Midler blasts ‘bland’ ‘Idol’, ‘X Factor‘
Tuesday, November 23 2010, 10:38am EST
By Alex Fletcher, Reality TV Editor
Bette Midler has spoken out against music reality shows such as American Idol and The X Factor, describing the artists on both shows as ‘bland’.
The 64-year-old singer and actress also warned that the talent formats were damaging culturally because they make people believe that they are stars.
“That’s really, really dangerous. That’s not good for culture. Not everyone is a star. It gives people a sense of entitlement,” she told Richard Bacon‘s BBC 5 Live show.
“I hear people who are a generation younger than me, who want all the perks and gratification that comes from being in our business for 20 years or more. They think they deserve it because, ‘I am, who I am’. It has pervaded my country. My country is 25th in mathematics and science but number one in self esteem.”
When asked whether she thought Simon Cowell was the new “kingmaker” and this generation’s Johnny Carson, Midler said that she was skeptical about the success of reality show acts.
“I haven’t really got the sense that the winners from those shows have gone on to really illustrious and gigantic careers,” she said. “Not the kind of careers Johnny Carson established for people.”
She added: “I don’t think I could ever get on American Idol. I’m too eccentric. They like a certain blandness. Occasionally they have the strange Chinese guy, who sings out of tune. But who would I be, the Chinese guy…? You have to be a riffer. Either a white riffer, a black riffer… it’s a model, it’s a formula.”
Midler also revealed that performing on Idol was one of the “worst experiences of her career”.
“It was like a meat market. It was like a factory. They shove you in, no time to rehearse, you do it as fast as you can and then they throw you off,” she said.
“You have no idea what you’re singing, you can’t hear anything over the screeching… I wouldn’t do it again.”