Timeline: The Talent Show

November 4, 2010 § Leave a comment

In the 1960s Andy Warhol said “everyone will be famous for 15 minutes”, now 40 years later as long as you can sing, dance, or charm Simon Cowell you’re already there. How has this ‘Talent’ Show phenomenon developed?

1935: ‘The Original Amateur Hour‘, airs on radio in America. With contestants such as Frank Sinatra and Gladys Knight, no glitz, no glam, just the voices of the young hopefuls.

1948: Al Fisher produces ‘The Original Amateur Hour‘ on television showcasing comedians, tap-dancers, singers, jugglers, anyone with a talent and a dream.

1976: ‘The Gong Show‘, produced by Chuck Barris. Three celeb judges scrutinising contestants, gong sounded if they’re not happy. Much ‘Britain’s got Talent’.

1983: ‘Star Search‘, created by Al Masini. Showcases singers, dances, comedians, circus acts and fashionistas hoping to show off their skills to the public.

1990: Talent shows see a decline and game shows take the Saturday night spot on the television.

2002: ‘Pop Idol‘, talent shows get revamped. Showcasing both good and bad auditions. Talent shows go interactive. Public vote for who goes and who stays. After watching the contestants through their journey. Will Young wins and lands a record deal.

2004:’ The X Factor’, produced by Simon Cowell, viewers follow contestants singing through the process from auditions to live shows with massive live audiences. Viewers vote for who stays and who goes. Huge viewing figures, takes over Saturday and Sunday evenings. Winning contestants get a record deal with Cowell’s company, other high-ranking contestants may also get offered a deal depending on their popularity with the public.

2007: ‘Britain’s Got Talent’, produced by Simon Cowell auditions are to a live audience as well as live shows, three judges scrutinize contestants and viewers vote for their favourite, winning contestants get a chance to perform on the Royal Variety Show.

2009: Susan Boyle, overnight media phenomenon. ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ audition showcased in the paper, on the internet and all over the world in 48 hours.


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