You pays your money and you takes your choice.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Road map to pop stardom

Behold: the "Fame 500" map, a nifty little scientific tool to map which British counties have the most talent per capita. Probably the most surprising revelation (those those of us of a certain age, perhaps, and by that I mean 23) Merseyside and London, the homes of The Beatles and Bowie only finished second and third, respectively, behind the relative isolated northern county Lancashire, home of Oasis and Morrissey. Imagine if this were transposed to the U.S.: While New York and California would obviously have strong showings, I would expect that Minnesota would naturally emerge somewhere near the top, what with Prince, Bob Dylan, and one of the dudes from "Dude, Where's My Car?"

Lately, with the debut in the UK of "Pop Idol," which later gave birth to, of course, "American Idol" with its cattle calls throughout Middle America, and the current British, Simon Cowell-driven talent show juggernaut, "X-Factor," has essentially democratized the achievement of national exposure and fame for aspiring performers. Now UK grocery chain Tesco is taking it one step further by introducing the 1Click2Fame talent competition. Using HD Green Screen technology placed in specialty audition pods inside Tesco stores during a national tour, residents of even the smallest hamlets can create professional quality audition videos, and not only send them instantly to friends, but upload them to the Web site for a chance at winning cash prizes, recording contracts and other goodies. Case in point: the first round winner was Lucie Evans, an impossibly lovable 16-year-old Lily Allen-esque pop singer who went from making her own audition video to recording in L.A. and auditioning musicians there for her touring band:

There's hundreds of videos already available to vote on, and a quick visit to the site proves there's a lot more where Lucie came from. You know it's only a matter of time before this hits a Stop 'n' Shop near you. So could this mean the end of "if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere?" Personally if it means the New Yorks and Londons of the world will lose their strangleholds on the entertainment industry, and no longer compel hopefuls to pay outrageously high rents for the privilege of being spat upon by talent agents and record execs, then 1Click2Fame may be the best innovation in entertainment scouting since FM radio. Long live the democracy of talent.

Mp3 - Lucie Evans - No Blue Sky

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