Tuesday, 5 October 2010
The Minority Rules
The year was 2002. Staying in on Saturday nights was all the rage. Britain was in the grip of reality television hysteria. The joy of watching people of humble origins become overnight sensations through democratic programming had made the possibility of becoming a celebrity a tangible reality for all of us regardless of looks, skills and discernable talents. Some television shows revelled in their lowbrow brilliance while others made more of an effort by purporting to be talent shows in the search of credible singers. The BBC had its Fame Academy which had an audience of two-dozen; the ITV had its Pop Idol which had an audience of everyone residing in the British Isles. By 2002 the success of Pop Idol had spawned a one-off spin-off show called Pop Stars: The Rivals, in which two gender distinct pop bands consisting of five elected members were borne. The girl band became the beloved Girls Aloud; the boy band went on to become something none of us can remember. It was survival of the fittest and the best band won. Girls Aloud become the biggest girl band in Britain because they had all the right elements. The people of Great Britain had exercised their democratic rights and voted for Nadine Coyle, Cheryl Cole, Sarah Harding, Nicola Roberts and Kimberley Walsh to form the principal components of this fantastic new musical movement. And in doing so the British people had decided to eliminate the bookies favourite, Javine Hylton- the only black contestant left in the show. ITV declared it to be a fair contest but others were not so permissive. People claimed the show had been rigged and that when they had dialled the number to vote for Javine Hylton they were rerouted to a recorded message thanking them for voting for fellow contestant, Sarah Harding. ITV denied any vote rigging and the matter was soon settled by Girls Aloud going on to an amazing pop career, while Javine Hylton became an ad-hoc 'z-list' celebrity appearing on any number of pedestrian reality television shows.