Okay…so I have to be careful how I write this lest you get the impression I am bitter or upset about the outcome. I’m not I can assure you. However, I do think that the topic needs to be discussed as there actually were a few unhappy and confused people in attendance the night of the second semi-final of the Hull Talent Trail 2011, of which I was a participant.
So, first things first and straight to the point, I didn’t actually get through. I was well aware that I wouldn’t though, having seen the line-up for my night. As soon as the names were announced for my heat I trawled back through the Hull Daily Mail articles of the qualifying heats to check out the competition…as you would. For most of the acts there were videos available to watch. It became apparent after watching the first the girls that it was a) a girls night and b) a cabaret/club-singer/musical theatre kind of affair. So immediately I was concerned that I had been put in this category being the only musician playing an instrument and singing my own arrangements of fairly well known songs that were d e f i n i t e l y n o t anything like what the other girls were doing!
The previous heat I had been in had consisted of other guitarists, a couple of people singing to backing tracks and a seven-piece band. When I was told I had got through that round, the organiser approached me afterwards and told me I had ‘walked it’. I should also mention that one of the three judges was a musician also who has been in bands, organised lots of live music events and could actually play an instrument so understood what’s involved in playing and singing at the same time!
So the whole time I was preparing for the semi-final heat I was constantly being reassured by my family and my boyfriend that it didn’t matter that I was an entirely different performer to the other 8 girls and that I should trust the judges. Under normal circumstances this would be good advice right? Well that’s what we all thought.
So I turned up on the night at Inglemire Social Club prepared and not worrying too much. Then the judges came in and were introduced. They were, in no particular order, Kim, Mally King, Pete T, Glen and Lisa Kelsey, a cabaret singer.
Comments were as follows:
Glen: ‘Great to see live music’, ‘Loved your voice – and the arrangements’, ‘You have real talent Claire I could listen to you all day! A very commercial sound’.
Pete: ‘Lovely control’, ‘Loved the arrangement of the last two songs’.
Mally: ‘Guitar played with skill’, ‘Linked songs and told us 1st song as well, not all have done that’, ‘Great vocal quality’, ‘This area seems to produce really good guitar/vocalists, Emma, Edwina, Andy, Leanne that have made it, let’s hope you follow them all the way. You have a nice touch of humour’.
Kim: ‘Three easy listening songs, loved them all’, ‘Hi Claire, thanks for bringing something different to the stage tonight, loved listening to your music, lovely chill-out songs’, ‘Relaxed and confident performance’, ‘My kind of music, thanks and well done x ‘.
Lisa: ‘Nice look, confident start’ (Poison Prince), ‘Very nice voice, very chilled feel to the songs’, ‘Nice contrast to all the clubland acts’, ‘Like to see you fronting a band’, ‘Very talented but lacking that bit of sparkle for me’, then she said…..of In For The Kill ‘nice version – bit long’ and of Glory Box ‘Not familiar with the song’.
So basically, all positive comments bar a couple of negatives from Lisa. So, as this is MY blog, I have a right to dispute these comments and will!
In For The Kill is actually my shortest song so I’m not even going to bother saying anything more on (moron) that!
As for not being ‘familiar with the song’ regarding Glory Box, well, this is also an irrelevant comment. It really doesn’t matter if that particular judge knows that particular song or not. Everyone else loved it and I’m pretty sure they weren’t ALL ‘familiar’ with it! That’s not what a talent show is about judging. All other comments about my song choices were good, including her own which seem contradictory when you read them !
The questions are did I sing it well? Did I play guitar well with it? Did you enjoy it? Do I have talent??? As for sparkle…well, don’t get me started! Hahaha. Thats was my first reaction to that comment. Sparkle?? I’m a folk/rock/pop/acoustic artist! It would have been ridiculous to add some ‘sparkle’ in a completely inappropriate way to the style of what I do!
So basically, I wasn’t what they were looking for. Fine. Having seen the other performances of the night I don’t WANT to be what they were looking for. As I was told by a few people on the night, I could have got up there, in a sequined dress, danced about like a lunatic singing to an imaginary moon and belted out some show-tunes (this is an accurate description of what I saw that night – ask anyone that was there!)….but that’s not me. I love what I do, I love playing guitar and I love singing songs that I feel and am sincere about. Thats my style and until I want to change it that’s how it will always be.
I haven’t taken it personally, I’m more than happy with the outcome and it’s been an experience.
I think the most fitting words to finish on are those said by my boyfriend before I even went to the semis which were ‘do what you enjoy doing and don’t try to be someone else’s idea of perfect’.
p.s. I will be posting the songs I performed for both heats of Hull Talent Trail 2011 for your anticipated opinions for me to completely ignore!