Christian Long

Cynthia Schneider: The Surprising Spread of Idol TV

In TED Talks on April 20, 2010 at 10:02 pm

Reflection by DANIEL L.

Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:

Cynthia Schneider:  The Surprising Spread of Idol TV

In the United States most people love television that has something to do with competition, whether its American Idol, Dancing with the stars, or just a regular sporting event.

Now the question is, why do people love these things?

I think its all about seeing the unexpected. Everyone all knows about Susan Boyle in Britian’s Got Talent. Right when she walked on stage nobody gave her a chance, but as soon as she started singing everyone was shocked. That is one of the main reasons everyone loves sports. People want to see the underdog win.

Even Countries in the Middle East are becoming obsessed with programs like American Idol.

In Afghanistan they have a show like American Idol called Afghan Star. Afghan Star is getting so big in Afghanistan that it is literally changing tribal societies. People love that they have a voice and a vote in who wins the competetion. Now most people in Afghanistan dont have a television, so they have to go to extraordinary lengths to be able to watch Afghan Star. People literally get so into the show that they start campaigning for the canidate that they want to win and it becomes very political and that is what I mean by when I say it changes tribal societies.

What makes these people so interested in this is because they want to see something that nobody would ever expect to happen and that is to see a girl win the competition.

It is a huge risk for women in the Middle East to join a competition like this, because women have very few rights. A girl by the name of Lima Sahar took this risk and joined the competition. This was the only girl ever to join Afghan Star and she was a very good singer. Once she joined the competition that is when the country went crazy and became obsessed with this competition.

Its kind of interesting that people started to get excited about Afghan Star once a girl was in the competition. This relates back to when I said that people want to see the underdog win. Lima Sahar is the underdog in this situation and nobody expected to even get passed the first round, all the sudden she was competing for 1st place. That is why everyone throughout the world loves shows like American Idol, Britian’s Got Talent, and Sports is because you never know what is going to happen.

That is what makes competition so interesting:  like in Afghanistan competition can even turn political. Thats how much competition television can affect the world.

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