This decade has seen the continual rise of reality television and so it seems fitting to pick out the greatest reality TV moment of the last ten years.
When Susan Boyle walked onto the stage on Britain’s Got Talent in April 2009 and proclaimed to ‘want to be like Elaine Paige’ there was an audible groan inside the theatre. The audience turned to one another and sniggered at the 47 year-old, unemployed scot as she stumbled over her words.
I have to admit, I was one of these people. I thought it was simply going to be another instance of a member of the public being humiliated by a reality TV show and laughed off the stage.
Susan Boyle’s first audition
However, Susan had barely finished singing the first line of ‘I dreamed a dream’ from the popular musical Les Miserables when the entire crowd rose to their feet in recognition of how incredibly moving it was.
It was an inspirational moment and the beginning of a cindarella story which has seen Susan Boyle break the all time record for pre-release sales on the retail website Amazon for her album, ‘I dreamed a dream’. It is therefore no surprise that Susan tops the album charts in both the UK and America this Christmas.
Given that reality television is often described as corporate rubbish designed solely to humiliate people and put money in the pockets of a few, Susan Boyle’s story shows that this may not always be the case. Her incredible story since that magical first audition shows that reality TV should not always be regarded as ‘tat’.