Monday, May 21, 2012

How New Zealand Made Singing Cool Again

When I was a teenager, I belonged to a youth group and we always sang songs at the start. Most of us joined in quite happily and it was fun. By the time I became a youth group leader, the singing was not seen as so cool anymore. In the end, if I remember correctly, we dropped the singing altogether because most kids just weren't joining in.
I did wonder at the time if singing would ever be considered cool again or if it would be forever consigned to a quirky thing only some kids took part in.
Then I noticed the coolness factor of singing had changed again. Now, it seems, singing is cool again. I wondered what had led to the change?
I turned to that internet font of knowledge - Wikipedia.
Finally I got around to writing it up. I present here my proposition that an idea originating in little ol' New Zealand, made singing cool the world over. (With thanks to Wikipedia)
In 1999 producer Jonathan Dowling made the programme "Popstars" that aired on TV2 in New Zealand as the Reality Television show that formed the band TrueBliss.
Joanathan licensed the show to ScreenTime in Australia who then also sold the license to a company in Germany. The format was immensely successful.
The show was the inspiration to Pop Idol that aired on ITV in Oct 2001 in the UK. This spawned the hit Idol series in America and elsewhere around the world.
American Idol first aired on the Fox network in 2002.
If you read about the conception of the television series "Glee" - again according to Wikipedia - it says Ian Brennan originally wrote a film rather than a series. He based it on his own experience as a member of a show choir in high school. He finished the script in 2005 but could not get anyone to be interested in it.
In 2006 High School Musical became the most successful film Disney Channel Original Movie ever produced and led on to another television movie sequel and then a proper theatre movie. Also, not surprisingly, it was repackaged into a reality show.
Meanwhile the Glee script was redone as a television series and pitched to Fox, since they screened American Idol. According to Wikipedia, the guys that pitched it to Fox believed their success for the show being accepted was because the series fitted well with Fox's biggest hit show - American Idol, a musical show. No doubt the success of High School Musical also helped. The pilot for Glee aired in 2009 and as we know has become a bit of a sensation.
So that is the theory I uncovered one day surfing Wikipedia.
New Zealand made singing cool!

5 Favourite Sights Seen

  • 1996 Watching tropical lightning turn night to day, outside a little wooden church in a small village in Sabah.
  • 2004 Flying down the Rainbow Valley at 8000ft in a cessna on a clear blue day.
  • 2003 Seeing and hearing Michael Schmacher rolling out of the pit garage in his Ferrari in Hungary.
  • 2009 Chancing upon 100 or more dolphins just off the Kaikoura Coast swimming around, jumping out of the water, doing somersaults and generally having fun.
  • 2006 Finding a pool at the bottom of a waterfall in the bush at Kaikoura that was full of playing baby seals.