Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Showing Talent

In recent years there has been a plethora of talent shows infesting our television screens. A new series of “X-Factor” began in the UK at the weekend. I don’t know about you but I can’t tell one show from another these days, they’re all equally contrived and over-hyped. However, they have provided a springboard for a whole army of lgbt singers to find their moment of fame, whether they actually have talent or not.

Before I present my list I must mention a couple of the more famous lgbt singers who found fame on tv talent shows. Top of the list is Will Young. In the days when the current format for these shows was still new and interesting Will emerged as the winner of the UK’s first “Pop Idol” series in 2002. It wasn’t until afterwards that he came as gay. It didn’t effect his popularity and indeed he has used his sexuality in videos and other media work. The true meaning of talent is the longevity of a career, and Will Young is still very popular some 12 years later.

In the USA the most successful talent show “find” is Adam Lambert. In 2009 Adam competed in the 8th series of “American Idol”. He came second in the final and, like Will Young, came out as gay afterwards although rumours of his sexuality were circulating before the series ended.

What I’ve done with this list is take the talent show as the main category heading and listed the lgbt singers who competed in those series. Several countries have their own version of these shows, and that is shown in the country sub-categories. The year each individual appeared is also indicated. This list should not be regarded as definitive. This list does not include dancers, of which Chris Olsage (Mr Gay World 2013) and Cheer San Francisco have been among the many other lgbt contestants.

Any Dream Will Do
UK 2007 -- Daniel Boys

Fame Academy
UK 2003 -- Alex Parks

… Got Talent
Thailand 2011 -- Bell Nuntita
UK 2014 -- Jamie Lambert;  La Voix and the London Gay Big Band;  Eva Iglesias
Ukraine 2012 -- Alexander Bohun
USA 2010 -- John Quale (aka Prince Poppycock)
USA 2012 -- Jonathan Allen
USA 2013 -- Branden James

(Pop) Idol
Australia 2003 -- Shane Jenek (aka Courtney Act)
Australia 2004 -- Anthony Callea
Australia 2009 -- Kate Cook
Canada 2003 -- Richie Wilcox
Germany 2003 -- Daniel Kübböck
Germany 2007 -- Mark Medlock
UK 2002 -- Will Young;  Korben 
USA 2002 -- Jim Verraros;  R J Helton
USA 2003 -- Clay Aiken;  Frenchie Davis
USA 2008 -- David Hernandez;  Danny Noriega
USA 2009 -- Adam Lambert;  Nathaniel Marshal
USA 2013 -- Josh “Jada” Davila;  Papa Sanchez
USA 2014 -- M K Nobilette

Star King (South Korea)
2007 -- Charice Pempengco

Star Search
USA 1983 -- Sam Harris

The Voice
USA 2003 -- Frenchie David;  De’Borah
USA 2013 -- Michelle Chamuel

Australia 2010 -- Harry Abu;  Michael Maiolo
Australia 2012 -- Justin Standley
Australia 2013 -- Ofisa Tee Toleafoa
Israel 2014 -- Rose Fostanes
UK 2006 -- David Heath (with the group Eton Road)
UK 2009 -- Danyl Johnson;  Joe McElderry
UK 2011 -- Marcus Collins;  Craig Colton
UK 2012 -- Christopher Maloney;  Jaymi Hensley (with the group Union J);  Jade Ellis;  Rylan Clarke;  Lucy Spraggan
USA 2012 -- Don Philip

Before I sign off for today I’ll bring the list right up to date. I mentioned the new series of “X-Factor” started at the weekend. At my workplace are several offices of several businesses. One of them recently employed a gay man who works part-time as make-up artist to one of the gay contestants in the new series (he won't tell me his name).

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