"Let the gratefulness overflow into blessing all around you. Then, it will be a really good day." Louie Schwartzberg
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Confessions of a Talent Show Addict

posted by Susan Dominikovich on

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I have to come out of the closet.  It's confession time:  I am a sucker for talent shows.  My love affair started back in the day of American Idol with the likes of Reuben Studdard and Clay Aitken.  I have long since stopped watching the American (British, Canadian, Australian etc) versions but enjoyed NZ Idol a few years ago.  Ben Lummis was the first winner.   I do not remember the second and third seasons and the general feeling was, "NZ doesn't have enough talent to do an Idol show every year."  Shame on us.  Of course we do.

So to my delight last year, New Zealand aired it's first New Zealand's Got Talent.  Some truly incredible talent indeed.  And some not so incredible.  My favourites became the top three in the finals and an absolute gem of a 15 year old girl (singer song-writer) deservedly won.  Her name is Clara Van Whel and I'll always remember her haunting original song based on a fairy tale.  Because, as she admitted herself, at the age of 15 she hasn't experienced enough to write original songs based on real life and emotions.  Until her last song, which was a song of loneliness and longing.  Not many eyes were dry as she explained this was the one song based on her own experience.  Argh. 

You see, it's the stories that go along with the contestants which keep us watching.  Yes, we appreciate incredible talent and yes, we enjoy being entertained by the cringe moments.  But it's the stories behind the talent which make us cheer for that person, whether they can sing like a nightingale or not.  

X-Factor New Zealand is on air at the moment.  It's a family affair in the Dominikovich house.  Each Sunday and Monday night during the auditions, we settle on the sofa in front of our screen with much anticipation and the tissue box at hand.  Together, we fall in love with the 15-year old boy who sings "Small Bump" for his little brother who died, and then again with the man whose wife died of an aneurysm just last year.  It's a hard heart that doesn't crumble at the sight of this man's children crying off-stage into each others shoulders.  

And then there is Jackie Thomas.  So far, no story except that she hails from Greymouth, was very nervous before her audition and looks like a super-sweet girl.  With cherries on top.  That kind of sweet.  She sings "Skinny Love" and with the first note, I grab the tissue box.  A voice so true and beautiful, better than both Birdy and Bon Iver.  I am sure there will be more to her story, but quite possibly her talent is the story.  And as you probably know by now, I am a sucker for a good story.

It's Sunday night:  grab the popcorn Kids.  I'll bring the tissues.

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