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The Talent Show

Capital Sophomore, Phoenix L, performing at the CHS Talent Show.

Scott Leduc

Capital Sophomore, Phoenix L, performing at the CHS Talent Show.

Claire Ramsey, Writer

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In high school, everything is a popularity contest.

The Homecoming court does not win simply because they genuinely deserve it, the ASB class representatives aren’t elected for being the most competent in the position (though most are plenty competent). The key to winning in high school is having lots of friends and being well-known. The talent show, though it should be, is no exception.

There are many benefits of putting kids in front of an audience and giving them the chance to share their skills. Even so, how is it fair that the best performance of the show doesn’t win just because they didn’t bring enough friends to the event? The problem with the talent show unfairness is all in the voting method. Basically, each contestant is “labeled” with a different phone number belonging to one of the students coordinating the show. Once all the participants have performed, the audience is to send a text to the phone number connected to the act they wish to vote for. The votes are then counted by how many texts each number received. This voting method works well for speed and simplicity but has its downsides.

By allowing the audience vote, the event organizers are opening up the possibility of inequality between acts, making it easier for some to win than others. Essentially, the answer to winning the talent show is having the most people there to text in votes for a single act. Not only that, but if there were people who don’t own a phone or forgot it at home, they were automatically unable to cast votes for the act they support.

This year’s talent show was no exception to unfair advantages. Looking over the collection of acts, there’s no doubt that the majority had the chops to take home the prize. In order to support less inequality between performers, there are other voting methods that can be used for finding the true winner. The best would be to use a panel of impartial judges who have a standard at which to compare all of the acts (much like they do on TV shows like The X Factor, America’s Got Talent, and American Idol). The adjudicators could be pulled from the school, as in teachers or administrators, or could be more along the lines of “celebrity judges” by bringing in members from the community. Either way, using unbiased judges, assessing every act according to the same criteria, is a great way to eliminate the unfairness between talent show contestants.

The popularity factors of high school are never going away, but changing the way events are tabulated, this school takes a small step toward high school equality. The way  contests like these are judged is no reflection on talent, it is important to not be discouraged because of a contest and to know that whatever happens after these four years is not the same as high school.

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The Talent Show