Not being a huge fan of celebrity ‘talent’ shows I won’t pretend to have seen the comments Dancing on Ice judge Jason Gardiner made about Sharron Davies which prompted 400 complaints but OFCOM kindly repeats them in its adjudication:
“It was like watching faecal matter that won’t flush – it goes around and around and around and in the end it doesn’t go anywhere.”
Apparently there’s nothing to in the broadcasting code to stop people being compared with a turd, especially if the person making the comments has an established record as an “ acerbic ‘nasty’ judge”.
But why do the producers and broadcasters of such shows find the need to include a “nasty” judge in the first place?
Every talent show seems to have them, ever since ‘nasty’ Nigel Lythgoe gave genuine, honest feedback on Pop Idol every show has seemingly felt a desperate need to include someone with a nice line in harsh (and often heavily scripted) put downs.
Surely each judge on the show should be commenting with an open mind, giving praise where deserved, and useful but critical comments where they’re warranted?
The act of casting someone in the role of “nasty” judge means that at least one member of the judging panel is instead approaching their scoring and comments from a position of making a splash and enhancing their reputation.
Why on earth do broadcasters think the licensed humiliation of people seeking to do no more than entertain their rapidly declining audiences does anything good for their image? One can make too much of individual cases but the trend of celebrating the bullying tendencies of a few egocentrics is starting to get worrying.