Talent shows have become a fact of life, no matter what country you happen to live in. America’s Got Talent, Britain’s Got Talent, China’s Got Talent… The more perceptive among you might be beginning to detect a theme here. The whole world has talent, and that is the driving concept behind entertainment mogul Simon Cowell’s latest project.
This week sees the launch of The You Generation, the first ever worldwide talent competition to take place entirely online. Wannabes with “unconventional and original talents” will have the opportunity to upload audition content to the contest’s YouTube channel. The competition will comprise entries from a diverse range of categories, and is set to run for an entire year.
YouTube outlined the rules in a statement: “Every submission will be judged by Syco executives and experts in the relevant field…… Finalists will be chosen every two weeks with the winner being announced on the second Friday of every contest.” In addition to gaining unparalleled global exposure, the winner of each category will receive an as-yet-undisclosed cash prize, and will then compete against the other category winners to determine a single competition winner.
According to Cowell’s production company Syco, The You Generation is “an experiment aimed at discovering new talent”, and marks the organisation’s first real foray into the world of social media, having effectively conquered the realm of television.
Of course, talent-spotting on YouTube is no new trend. British singer-songwriter Gabriella Aplin acquired a substantial following by uploading clips to YouTube before going on to lend her vocals to one of 2012’s most-watched advertising campaigns, topping the UK Singles Chart in the process. And let’s not forget a young man by the name of Justin Bieber, who was discovered at the age of thirteen after marketing executive Scooter Braun accidentally clicked on one of his YouTube posts. Aptly enough in 2010, Bieber’s single “Baby” became the most viewed YouTube video in history, and held that title for over two years until “Gangnam Style” came along, which itself serves as testament to the zeitgeist-capturing phenomenon that is YouTube.
The You Generation will launch on Wednesday 20th March, when the internationally adored One Direction boys will be making a special appearance on the YouTube channel. The competition will run across 26 countries and will be made available in 15 different languages.