Thursday, December 17, 2009

Of Charm and Likeability

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I first came to know of Susan Boyle (47 yr old British singing sensation) through a news article in CNN. I wondered what drove people in the millions to see this video and wanted to see for myself. With all the cinematic editing and music score, it really was a thrilling video to watch. Not to mention the hopeless recessionary times. Following through, I watched several video clips of Britain's Got Talent on YouTube and sort of got addicted to the show. This post is about one recurring pattern I observed on the show.

Certain participants evoked enormous applause and affection from the audience. Even the ever-so-nasty Simon Cowell couldnt help but heap praise on them. Frankly, I too cheered along (stupid me sitting on my bed watching a 2 yr old video clip) for them and sincerely wished for each one to win or atleast make it big later on. I checked out every finalist of the 2007, 08 and 09 show to see if their lives had improved and mostly it had :)

Coming to the actual point of this post, how do certain people exude natural charm and likeability? It is understandable when you are talking to someone in person or over the phone. They might listen better, show interest, tone, body language, etc. But when it is such a big auditorium and the figure is just barely visible, leave alone facial expression, how are people able to identify with such "good" participants? This extends to other folks on YouTube channels (charlieissocoollike, for eg). I dont know what s about this charlie guy, but I just feel he must be a really nice dude. Given my always-thinking-why mind, I am not able to just let it be and enjoy these things. I need to know how and why :\ Your opinions and comments are most welcome.

Just in case you are interested to know, I really rooted for George Sampson, Andrew Johnston, Strike, eScala, 2Grand, Susan Boyle and some more who dont come to mind right now. In contrast, I wasnt that much into 2008's finalist Suleman (the michael jackson dancer) or Damon Scott (the monkey puppet guy) even. Before I m mistaken, I did not "dislike" them; their acts were really enjoyable. I just didnt root for them as much, thats all.


  1. I have written a similar article "Does looks matter?" I certainly think looks does matter in this materialistic world. Regarding charm, it is a gift so undoubtedly only a few people possess it.

  2. some kind of a basic psycho-social pattern,perhaps? some people are blessed with this ability to build a rapport with anybody almost immediately...

  3. There is just one flaw in these talent programmes on TV. There is a difference between talent and popularity.When it comes to voting by the viewer, definitely, the popularity plays a bigger part. But does it really bring out the real talents?? A mediocre singer may have a better rapport with the public than a very good singer. So, at the end of the day,the contest transforms from a talent search to a popularity contest.It has happened many times, esp in Indian TV Channel contests.
    I feel that talents should play a bigger role in deciding the winners rather than just the popularity of the contestants. Or else the whole aim of the talent search will be lost.

  4. Nice observations indeed!

    Rustic flavour- she exuded innocence and the archetypical brashness of a person who didn't know how to dress up for such an event and acting like an aunty who's all but stuck in the 50's

    If she had come to the event all jazzed up, would we have liked her? Variety and something of the old times is what we like in people we like!

  5. "something of the old times". i completely agree.