Monday, August 13, 2007

Baby Ballroom: The Championship

Thanks to my current policy of hardly ever watching television, I was unaware this series existed until it was about to finish altogether. But my lack of viewing does not alter the fact that it was actually broadcast: this isn't one of those "if a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" or "if you put a broom in the cupboard and close the door, does it disappear?" situations. I'm fully aware that, even though most things I'm not aware of aren't worth being aware of, Baby Ballroom: The Championship was a very real nightmare.

I thought even ITV might be able to avoid sinking quite so low in filling up its Saturday evening family entertainment slot. The premise of the show was that dance-happy sprogs between the ages of six and eleven are invited to try and impress a panel of judges and compete for the title of Baby Ballroom Champion. It is utterly sick.



See what I mean? Just incase you're not aware, this is Joshua Malone (10) and Kimberley Jones (10), both from Liverpool. The show's website publishes one lonesome fact (probably definitive) about each contestant. The 'Joshua fact' is "he loves walking his four pet labradors" and the 'Kimberley fact' is "she's a big fan of Shakira's Hips Don't Lie." The desperate lack of punctuation in Kimberley's fact means I'll have to assume it means she's a fan of a song called 'Hips Don't Lie' by Shakira. Or does it just mean she likes Shakira's hips, and then always shouts "don't lie!" immediately after stating the fact, as some kind of pre-emptive retort to the common response of "oh, I can take or leave them"...?

Regardless, the point I'd started making in that paragraph, before it got too long and I had to begin this new one, was that those facts sum up what kids aged between six and eleven should be interested in during their years of innocence. Not being pressured into appearing on national TV by their no-doubt pushy parents to take part in a glorified popularity contest that will see them routinely criticised and their self-esteem cut to ribbons. It's reality TV sunk so low that it's right down on the seabed with all the dead plankton, and Ant and Dec. Actually I think I should've just said all the dead plankton: a phrase that is quite inclusive enough. When I saw the advert for it with my eleven year-old niece, even she said "don't you think that's wrong?" I facegrabbed her immediately and said: "Yes, my child, it is very wrong. INTERMINABLY wrong!" I think, amid all that, she gathered that I was concurring with her sentiment.

16 Comments:

Blogger Dan said...

I was not aware of this, and I am pretty disturbed by it. "Go on lad, go on that show la', go an' dance or I'll put yer in the 'ozzy".

This has been the second time in less that 12 hours that television has disturbed me. I decided to go all the way through the channels on our recently-downscaled cable package, and on Bid-Up TV I spotted none other than former Double Dare presenter Peter Simon. He was, I hasten to add, not a sale item but a presenter attempting to flog a dancing Elvis telephone in a fantastically camp manner (rather than an Elvis telephone dancing in a fantastically camp manner, which would've been ace).

I never thought I'd have to see him again. Double dare it back, Peter.

August 14, 2007 10:30 am  
Blogger Paddy said...

I can't believe Peter Simon is still on TV (well, technically). I hope at the end of each auction item he 'accidentally' slips over in a puddle of gunge and then struggles to get back to his feet with comedic effect.

Disturbing is a good word for Baby Ballroom. I think children dancing for the pleasure of adults is a gross miscalculation on the part of ITV's executives and could easily backfire. They'll be showing cock fights and bears dancing in the street next.

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