Danyl Johnson: Are You Tired of Him Already? I Am

The Danyl Johnson hype train chugs on. The 27-year-old English-born teacher-turned-international-superstar is on the cover of every British tabloid, and everyone marvels at the number of hits his X Factor audition has received on YouTube. And, this morning, Johnson appeared on the Today show with Matt Lauer and Ann Curry. Not bad for a contestant on a show that doesn’t even air in this country.

It’s quite funny to see British reality-TV singers like Johnson and Susan Boyle storm our shores. As if we didn’t have enough homegrown would-be pop stars and famewhores! And doesn’t the U.S. have its own show right now, America’s Got Talent? (That show seems to do well-enough for NBC, but it has yet to make a single, noteworthy star. Maybe America ain’t got much talent, after all?)

Has it been that bad of a year for new celebrities? The drive to crown Johnson the next big star seems unusually desperate. After Johnson’s interview with him on Today, Matt Lauer said:

“Everybody really respects Simon Cowell‘s judgment in the music industry; nobody respects mine. But I have to tell you, I can’t remember seeing anyone with so much stage presence at such a young age. We’re going to be rooting for you, Danyl.”

Such a young age? The man is 27, which is nearly elderly in showbiz years. Does Danyl Johnson have more stage presence than the young Michael Jackson? More stage presence than Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, or Janis Joplin, all of whom were dead at 27? (And yes, Matt Lauer, at 51, you are old enough to remember them.) Dial back the hyperbole just a notch, man.

And let’s be real here: Dude was a little pitchy in his audition. Just sayin’.

In other news:

  • Kerry Katona was arrested yesterday for allegedly beating up…her accountant?(The Independent)
  • Helen Mirren and Pete Postlethwaite have joined the cast of the latest adaptation of Graham Greene‘s novel, Brighton Rock. (Variety)
  • Lily Allen “threatened” Perez Hilton on Twitter after the celebrity blogger said she’d make a bad mother.(Mirror)
  • Julian Fellowes, Oscar-winning screenwriter for Gosford Park, will cover similar territory in a new ITV drama “set in an Edwardian country house, in the year 1912.” (The Stage)
  • Is British “urban” (a.k.a. “black”) music on an upswing?(BBC)

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.

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