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- Should participants in TV talent competitions be paid? Connie Fisher, the winner of How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? thinks so, and she makes some good arguments. “These people have trained, people like [X Factor winner] Alexandra Burke, they are talented performers and if you are a performer you should be paid for what you are doing whether you win the competition or not. It is a showcase and it is an opportunity and some may ask why should they be paid for that opportunity? But once you get to a live television programme you are Saturday night entertainment and Des O’Connor [a well-known British TV host] would not go on television and not get paid, would he?”
According to a USA Today article from two years ago, American Idol does pay its contestants once they reach the Final 12:
…AFTRA’s industrywide contracts required the producers to start paying the performers at least the minimum $921 each time they appear on a one-hour show. In addition, they receive residual payments when a show they’re in as a finalist is aired again or is sold via DVDs or other media.
The producers must contribute to union-sponsored health care and retirement accounts.
Do you agree with Ms. Fisher that contestants should be paid? Or, having a huge platform from which to showcase their talent, should they be happy with whatever they get?
- Finding Leona Lewis made Simon Cowell stick it out on X Factor, even though he was tempted to leave. “She reminded me why we do this. Leona is the reason I decided to sign on for two more years. She made it worthwhile again.”(The Sun)
- Amy Winehouse must be in dire straits if she’s being consoled by David Gest. It took Liza Minnelli years to get that desperate.(Mirror)
- Add another one to Snopes.com: apparently, Sting‘s love of tantric sex is an elaborate hoax started by Sir Bob Geldof. Coco Sumner, Sting’s daughter, has cleared up the whole ruse, “Bob Geldof made up this thing and it stuck – and it’s an international joke!”(New York Daily News)
- Jane Horrocks, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne-Marie Duff, and Sophie Okonedo will all play world-famous women in a series of BBC4 dramas. Horrocks will play singer Gracie Fields, Bonham Carter will portray children’s book writer Enid Blyton, Duff will star as ballerina Margot Fonteyn, and Okonedo will play Winnie Mandela, ex-wife of Nelson. The head of BBC4 writes in The Guardian about how he selected the slate of programming.
- A real-life Peep Show: is David Mitchell backing that thang up for the camera?(The Sun)
- Lily Allen kisses her latest beau at a cricket match. Again, Lily looks gorgeous with the darker hair and makeup.(Daily Mail)
- “Toothy” and “unruly” Sienna Miller sidles up to fashion doyenne Anna Wintour.(Daily Mail)
- UK rockers Kasabian dismiss Oasis comparisons. Frontman Tom Meighan says, “There is no new Oasis. We can’t be Oasis because they’ve done it. Oasis were giants in the ’90s. It’s nice when people say it, but they’re kind of missing the point.”(Yahoo!)
For those who don’t know Kasabian, here’s their recent UK hit, “Fire”:
- Look at Robert Pattinson as a little towheaded tyke.(Mirror)
- The Guardian‘s Alexis Petridis hands out four stars for the new Arctic Monkeys album, saying it sounds a bit like the Pixies and adding, “You can either keep chasing an elusive past, relying on your fans’ nostalgia, or you can press on, keeping your gaze fixed forward. The first option is easier, but Humbug admirably takes the second, with a confidence that suggests that if their days at the eye of the storm are behind them, Arctic Monkeys’ best might be yet to come.”
Here’s the video for “Crying Lighting,” the first single off the new Arctic Monkeys album.
- New Order frontman Bernard Sumner‘s new band, Bad Lieutenant, has a new song up on MySpace.
- An exclusive “deleted scene” from In the Loop featuring Peter Capaldi. Before you watch, note The Guardian‘s warning: “There will be swearing.” So, of course, be sure to pump it loud in the office!
See more posts by 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.