Sunday, December 07, 2003

Four Is More Than Three

Story Supernova Music Talents simply can't exist without some kind of scandals, controversies or, if anything else fails, plain old human drama. Last night the drama was created by the health situation, which turned ugly for the contestants. They are forced to live in confined spaces – sharing tables, rooms, beds, blankets etc. – and when one of them gets sick, everyone gets sick.

Last night public was informed that Damir Kedžo (Damir Kedzo) was hospitalised. Rafael Dropulić (Rafael Dropulic) appeared in wheelchair, surrounded by medics. Saša Lozar (Sasa Lozar) sang with totally unrecognisable voice. Tin Samardžić (Tin Samardzic) forgot his lines. Female participants proved to be tougher, but even they complained about fever and not feeling particularly well.

If you think this was travesty, you should have waited for the grand finale. Originally, phone poll was to decide three finalists, thus eliminating a the one out of four. Natalie Dizdar and Rafael Dropulić were announced as winners, thus leaving only one of out of two to be booted. Minutes before announcements organisers said that all four would remain in final, because "computer system went down due to phone network being clogged with calls".

I don't think that anyone would seriously believe in such explanation. Concerns about Nova TV image probably played much larger role in such decision. The network has pushed contestants too far – forcing them to live in light of cameras, perform, practice, record CDs – all that under contracts containing huge penalties for breech (5 million HRK, which is more than average Croatian pop star could expect to earn during his or her lifetime). Having some of the performers literally sacrificing health in order to fulfil obligations (and with Kedžo in hospital, some lives might even be at risk) would bring unwanted bad publicity, especially during negotiations about Rupert Murdoch buying Nova TV.

This decision might be controversial, but it couldn't be put in the same category with 1998/99 Croatian soccer championship. Some lives will be saved and it would also bring extra money to Nova TV – with pool of candidates increased, there would be more teenyboppers trying to turn their favourite into champion.

This might be both the worst and best moment in the history of Story Supernova Music Talents competition.


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