There was a show that started in 1984, when I was my daughter's age, called Puttin' On the Hits. I still remember when Alan Fawcett would announce how many points had been given for originality, appearance and lip synch.
Yes, in the eighties we didn't even require actual singing talent on our competition shows.
My daughter made us watch the premiere of The Voice last night. I actually looked up the bios of some of the singers and was surprised to see how hard they had already worked, how far they had already come, but they still needed help to break out of their echo chambers. It seems insane to me that someone who can sing that well was still relatively unknown until last night. Which then made me think how much talent there is floating around in the world and how with each year more babies are born and more technology is created to make creating and sharing easier and easier and easier until there is so much of it I wonder how anyone will ever find my voice in the heap. And how will I find yours?
As I was watching The Voice, I remembered Puttin' on the Hits and thought about how much higher the bar is now for talent shows. Then I thought about the Olympics and how someone, maybe Bob Costas, said years and years ago full seconds separated the gold, silver and bronze medalist bobsled times and now hundredths of a second decide who the world will celebrate.
Hundredths of a second.
As the opportunities to create and speed up and achieve increase exponentially, so does the competition. Sometimes I have to remind myself of that as I evaluate my own appearance, originality and lip synch. There is so much talent in the world, so many stories, all increasing exponentially by the minute.