Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Argument for older singers?

Is Philippine Idol age-ist?

The ABC-5 reality show, set to blast off sometime in June to July, delved a bit from the rules of the American Idol franchise and set an age limit of 28, two years younger than the age limit allowed on the current season of the Fox blockbuster.

This writer, of course, has not been too quiet about his gripe about the age limit, but he isn't alone in noting the benefits of raising the age limits of talent contests. In a column dated April 6, 2004, Inquirer columnist Nestor Torre makes the argument for Oprah's Pop Idol, a competition launched by the Queen of Daytime for more mature, unknown musical talent.

"American Idol was doing a great job otherwise - but what about the more mature unknown musical talents out there?," Torre mused. "What chance did they have of being discovered in their 30s, or even later? Didn't they also deserve an opportunity to shine, and affect people positively with their singing talent? And there was the additional plus factor of the experience that comes with age. Older people are generally more interesting and put together because they've learned from living, and this makes them better than younger performers."

When Torre's column Viewfinder discussed Season 4, he pointed out that raising the age limit helped tremendously.

"What happened?" he asked. "It's likely that the tilt's decision to raise its age limit to 28 did the trick, making it possible for older and more experienced men to join the competition. Yes, the female finalists are older, too, but more of the original male finalists were in their late 20s."

When, ultimately, he discussed Carrie Underwood's victory, he noted that the more mature singers added spice and interest to the show.

"Definitely," Torre wrote, "the decision to raise the tilt's maximum age limit has attracted more experienced singers with solid, expressive voices, and few teenage performers survived the tougher field and landed in the finals."