Well, I've just finished re-reading "ChartThrob" by Ben Elton, a book I truly like. At the same time "New Zealand's Got Talent" has finished on TV One. I switched in for the last five minutes of NZGT (I hadnt watched any of it before), just to see who had won. And - surprise! - the three top people were all teens! I guess that goes to show who does the voting. Mind you, the song that the winner sang didn't seem too bad. With the right publicity and marketing, I reckon it coulld possibly become an evergreen like "Yesterday". Mind you, there doesn't seem to be that many verses.
The book "Chart throb" is about a show like NZGT, and it is truly hilarious in parts... and sad. I don't think the main character is truly Simon Cowell, but I do think that Ben Elton has enlarged on a Simon Cowell-type character. I also don't truly believe that all the behind the scenes shennigans of "Chart Throb" are the same as NZGT, or any other talent show like "X Factor" or "American Idol" or whatever, but oh boy it is truly fascinating to find the lengths the Chart Throb show's producers will go to ensure an audience.
From the beginning, the Cowell character determines that Prince Charles will be an entrant. And, my goodness, the public like HRH! The second judge - dare I say a Sharon Osborne type person - is a male rocker who has had a sex change and become a real mumsie type, ready to nurture any aspiring singer on the show. The other judge is just there to do the bidding of his boss. And what a host of entrants!
I read the library book several years ago, and a couple of weeks ago I saw it at a local thrift shop I dithered about getting it. I went back an hour or so later and, darn it, the book was gone. Still, I didn't give up hope and - kismit! - I found another copy at a thrift shop a few days ago.