Nadira and I spoke with Julia Naidenko this afternoon before her performance tonight in the semi-final of Britain’s Got Talent, and she had been crying. She said they were forcing her to dance to music that was totally unsuitable, and not allowing her choreography.
Interestingly, she said that the same thing had happened at the first round televised audition. She had taken with her a CD of Arabic drum music to do a traditional belly dance, but had not been allowed to do it, and instead told to dance to Shakira and with a more pop choreography.
That contradicts the whole carefully presented image of the show, of which the story line is that at the auditions the acts just turn up and nobody knows what exactly they are going to do.
That image of spontaneity was manifest most spectacularly in the case of Susan Boyle, where the video made famous on You Tube pretends that the judges did not even know she was a singer or whether she would be any good. The judges then proceeded to manifest what, when you know the truth, you can see is terribly ham acted astonishment.
In fact, just as Julia had her music and choreography altered before her audition, the show would have already seen Susan Boyle, have known exactly what Susan Boyle was going to do, how good she was, and had quite probably chosen the song for her. I bet even the clunking jaw dropping of the judges was rehearsed.
The “Susan Boyle moment” was a brilliantly produced fake.
Anyway, back to poor Julia. Today she was made to dance to Lady Marmalade, which was totally inappropriate in every way for a belly dancer, and made her look just like a Vegas showgirl.
I should say that I am very, very proud of Julia. She picked herself up, made the best anybody possibly could of it, and performed a kind of dance that is not her own with such elegance and allure as almost to redefine the medium. And she looked absolutely stunning. But I know that she feels unhappy, not that she didn’t get through to the final, but that she never did get allowed to show her own dance to her own music.
Don’t worry, Julia. Your niceness and decency shone through, you moved like a dream and a million people fell in love with you. Your friends are proud of you. You are a wonderful, graceful and intelligent woman. You don’t need to chase faked dreams..