My friend (and a classical musician) Jeremy phoned last night and it turns out that he was totally unaware of the Paul Potts phenom that has swept TV and the net the past few weeks. In case you've been under a rock during this period, Potts was the final winner on the popular U.K. TV competition "Britain's Got Talent" with various performances of popular operatic arias, most significantly Puccini's Nessun Dorma (not since Aretha Franklin!). The kicker is that Potts is a somewhat schlubby, every-mannish, gap-toothed cell phone salesman from South Wales (Not that there's. . ..). A heart-tuggingly warm 'n fuzzy tale of prole triumph.
So massive is the hysteria, that Potts' steaming from the oven, trice-recorded first CD is near the top of the amazon sales charts, and it's probably not even finished being mastered yet. And so on and so forth.
Last night when I was on the phone with Jeremy, he googled the (five-a-half-million hits) clip on youtube and within a few bars was already beside himself with apoplexy. He was especially upset that out of the thousands of youtube comments, NONE were negative and so he posted the following:
"The Emperor seems not to be wearing any clothes. . . Get a clue: this guy would fail his juries in any conservatory undergrad program. No opera company worth its own weight in tenor-fat would hire him even forthe choir. Of course, given the marketing hype behind this circus, I wouldn't be surprised to see him in a Covent Garden production of Turandot, though I doubt he could make it through Act I without getting vocal nodes. . . Such a farce."
No surprise, the comment has already disappeared from the youtube site. In reality, Jeremy is right and Potts is not very good---to say the least---and so in the name of iconoclasm AND all that is holy, I am taking this opportunity of restoring to the net Jeremy's "take" on this latest installment of the mass hysteria and delusion of crowds.
I was wrong about Jeremy's post being removed. Instead, it set off a sheistorm of rebuttals that took great umbrage with his sentiments. In turn, J. answered---under the nom-de-net of "simoncowpie"--- every last one of these misguided Potts supporters with withering concision and logic that was probably lost on most of them. Pretty rich stuff.