Talent being showcased during primetime encourages peer judged performances. Primetime television’s current lineup includes a variety of talent search-themed programs looking for the next idol, the best dance crew, a top model or a person who’s got talent, all within the 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. time spot. Each show searches the United States, stopping in key cities and holding auditions to find the next big thing in entertainment or someone with unmistakable talent.According to the Nielsen rating system, reality shows that promise fame and stardom to average individuals are among the highest-viewed programs on television and is the most-watched genre for the 19 to 26-year-old age group.”It’s captivating TV-seeing everyday people performing, some with undeniable vocals and watching others completely embarrass themselves on national television,” Angela Frost, TJC freshman said. “My friends fill my dorm room every Tuesday and Wednesday night each with phones to place votes for our favorites.”With such a large audience, more individuals, especially students, are broadcasting their talent in and around campus in hopes of being recognized.”I play my music acoustically out of the back of my car in front of RSC during class breaks to anyone who will listen,” Tim Meyer, TJC music major said. “We see talent on every channel, so I give people a chance to see what I have to offer live and without a host.”From music to dance to even magic, students have found ways to draw attention to their gifts.”It can get pretty boring through the week in my dorm so to spice things up a random group of us meet outside of Ornelas and have our own talent-like searches,” Frost said. “We start dancing and just doing stuff we are good at a guy even did some card magic tricks. It’s for entertainment and enjoyment and a little showing off, letting them all know how talented you are.”Tyler Junior College is joining the talent craze and putting on its own version of Showtime at the Apollo, allowing students to perform on stage for the enjoyment of their peers.”More students are wanting to express themselves artistically and creatively,” Regina Williams, event sponsor said. “It’s a modern activity that students will enjoy and it will be successful because everyone is drawn to natural ability and flair. We plan on letting the audience be the judge and letting them choose the best in show, for their generation sees enough television to know talent.”However, not all students are okay with the idea of peer criticism.”I’m secure with my ability to play and sing music. I know I have talent, unlike those people that go in front of the camera only to be taunted,” Meyer said. ” We have gotten so wrapped up in shows that have people judging us to what our talent should be. What happened to freedom of expression? I want people to see my gift, not decide if it is worth a ticket to Hollywood.”

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