Are We Getting Tired Of The “I Was Bullied / It Gets Better” Back Stories On Talent Shows?

We had many people and fans that loved watching Brian Justin Crum on this season of America's Got Talent and praised him in the comment sections of our stories.  We at Instinct loved his talent, too. If you are interested in seeing him perform and reading our back stories, we posted these 5, I even did four of them. 1) Brian Justin Crum Just Gave Us A Reason To Watch AGT This Year,  2) Did Brian Justin Crum Make It Or Break It With Radiohead's 'Creep?'  3) Brian Justin Crum Releases 'Skyscraper' Anti-Bullying Video  4) Did You Feel Brian Justin Crum 'In The Air Tonight' On AGT?  5) Brian Justin Crum Slays "America's Got Talent" Semi-Finals   His approach to the songs he sung were great, powerful, and entertaining. 

One thing I was a little disgruntled about was the whole bullying aspect his AGT mini-stories highlighted.  No, I don't hate that he shared that part of his life, but I wanted to like him, like I want to like all the contest, for his talent, for their talent.  My dislike for knowing that Brian Justin Crum was bullied earlier on in his life was that people would be swayed to like him because of that.  It's not "America's Got A Sympathetic Back Story."  

I had this miserable anti-"It Gets Better" feeling well before Brian came onto the AGT stage and I am sure it will be there well after we forget about this season's contestants.  But here I was watching the Olympics and here came this season's preview of "The Voice" that premieres tonight (September 19, 2016).  The first contestant came out, sang her heart, and then in the interview part of the show she says, yep, "I was bullied."  That moment is at about 3:16 in the video below.



You guessed, my eyes rolled into the next door neighbor's lawn and I lost interest in watching more.

If you made it this far in the blog, you probably think I am a bastard and you are most likely right.  But I guess, no, I know, I was over the "It Gets Better" movement from day one.  Was that a Dan Savage thing, too?  I cannot remember.  

Maybe it is the fact that I want my talent to have talent and win a competition for having talent.  I don't want people to vote based on pity, based on feeling sorry for someone, based on their belief that they need to do the good thing now for past digressions.

So will the contestant above do well?  I don't know, but I was a little turned off by her mentioning she was bullied.  Why can't we have an "America's Got Talent" where we are focused on talent?  Why don't we have "The Voice" where we hear people sing, instead of sing and a tale?  Can we bring back "The Gong Show?"  Of course, I wasn't old enough to know if they talked to the contestants that in depth or not.  Let's get to know them after they are kicked off, then we can feel sorry for them doubly.

I really do not think any of these talent show would survive on talent alone in this day and age.  The American public would not be entertained unless there was a humanity portion of the broadcast, filling us with back stories and other family members, hardships, failures, and missed triumphs.  But if you were to go to a Las Vegas show and spend $100, $200, or $300 on a ticket, are you going to see someone with a back story or someone with talent?

If we had a show where we were based on talent and talent alone,  the funny thing is, Brian Justin Crum may have won AGT this year.  I am SOOO not anti-BJC, I would go see him in Vegas as long as he sings some more upbeat songs, too, but I feel they way they or he marketed his talent was just not for me.  I am against that marketing plan, but I also think if he wanted to win, they/he should have kept it up for I don't remember him discussing the bullied past during his last two mini stories, when his prominence on the show faltered.  Maybe he should have worked that angle to stay in the lead.  Instead of the very talented Brian winning, we crowned a girl most of us couldn't understand.  But she was cute, had funny baby teeth, and a ukelele. 

What do you think? 

Are you in favor of the back stories? 

Do you enjoy the "It Gets Better" campaigns?

Are your eyes in the neighbor's yard with mine?


Of course, this is my opinion and not the magazines.

4 thoughts on “Are We Getting Tired Of The “I Was Bullied / It Gets Better” Back Stories On Talent Shows?”

  1. these “bullying” stories are

    these "bullying" stories are not only dull and cliche but ultimate hurt other gay people by reinforcing the notion that we're weak, passive, victims, etc.  And yes, they are designed to manipulate judges and audiences who are supposed to be focused on artistic merits.  It's possible Joan Jett or Freddie Mercury were kicked around but you'd never hear them whine about it.  

  2. I understand the author’s

    I understand the author's points but he is just too naive about the way the world works.

    Q. What is the purpose of the backstory?

    A. Producers force talent to read out back stories in order to drive viewer ratings / clicks / views (& any other statistic) that can be used to sell ad space that will increase advertising revenue. All the other nonsense you write about talent etc is irrelevant and meaningless to the purpose of AGT, which is to make profits for the production company, broadcast network and all the middlemen.

    • Seriously?  You don’t think I

      Seriously?  You don't think I know ratings, sales, and all that crap are all intertwined? 

      All of that means shit if I go to a Vegas show that has little to no talent.  But their back story was good and they drove up ad sales, so it's all okay.


  3. I was bullied as a kid and

    I was bullied as a kid and now I am a high school teacher, so I know bullying. I grew up at the time when you were supposed to grin and bear it and since I graduated from high school in 1981 though I was not out but every one assumed, I would have been blamed for being picked on and beat up. This has made me more empathetic to those who are bullied and I try and stop it when I see it, much easier to do as a teacher. That being said, one somewhat well know celebrity, who most likely will be more famous claims he was bullied in school. I taught at that school. He'll remain nameless, but he sheds a tear when he tells his story. He's straight but claims to be an ally, though he had no problem using gay slurs in school. He was popular, an athlete, had girls swooning over him, and though he claims he came from nothing, he came from a six figure salary nrighborhood. This makes me a bit cynical because everyone is now on the I was bullied anti bullying bandwagon. So I would suggest fact checking. Also, my experience (and this is just my experience) has been that "It gets better" can be effective with LGBTQ kids, but I was bullied when I was a kid does not resonate in the same way.


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