Sometimes, when I’m out of ideas I go down Youtube’s rabbit hole and surrender myself to the twists and turns of the interweb highway searching for creative inspiration.
One day I found myself watching a compilation of the worst reactions of various international talent show contestants who didn’t make the cut.
What I found was both fascinating as well as disturbing to see the worst of humanity reacting to well-intended criticism.
There’s the girl who claimed she was a singing coach. What followed was a terrible rendition of a song she composed that had all the genres mashed together: opera to country to rap to pop to goth. Instead of coming off as art, the whole thing devolved into one confusing, cringeworthy mess. Naturally, the judges declined. Affronted, the self-proclaimed singing coach made a scene and accused them of not knowing what true art was. The tragedy of it all was that she really could sing especially when the song – if you could call it that – went operatic or pop.
Then there were the two girls who sang offkey. Unfortunately, it wasn’t just that. What made it so terrible was that neither would accept they couldn’t sing and then quarrelled onstage to the point where one girl slapped the other on the mouth.
Another was a guy who claimed he was joining the competition because he felt he was mature enough and then proceeded to curse the judges when they turned him down for the next round. He went so far as to insult the audience as well when they booed him off the stage for being offensive.
I watched a few more compilations until I couldn’t take any more. I felt like I’d drowned myself in too much negativity that I had to watch exactly the opposite. Fortunately, there also exist compilations of exceptional contestants, the creme de la creme of such talent shows.
Coming off of watching the worst singers WITH terrible attitudes, the difference is stark: the best singers with the BEST attitudes exhibit exactly the opposite: exceptional talent, a willingness to listen, and above all, humility.
Here we see two ends of the spectrum of human behavior. One group that can’t sing and another that can, two different reactions to criticism. Why do some people behave so atrociously on camera? What makes them believe they have talent even when it’s obvious they don’t? Then also, what makes another group of people believe they’re not good enough when it’s obvious they are?
Human behavior is certainly one hell of a riddle. The only explanation I can find is that humanity is diverse. After all, life would be boring without diversity, wouldn’t it? TV shows certainly would be!