Sunday, 11 October 2009

Putting the issue to bed

Well, it looks like the BBC can finally close the lid on the whole Anton De Beke racism fiasco, since the followers of Saturday evening talent shows have a new controversy to contend with. And once again, Simon Cowell finds himself laughing all the way to the BARB Christmas party.

If you watched the first live final of the X-Factor last night, or caught up on all the action here at p0pvulture, you'll know about Dannii's somewhat tactless comment to Danyl. The judges are clearly miffed that one contestant has outshone all the others since his very first appearance, and they weren't letting anything stand in the way of bringing him down a peg or two.

Louis told Danyl that he needed to be more likeable, an example of irony so epic that pots and kettles across the country are fearful that their iconic idiom status is now under threat. Cheryl, meanwhile, claimed that Danyl was in danger of becoming over-confident. Of course, her feedback may have been different if she'd been granted her original wish and had Danyl in her group. Unfortunately, Dannii threw caution to the wind machine, and decided to open up a whole can of worms with a comment about lyric-changes.

Changing the words to suit the singer is nothing new on shows like the X-Factor - I've lost count of the times that 'Lady Marmalade' has been rendered incomprehensible by changing the lyrics to 'voulex vous chantez avec moi', turning it into the story of a whore who offers singing lessons. All that happened on Danyl's performance, was that the gender of the person being sung about was changed to suit a male singer.

Dannii clearly felt that she was being clever, commenting on this by saying "No need to change the gender references, if we're to believe everything we read in the press." This was followed by a staggeringly painful silence, long enough for Dannii to realise that her flippant remark had crashed and burned. Danyl looked shocked, babbled something about not being ashamed of anything and Simon went into full-on indignant mode, as his protégé's enormous eyes filled with enough tears to drown Rebecca Adlington.

Within minutes, the entire internet was sagging under the weight of all the people taking to the message boards to decry Minogue Jr's supposed slight. Cries of "Sack Dannii" echoed around the forums, with Digital Spy scoring 48 pages of comments on the subject, by lunchtime today.

But was Dannii really being homophobic? She certainly denies it, making her apology on her blog and pointing out that she has spent her entire career supporting the gay and lesbian community. Indeed, she's as much of a Mardi Gras staple as overpriced lager or the stench of amyl nitrate.

In her own way, Dannii was probably trying to show solidarity by encouraging Danyl to be true to himself when performing. Let's not forget that it was Danyl who gave the interview to The Mirror shortly after his first audition, telling the world that he is bisexual. Although strangely, the Mirror has forgotten, since they were today accusing Dannii of 'outing' the young teacher.

The sexuality of talent show contestants has long been a hot potato. It's not that we've ever been short of pink contestants, but with the exception of Alex Parks (whose career showed all the longevity of warm milk) none of them have ever 'come out' - at least until after they'd won. Unfortunately, it works a little like the US military policy of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' which yesterday President Obama promised to end.

Dannii's real mistake was to openly reference the love that dare not speak its name on prime-time. If she'd had more than seven seconds to make her remarks, she may well have been able to articulate herself more clearly. It also didn't help that she made her comments with what looked like a sneer, but this could simply be because she has only recently regained control of her facial muscles and seems a little out of practice.

Perhaps it's for the best that tonight's results show is overshadowed by the untimely death of another out gay performer, Boyzone singer Stephen Gately. I was going to write something about Stephen's death, but I think PopJustice says it better than I ever could.

No comments:

Post a Comment