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October 8, 2012 | by  | in Features |
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What Talent?

Losing Half Of Your Sunday and Half of your dignity to new Zealand’s latest tv fad.

I’ve been watching a lot of TV lately. Both as a form of procrastination, but also as part of grieving the Dating the Boy Next-Door saga that has gripped our Kelburn Flat.

So obviously any girl that isn’t getting a text back is bound to get sassy over something.

My target this time? The New Zealand’s Got Talent series, or what I like to call, New Zealand’s- Got-Talent-But-Not-On-This-Show series.

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past few months you’ll know that New Zealand’s Got Talent has hit New Zealand’s silver screen.

Aired on Sunday nights on One, it cuts into half an hour of Sunday; one of the few current affairs shows left our dismal excuse of a public broadcasting system.

Currently, it is the highest rating television show across almost all New Zealand demographics. So with so many people watching it, what is it saying about NZ?

First on my sass list is the lack of any substantial female representation on the show. The only woman that gets to speak is long-legged blond ambition Rachel Hunter.

She giggles, flips her hair, and gives feedback like “That was just amazing, you’ve just got so much talent in you.” Oh come on Rachel say something meaningful. That dancing old man with the cute knitted jumper is not going to make it internationally.

Second on my sass list is the step back in our colonial history by letting England have a say.The British judge on the panel is former UB40 front man Ali Thompson. I’m a fan of ‘Red Red Wine’ and his accent is kind of cute, but I firmly believe that in a country that has an identity very distinct from our British ‘motherland,’ we do not need a colonial eye to decide what is talent and what is not.

And now that I’ve got my knickers in twist what better time to bring up the ‘talent.’

The JGeeks. A metro-Maori dance group that has captivated the nation with pelvic thrusts and a very smooth mix of urban and traditional Maori culture.

However, the JGeeks were an established group with a huge following before the show, and isn’t the whole point to find new talent?

Though probably the most uncomfortable talent is the now YouTube sensation “Ching Chong.” It was a comedic performance where Ji-Ying, a Kiwi/Korean girl sang of her own difficulties of “growing up Asian in New Zealand.”

It received applause and gold stars from the judges. But is it okay to laugh at what is probably a very real struggle for some kiwis?

Every episode I’ve watched, (which is quite a few, including extended clips because the boy saga has been going on for quite awhile) I’ve felt like a tourist on a bus in Rotorua watching all the cringe worthy stereotypes that shape what John Key tells us is our “national identity.”

But boy problems aside, if this is what New Zealand On Air Funding is going towards, I say bring back TVNZ 6 and 7. Or at least do something a little more substantial than NZGT,The GC and The Ridges. But at least the latter two have some semblance of a plot line.

Ladies and gentlemen that is my sass-rant.And now that the boy has texted back I will no longer be watching any of that NZGT drivel. ▲

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