This video has been popping up a lot on the old Facebook this week:
From what I've gathered, people are posting and re-posting this clip from Britain's Got Talent's 2012 auditions because it is inspiring or something. Usually the poster has included some version of the old cliche "you can't judge a book by its cover" when sharing said video, which is odd because by this point in the evolution of reality-based competition shows, everybody, regardless if they watch the program in question or not, understands that when an overweight, unattractive, awkward human being shuffles to center stage and lifts a microphone to his or her pudgy, sweat-drenched face, the voice coming out of that face is gonna be supernaturally amazing. Would millions of people waste their time sharing a YouTube clip of a fat kid who sings like a donkey? Probably not. When I see a weirdo on a reality show--and I mean a super duper weirdo--I just assume that he is going to bring the house down. A fat, awkward, weird cover usually means the book is gonna be pretty great. And a little boring, because we've seen it countless times before.
I'm not posting this video to shame the fringe "friends" who shared the Charlotte and Jonathan opera video on Facebook. And I'm not posting it to poke fun at Jonathan for his weight or his hair or his awkwardness. This isn't elementary school and I'm not a third grade bully. The fact that Jonathan looks like Dan Fogler if he ate Jack Black whole isn't the point. The point is who the hell listens to opera?!?
I mean, c'mon! When Charlotte and Jonathan get into it, fine, it's pretty intense. "Wow," I thought, "that kid is singing the shit out of some opera. Do it, son!" I get the audience's initial reaction. They can't believe this is the same shy kid that shambled onto stage deferring to his partner and playing with his hair. I do get it. But then things get a little silly. Audience members are shown nearly falling out of their seats and quietly sobbing to themselves. Then comes the standing ovation. It's all a bit much, no?
But, fine, this Jonathan guy is pretty good (I agree with Simon that Charlotte seems like deadweight). Stand for him. Cry into your folded hands. Clap until your palms bleed. Post a video of him singing on your Facebook page and claim him as your Messiah. But don't you dare try to tell me that you enjoy opera music. You don't and you never have! Seriously! The friends of mine who posted this dumb thing have never, to my knowledge, mentioned opera any other time on FB.
I don't follow Britain's Got Talent, so I don't know (or care) how Jonathan and Charlotte have fared this season, but from the reaction of the audience and the judges--my favorite comes at the 3:00 mark--these two could go all the way. And that's the problem with these reality talent shows. The weirdest people are rewarded. Like, what happens if Jonathan and Charlotte win and get some kind of record deal? Will they record an album of opera standards? Then what? A tour? A second album? There's no way that happens! Even if every hardcore opera fan on the planet bought their debut album, Charlotte and Jonathan are guaranteed to fade into obscurity within a year of its release.
It's like America's Got Talent when ventriloquist/impressionist/singer/wife-abandoner Terry Fader won. American's like ventriloquism that much? There's no way they do! Ventriloquism is antiquated and dumb. And not funny. Who is entertained by a ventriloquist? I mean really entertained?
Look, Britain, the best thing you can do for Jonathan and the girl-shaped albatross tied around his, um, let's say neck, is to boot him off of Britain's Got Talent as soon as possible. Let him move forward with a serious opera career. Don't string him along, convince him he'll be the biggest thing since fish and chips, only to abandon him for the next boy band that spawns from your jolly ole sewers and slowly conquers the world's hearts and minds. Let Jonathan go. It's for the best.