    9th Jul 2014
    6:20pm
    But You cant make it drink !!
    bloke
    9th Jul 2014
    2:00pm
    It's a TV show featuring the Judges, not the contestants.
    If you don't like don't watch.
    Mike Munro
    9th Jul 2014
    3:01pm
    That is why we do not watch these type of crap. It has nothing to do with the contestants, it is all about the blow-in judges and ratings. Hate them.
    doggone
    9th Jul 2014
    3:49pm
    ALL REALITY SHOWS ARE CRAP.

    they are not real but are doctored to look good or make the judges look good or see a contestant look bad and make a wad of money for the tv station.

    be it singing, dancing, cooking or what ever they are all crap.

    and if you watch them then i am sorry for your lack of a brain.
    particolor
    9th Jul 2014
    6:23pm
    Gordan Ramsey would throw the C**p out the Kitchen Door !!


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