SW Londoner’s Emily Ansell can’t help but ask: Why are we so obsessed with fame?
I take a deep breath, calm my nerves and look at the mass of people around me. Every one of them is here to impress, hoping this moment will change their life forever.
In the words of voiceover man Peter Dickson: “It’s time… to face… the music!”
I’m in the holding room at my first open audition and it will soon be my turn to face the panel. As another singer, I’m here attempting to stand out among hundreds of hopefuls just like me.
As I wait, a 13-year-old tells me this is her third year trying for a part in the same show and she’s desperate to be famous. I can’t help but ask: Why are we so obsessed with fame?
Reality TV has engulfed the nation and some see it as the only way to reach for the stars and grab a few on their way down.
Carefully packaged popstars, including JLS and Leona Lewis have emerged from X Factor while others, like jungle queen Stacey Solomon, went on to do more reality TV in a bid to retain celebrity status.
With our screens full of these shows, it’s easy to see why young people want a taste of fame but do we ever think about performers trying to succeed away from the cameras?
Wimbledon singer-songwriter Malory Torr has chosen to stay away from the reality screen in the hope of retaining her individuality.
She says: “These shows are an amazing platform and provide incredible exposure, but I believe if you have something original, and are truly talented, it’s a waste to allow yourself to become packaged and sold in such a formulaic way.”
Through taking part in off-camera auditions, the 17-year-old has starred in a TV advert for Rimmel, reached the final of Live and Unsigned, performed at the O2 and made it to the final 50 of 7,500 acts in Jamie Cullum’s Big Audition. There’s no denying this girl has the X factor.
Malory added: “I’ve been performing my own material as a singer-songwriter for two years now. My dad showed me a couple chords and I started co-writing with my sister; it developed from there.”
Whether you love it or hate it, X Factor is the honey in a hive of vicious bees. There’s no denying the contestants have talent. Other reality shows have gone further and prove fame and talent don’t always go hand in hand.
It started with Big Brother where the concept was to put people in a house, film them and see what happens. Now, we’re watching TOWIE and Made in Chelsea where a group of glamorous socialites act out situations provided by producers.
We sit glued to our screens staring at young people gossiping. We spend money on glossy magazines and read about them. Some of us desperately ask: “Why are these people famous?”
Public school girl Georgia Rose regularly brushes shoulders with celebrities in South West London’s hot-spots. The 19-year-old recently attended a birthday party for the Made in Chelsea cast in exclusive Kensington night club Amika.
She says: “TV celebs just act like anyone else in the club. They only go to places where people expect to see them. The other night I bumped into a guy outside Amika and said ‘You look like Harry from One Direction.’ He replied, ‘That’s because I am.’”
With her long blonde hair, private education and slim figure, Georgia wouldn’t look out of place on Made in Chelsea but does she believe reality stars deserve their fame and fortune?
“No, because they haven’t done anything. They’re just ordinary people who got lucky. If they can have fans, we all should,” Georgia says.
“I’d love take part in these shows though. Thinking about all the money and celebrity status, most of us would grab the opportunity,” she added.
Perhaps Georgia is right. We live in a world of celebrity and naturally most of us want a slice of the delicious pie.
As one “celebrity” put it: “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.”
That’s why I’m here today with a tummy full of butterflies, waiting to show what I can do. When I face the panel it’s time to play my part in the fame game.