Greek-Style Idol

It seems that Greece’s difficulties managing its national debt is not the sole problem the Mediterranean country with the glorious past face, but just a reflection out of the many. Bad management, corruption, nepotism and remnants of the ottoman empire era are still quite prominent in every aspect, not only of the political but also of social life. The Greek media, a bizarre mixture of Balkan roughness mixed up with influences from the West of Europe is having its own difficult times too.

The most recent example of how showbiz operate in the, once upon a time more advanced country in the world, resembles more countries of the developing world. And the recent plea for help at the IMF is just another confirmation of that. It all started when some Greek producers decide to produce the Greek equivalent to the X Factor. In order to do so they had to employ some Western Europeans who, in many cases, ore very willing in taking up that sort of “development projects”. Thus, mediocre media professionals from the UK and Germany where commissioned, signed contracts that would easily lead to another Greek rebellion if figures where publicised, and then moved forward with “setting up” the castings, the judging committee and the likes in such a way so they would appeal to the Greek viewers.

After various rejections from numerous well-known and valued Greek artists, who wouldn’t like to see their reputation diving, the show managed to shoot off with some rather infamous personalities of the modern Greek music industry. The castings went one step further, with choice criteria based on anything else rather than music qualities or skills: appearance, ridiculousness, and sexism where among the minimum requirements. However, things not always go the way they have been planned and it all went wrong after a young, gifted blind musician saw his popularity rising during a course of just two weeks. With more than 120,000 viewings in YouTube at the time this article was written, he was the undisputed, though unplanned star of the whole show as his performances touched deeply the suffering Greek psyche as the Greeks found their new hero during those hard times.

Some journalists where even speculating whether the young man, who used to live in the UK and was known for his exceptional skills while a Computer Science student, was advancing just because of the viewers’ support and attention. And then all out of the blue, the production team decided he shouldn’t advance any further, just because he was not commercial enough after the marketing departments of some record companies found him not very marketable. But even then, the production team did not manage to set it up well so it would appear to the public as he wasn’t good enough to qualify.

What they decided to do was hilarious: They asked him to prepare a song “written” for a female voice, which clearly was not fair, and then teamed him up with three female contesters. One of them forgot the lyrics various times, more times than he did. What was incredible was that the girl made it to the next round while he was disqualified, without even an explanation why the judges came up with that decision. Even the footage of his attempt had been cut and tailored in such a way, so it would presumably showcase the worst bits of his performance. But then again, in a manner that not many Greeks are used to, he thanked everyone and walked out. Those who know him, said that in the footage of the rehearsals he appeared worryingly tired and not in a good shape, and the only comment he made when he was asked while being recorded, was that he was feeling “a bit tired”.

The question that rises is, how can a country that manages to mess up even with a reality programme have any chance managing its much more complicated financial issues? Or to put it in another way, until when a small minority will be making decisions against the majority’s will?

Modek is a free-lance journalist who believes in the digital future of political freedom as well as social justice. He also believes that SEO will shape the importance of information in the near future.

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Actually, Guest Blogger is the login that I use to publish the articles that were sent to me by mail, mainly from members of the My Blog Guest forum.

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