Talent pool has ripple effect
Guy Sebastian says there’s room for all on TV talent quests, writes
IS Australia’s talent pool big enough for rival TV talent shows The Voice and The X Factor? Guy Sebastian, a mentor and judge on The X Factor, says he’d wondered that himself before he and fellow mentors and judges Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Ronan Keating and Mel B scoured the nation looking for its new Top 24.
First stop Melbourne, disappointed in the auditions stakes, says Sebastian, but the tide turned when the search headed out of the big cities.
‘‘We got to the Gold Coast and – no joke – I reckon we saw more talent than we saw just about all of last year,’’ says Sebastian.
‘‘I could have picked a Top 12 right there and then. And then we went on to Perth – and we saw some incredible talent. And then in Sydney, the same thing happened.’’
Sebastian loves his job nurturing performers as they vie for a shot to become recording artists. He mentored a young Reece Maston to a win last year.
‘‘It’s a great position to be in, finding artists and songwriters, people who will go on to become proper artists, who’ll have longevity,’’ he says.
‘‘I suppose that’s the reason this show has been appealing to both young and old for so long. The X Factor has a proven track record. It creates stars . . . people like Leona Lewis, One Direction, your Alexandra Burkes, and Cher Lloyds – and closer to home Reece who has just had another No. 1 and Johnny (Ruffo), who’s also killing it.’’
‘‘So this is a show that does launch people’s careers and a lot of that is because they get to go through the mentoring process week after week after week.
‘‘As a mentor, you become attached to their development, watching how much they improve and learn and how ready they can get to form a career.’’
Sebastian says times have changed since he won a TV talent show.
‘‘TV talent shows have been around a long time now. They’ve become the accepted way to get a start,’’ he says.
‘‘People have overcome the prejudice that used to exist, all the thinking, ‘Should I or shouldn’t I go on a TV show’.
‘‘Now they just do it, because that’s the way you get your start.’’
Monday and Wednesday, 7.30pm, Seven, Prime7.
judges Mel B, Ronan Keating, Natalie Bassingthwaighte and Guy Sebastian.