November 18, 2013
There are many articles today criticizing the top popular TV music competitions (X-Factor, The Voice etc.), saying that these shows are mostly to get the audience in front of television and not anymore about talent. Like with all other TV shows in commercial television: it is true. In fact, with such shows even more profit can be generated by releasing albums of the members of each series, sending them on different tours.
The other problem also mentioned – and again is true – the short shining of the new born stars, which is often the case with the winners as well.
But this was almost the same – focusing again on the era – in the 1980’s. Only the ways to find and create starts were different. There are hundreds and thousands of artists who never got any further from a few single hits or just one album release.
This was very typical of Pete Waterman’s PWL The Hitfactory, the home of many Hi-NRG artists from about 1983 to 1991. Some names: Mel & Kim, Rick Astley, Sinitta, Sonia, Big Fun, Jason Donovan, Kylie Minogue. The list is almost endless. Some of these artists were only popular in the UK, Europe and/or Asia. And there were some already well known arriving to The Hitfactory like Donna Summer, Cliff Richard for a few songs or for an album only.
Not talking about the ones becoming and staying World-famous (they are the fewer), but the others: most cases after one album made at The Hitfactory and touring around the UK and some other parts of the World for the next 1-2 years also lost a part of their success and changed profiles, went on playing in West End musical shows, became actors, or just stayed nearby the music industry, but not in the spotlight anymore. There star was not shining any longer or better than the celebrities 8as we call them today) come out of TV music competitions.