Help for our neglected furry friends

Did you know that it costs $30 to provide a single day’s worth of shelter, medical attention and care for each animal RSPCA rescues?

Image 1

image courtesy of www.adoptapet.com.au

So my beautiful Aunty Marloesje passed away from bowel cancer two years ago and was a very big animal lover and supporter of animal charities, one of those being the RSPCA. I wanted to find out what the $5000 donation my Aunty gave to the RSPCA NSW was used for, and had a lovely chat with one of the company’s representatives over the phone who went into detail. I asked if she could put into writing the information so I could share it around. I had no idea that in addition to rescuing neglected, unloved, animals who have suffered cruelty, the RSPCA NSW also have educational programs to try and teach the poorer communities the right way to look after animals. Below is what she said about the programme and I found it very interesting. Hope you do to.

Thank you again for your Aunty’s wonderful support and for your genuine interest in the work of the RSPCA. Though they are not always the most visible, our education and outreach programs work to prevent cruelty and neglect before they occur. Many of our community support programs are designed to assist pet owners to cope with crisis and ensure the wellbeing of their animals. Others help to educate communities about responsible pet ownership and provide subsidised services such as desexing and vaccination. Each program targets a specific demographic and combats a particular social issue. Because we receive just 1% of our funding from government, these programs would simply not be possible without support of generosity from people like your Aunty.

As discussed on the phone, our Community Animal Welfare Scheme team was in Walgett and Lightening Ridge (towards the end of last year), with the aim of desexing approximately 100 animals in five days. At least four times a year the team will travel to local councils in regional remote and aboriginal communities, where residents are very challenged to access and afford veterinary services. Over the program’s ten years in practice, we have seen incredible successes. During the last week of October 2015 we performed our 1,000th surgery in the Walgett/Lightening Ridge area alone!

One of these initiatives costs the RSPCA approximately $20,000 in veterinary staff time, travel and medical supplies (and the $5000 from my Aunty directly went to help support this).
Here is a video made of a trip to Condobolin in 2014, that you may like to share. It’s a great introduction to the program.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2vh-cK0Ntg&index=8&list=PLMNvZ-SkA36EFogJjBwOBj5or5Fg6544C

We also briefly discussed a great program we’ve been running for four years in Campbelltown. This fantastic partnership between the RSPCA, the Campbelltown Council and the veterinary school at Sydney University provides desexing, education, microchipping, vaccinations, registrations and medical checks at drastically reduced rates for pensioners, and people living on low incomes or disability. It was the first desexing program in metropolitan Sydney and based on its success we just launched another one in the Blue Mountains.

Here’s a great video about that program:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8QL4lQb3YQ&index=32&list=PLMNvZ-SkA36EFogJjBwOBj5or5Fg6544C

Simone – I hope you find these informative. Thank you again, so much, for your Aunty’s amazing financial support, and your desire to share the importance of initiatives of this type with your circle.

While this information relates to specifically RSPCA NSW, there would no doubt be equivalent programs in all the other states.

Image 2

image courtesy of Zoo Studio and www.woaw.org.au

If we contribute even $15 a month to the RSPCA, we can help beautiful animals like Rocky and Harvey (who was trapped in a suitcase!)

Harvey in suitcase

Rocky

I’ve just signed up to contribute $30 a month because knowing I can help our beloved neglected furry friends who have no-one else to turn to, makes me feel really good. It’s a small difference I can make. Even $15 a month can make a difference.

There are a lot of issues facing the RSPCA that could benefit from our help, some of which are included below:

My sincere thanks to Melanie Parent, Manager – Planned Giving, from RSPCA NSW for giving me such wonderful information, and all the amazing workers and volunteers of RSPCA both in Australia, and all the animal help organisations around the world, who without them, more animals would be sad, in suffering and alone.

Thank you for reading.

Advertisements

Do Something Special – Give Blood Today!

Did you know that With just one lot of your donated blood, you can save three people’s lives?

I always wanted to give blood but was scared because I get queasy at the sight of blood, but if it hadn’t been for the generous donation of blood donors my aunty who had cancer of the blood would have died much earlier than she did, and my sister may not have survived the birth of her third child.

I grew up with a blood donor in my family. My mum would regularly give blood while myself and my three siblings were growing up. I remember every afternoon before we got back from school, she would set up on the kitchen counter what she called ‘our surprises’, which were afternoon tea goodies. All of us loved coming home after school to see what mum would put out for us each day.

On the day she gave blood, we would come home and ‘our surprises’ consisted of treats the Blood Bank give you after giving blood. There were always some little Blood Bank stickers for kids that mum gave to us. She always asked for 4 of everything saying she had 4 little ones who would be blood donors when they grow up.

And this would have been true too, unfortunately when my older brother donated for the first time, he had a really strange turn and they said unfortunately he wouldn’t be able to donate again. And my other brother had a mini stroke when he was in his early twenties and so he’s been unable to donate , although I’ve encouraged him to contact them and see if this would still be the case. He wants to donate as well, so hopefully he’ll be able to. My sister gives blood, and my dad (who like me is queasy at the sight of blood), has said he’s going to try to give blood when mum and I go next. All of our family are blood type A negative, which is quite rare―only about 5% of the population have this blood type, so our blood donations are particularly important. But they need all types of blood, even the most common types of A and O positive.

So, I finally worked up the courage to give blood back in 2008. Of course I was nervous the first time, but I made sure I drank 3 big glasses of water, 3 glasses of orange juice and had a big breakfast during the three hours before giving blood, and I also ensured I drank plenty of water the day before as well, which is what they recommend.

You fill out a couple of forms, have an interview with one of the nurses, and then they take you into the blood donor centre. I asked them to lie the bed as flat as possible, and after they put the needle in, it only took about ten minutes for me to donate 500mls of my blood. Sure it seems like a lot, but if you prepare yourself like I did, then I am sure you will be fine. Afterwards I felt really good. I didn’t feel sick or light-headed, or that I’d just donated half a litre of blood. After you give blood they give you something to eat and drink. They really look after you, because after all you are doing something very special.

Unfortunately Australia doesn’t have enough blood donors, and the Blood Bank has to purchase blood from the US.
If people just tried it for the first time, they would realise that it’s not as daunting or scary as they might think.

Some facts *

• Currently 1 in 3 Australians need blood, yet only 1 in 30 donates.
• Modern processing techniques mean that a single blood donation, when separated into its components, can help 3 different patients. See picture below re how your blood is used.

HOW YOUR BLOOD IS USED

HOW YOUR BLOOD IS USED

• The Blood Bank NSW needs around 27,000 donations every week to meet the demands of Australian patients.

Who can give blood? *

ME! ME! ME!

ME! ME! ME!

Most people are able to give blood if they:

• Are fit, healthy and not suffering from a cold, flu or other illness at the time of donation or in the previous 7 days
• Are aged between 16-70 years (in QLD and WA 16-17 year olds require parental consent)
• Weigh more than 45kg
• Drink up in the 24 hours before donation, especially in warm weather and have at least 3 good-sized glasses of water/juice in the 3 hours before donating.
• Eat something in the 3 hours before donating
• Bring at least one form of photo identification ID.

So roll up your sleeves and donate life-saving blood and give three people the chance to live a healthy and happy life!
For more information on donating life-saving blood, please visit http://www.donateblood.com.au

* These two sections taken from http://www.donateblood.com.au

Images courtesy of Australian Red Cross Blood Service

How to plot a novel

To be a plotter or a panster

To plot or not to plot, that is the question!

So as a romance writer I used to love just writing, writing, writing, writing my stories, filling them with my characters and their interactions, and at the end of the story… Voila! Finished! Now to go back and edit, edit and edit… Oh, and edit some more. I loved getting my creative juices flowing, and loved writing whatever I wanted to, without giving any thought to the writing do’s and don’ts, because I didn’t even know there was such a thing. Surely if you’ve got a good story, likeable characters, that’s all that matters, right?

Wrong!

When I entered my first romance writing competition in 2010 and got my score and feedback from the judges, I was shocked. What? My story wasn’t the most brilliant they’d read? How could this be possible?

Over the course of the year I entered my three stories in various competitions and the feedback was the same – the conflict isn’t strong enough to sustain a full length novel, the story isn’t pacy enough, you do too much telling and not enough showing. I can’t relate to your characters. Too much backstory.

And by the end of entering all these competitions, and attending my very first ever romance writing conference in Melbourne this year, and learning from other members online about the writing craft, I understand why it’s so hard to win a writing competition. If you want to get published, you can’t just write whatever you want to, in whatever way you want to. There are so many things you need to consider with your story, and finally I think I have it figured out:

• You need a great plot
• You need believable, heroic, strong characters the reader can relate to or understand
• Make every word count
• Weave your backstory throughout the novel, don’t just dump it in the beginning, or in one spot
• The reader needs to be captivated on every page
• Limit your use of adjectives and adverbs. Convey your meaning in a suitable word
• Show don’t tell
• Get the readers to care about your characters
• Don’t dump your description of the hero/heroine or a setting in one full paragraph, weave it through the dialogue of your characters, or the story’s action.

Probably the three things that have struck me the most when you want to write for publication, is the importance of knowing your characters inside and out, (they are the heart of your story), having strong, believable conflict, and the importance of plotting. If you make sure you have a detailed plot before even writing one word of your story, then you won’t be caught out with a weak plot, weak conflicts, unbelievable heroes and heroines, and a story that may meander from the central theme of the hero and heroine overcoming their obstacles and getting together.

But if you’re naturally a panster, and just like to write, write, write, and let your creative juices burst forth, like me, how can you suddenly change your ways, write a detailed plot that you have to stick to, and still be able to keep those creative juices flowing? Having to stick to a detailed plot could stifle your creativity, take you away from the enjoyment of actually writing. Make you feel very constricted with your writing.

So is there a solution if your naturally a panster?

My solution is this – do have a detailed plot, chapter by chapter, and be sure to focus on the conflicts between your hero and heroine and have strong conflicts that can sustain a full length novel, really flesh out your characters. And then when you’ve done this exercise? Read the plot of the first chapter, and then become a happy panster again! And write and write with all the creative freedom that you like, as the plot of chapter one will be fresh in your mind and will guide you along. And then at the end of writing your first chapter, re-read the chapter one plot again, and your chapter one, and make any additions and changes necessary to make sure you’ve followed all the plot points. Do this exercise with every other chapter of your book.

And by the end of this exercise, not only will you have a story that ticks all the boxes, but you’ll know that your creative juices weren’t stifled after all.

So in a nutshell – plot the book chapter by chapter, review each chapter before you start writing, and then panst to your heart’s content!

The Romance Writing Conference of Australia is Brilliant!

Romance Writing Conference in Australia

Being A romance Writing Conference Newbie

So, I knew that RWA (Romance Writers of Australia) was a fantastic organisation, with so many friendly members all ready to help aspiring and established authors alike, but I had no idea that their annual conference would be so brilliant!

As a newbie to the conference, I was unsure what to expect. I knew I’d gain great knowledge in the writing craft, and would meet my writing buddies and all the other lovely ladies from RWA, but I was blown away by just how awesome the conference was, and how well it was organised. There were about 350 members attending so you can imagine all the hard work and time that would have gone into the organisation and running of it, all those countless workshops to arrange, guest speakers to secure, writing material to publish, gift bags to organise, awards to be made, and so much more. There was even a silent auction with so many different gifts available to bid on, ranging from book packs, to jewellery, to gift baskets, to even a critique by one of the editors from Harlequin UK of someone’s first three chapters, a bid that ended up going for a very high price, but it’s really a priceless service.
Everything ran so smoothly for the whole weekend, and I know everyone got so much out of it, and talk about choice, choice, choice!

Spoilt for Workshop Choice

I wanted to attend all of the workshops, but unfortunately with five workshops in the same timeslot over the Saturday and Sunday, you can only choose one. Such a hard decision. But every workshop I attended was brilliant. I learnt how to pitch to an agent/editor in 5 minutes, I learnt about the importance of having a cracking pace to your story and how to achieve this. I learnt a bit about the online publishing world and how dramatically it’s affecting the industry. I heard about ebooks, kindle, kobo, self-publishing . I learnt about what an agent looks for, writing a Single Title that sells, the life of a Trade Fiction book, and so much more. The information I gained in all of my workshops was invaluable to me.

And then there were the lovely ladies I met!

I finally met my long-time writing buddy and critique extraordinaire Helen Lacey, who has inspired me and given me such invaluable feedback and support over the five years we’ve known each other online. It was totally brilliant to meet her in person, and all the other lovely ladies I know from online groups.

One of the great things about the RWA members is that they are only too happy to help you out in your writing journey, and the level of support and resources and tools available for us through RWA is amazing.

Meeting published authors – one memorable experience I had

So I arrived on the Thursday afternoon and happened to see one of the many RWA authors Bronwyn Jameson. I couldn’t believe it. I was in the middle of reading one of her books in the Ashton Dynasty series and there she was, standing right in front of me! I was so excited, and so I went up to her and told her I was in the middle of reading her book, and how much I love her writing. She just smiled and looked at me as if it was not a big deal. But to me it was, as this was the first author that I’d met since arriving at the conference, and a writer whose book I was currently reading as well.

You could say I was star-struck!

Every experience I’ve had has been wonderful, and I felt incredibly invigorated during the weekend, and even now!

So will I be going to another one?

You betcha!

In fact I am now officially hooked on RWA conferences and will be attending every one if I can!

See you all up at the Gold Coast next year!

Shopping Online – you gotta love it!

Shopping online

I love shopping online! But there are some issues when you purchase a product, which include:

• Not knowing when the item will be delivered
• Worried that it might get lost or stolen or delivered to the wrong address
• The dress you’ve ordered is the wrong size and you have to go to the hassle of exchanging or getting a refund
• You have to pay extra for postage, and return postage, if you want a refund/exchange
• And if you do want a refund, you worry if you will get the refund and how long it might take

I am pleased to say that so far I have been very happy with my online purchasing experience, even when I needed a refund for a couple of dresses (out of the numerous that I’ve ordered from this one online store!)

Case in point for this dress-a-holic…

There is one major online UK clothing and accessories store that I absolutely love, and would have no problem buying online from. In fact I’ve purchased several dresses from this site without any problem. I remember one particular weekend I spent 3 hours on a Saturday, perusing every single dress in my size – there were about 1200 styles! – looking for the dresses I wanted. Then I copied the URL address of every one of my favourite dresses into a word document, to be viewed later. Then I spent another hour, or was it two? clicking on every URL address and being in the difficult position of having to narrow down my twenty dresses to a purchaseable-without-breaking-the-budget four! This was extremely difficult and quite a mental dilemma that stressed me out quite a bit!

But no checking into dress-a-holics anonymous , I’m happy to report!

So recently I purchased (from the US equivalent online retailer) two dresses at US size 12 (I was so used to purchasing UK size 12 that I didn’t stop and think that I was actually purchasing a UK size 16). That will teach me to be an impulsive buyer!

Anyway, I needed to either get my money back, or exchange them for the correct size. But they didn’t have the same dresses in a UK size 12 that I wanted, and I didn’t want an exchange with any other dresses, so I read up on their refund policy. All very straight forward. And I returned the item back to sender. Now this particular site, while fantastic to navigate around, didn’t have a customer service number, only an email address, and I was a bit concerned. What if they don’t receive my returned item? What if they don’t refund me? How will I be able to follow this up if I can’t actually speak to anyone?

Thankfully I got my refund without any hassle, and I am very confident now with ordering from this site, knowing that not only do they have choice, choice, choice at fairly reasonable prices, but they have an excellent refund process – I only had to wait two weeks, and not only did I receive email notification that the refund was back on my credit card, but the money did go back onto my credit card.

But was I just lucky?

In any case I have been more than happy with my online purchasing experience. The fact that you can search for anything at all is fantastic. But I also like shopping the old fashioned way – going into a clothing shop, shoe shop, jewellery shop, cosmetics shop etc because it’s so nice to walk away from a shop with something tangible in your hand.

In conclusion

So, yes, I’m an advocate for online shopping – at just the click of mouse you can search for practically anything, and find practically everything – from clothing to jewellery, from electronics to fishing item, from shoes to books – without having to leave your desk, or your home! But I hope there’ll still be a market for retail shops, because at the end of the day, as I’ve already mentioned in my other article Shopping Online – smart shopping there’s something to be said about going into a shop, looking, touching, trying, feeling, that you can’t get online.

Shopping online – smart shopping?

Shopping online – smart shopping?

Walk this way….

So, you’ve got an hour to kill for your lunchbreak, you work near a major shopping centre, and you want to buy something. Do you:

A. Use your iphone to search for what you want and then buy it online?
B. Walk into a shop and browse the array of goodies on display and buy something that way?

It seems that unless you and your iphone are permanently attached at the hip, or you can’t go for an hour without getting your Facebook or Twitter fix, you would choose B. Which makes sense. You can try before you buy, whether it be clothes, cosmetics, jewellery, shoes, handbags. And you can be content knowing that you’ve purchased something you like at a price you were happy to pay. No stress. No paying for postage. Walking out with that item on the same day you bought it. All good.

But can the same be said about online shopping?

The Online’th degree

Now, if you were to order any of these items online, you have all these things to consider:

• How long will the item take to be delivered?
• What if the item gets lost in transit?
• What if it gets stolen?
• What if the clothes or shoes you’ve purchased are the wrong size?
• Or that lipstick is so the wrong shade for you and looked much better on the catalogue model than it does on you?
• Or the jewellery isn’t the quality that you’d been led to believe?

Maybe shopping online isn’t worth it after all?

So you’re not happy with your purchase and you want to get a refund or an exchange. You have these factors to consider:

• You need to pay additional postage costs to return the items (provided you can return them for a refund)
• What if the company doesn’t refund your money?
• What if there’s only an email address you can contact the company on and no contact phone number?
• What if they don’t have the size you want so you can’t exchange? (So you have the refund issues to think about!)
• How long will it take for them to refund your money?
• What if there’s some hidden refund charge you weren’t aware of?

So what turned out initially to be a very stress-free and pleasurable experience turns out to be quite a drama.

Or…

You could be so happy with your online purchasing experience that you would buy from that online store/s again.

Convenience and choice

I’ve only had very good experiences when I’ve bought something online, so I’m an advocate for online shopping, as well as the walk in retail experience.
Any negatives of online shopping aside, at just the click of a mouse button you can search for practically anything – from clothes to handbags, shoes to gifts, electronic gadgets to books… The list goes on. You can book an exotic holiday away, look for a property to buy, search for the perfect restaurant to take your special someone, look at wedding venues, and so much more, all online, without having to leave wherever you are, and with just one click, (or a couple), so you’d probably be able to put up with any negatives.

And with the non-online retail sector suffering a bit of a downturn in sales, with the online shopping world so appealing to many customers because it’s fast, convenient shopping right at your fingertips, does this mean there’ll be an end to the walk in, walk out retail shopping experience that many of us grew up with?

My cents worth…

I don’t think it will be the end. At least I hope not. After all, there’s something to be said about going into a shop, looking, feeling, touching, trying, that you can’t get online.

In my opinion, both modes of shopping have their place in the world, and we should shop both ways. I just hope that people will still buy items the old-fashioned way. After all, shopping this way is helping our economy, which in turn is helping all of us.

We’re keeping the bucks here.

Australia’s Got Talent – Questionable Judging?

Australia’s Got Talent – Questionable Judging? ©

So, I was looking at the first semi final of Australia’s Got Talent on Tuesday 31/5/11, and first of all I have to say that I was very impressed by the talent on display. But when it came to the judging, not so much.
Question: Should the judges be allowed to judge each performance before votes are cast by the public? Many people are impressionable, and the judge’s comments would influence their decision, so there is the chance that a really good act that deserved to go through, won’t.

So is this a fair system?

Shouldn’t the judges give their opinions after the votes have come in by the public? That way, people will cast their votes for the acts they genuinely liked, without any bias.
Or maybe it’s all part of the politics of such a competition. The judges have their favourite, and no doubt want their favourite to win, so if they happen to sway a few votes (or several thousand!) that wouldn’t be so bad, would it?

And how do you know that the counting of the votes is going to be fair? What’s to stop the powers at be altering the number of votes for one act to make sure it gets through? We don’t know what happens behind the scenes. We just believe that the counting is fair.

Based on the judge’s comments alone from Tuesday night, it seems very plausible that the judges want to influence the public’s votes.

Case in point (1): “Rock N Roll Rollers”

Bryan McFadden: “You did a great job. I did watch the rehearsal earlier, but tonight you did make the mistake at the end which is such a shame when you were doing that really fast thing, you took my breath away in rehearsal, but you screwed it up there. It’s a shame but you did make a pretty huge mistake in the semi finals of the show. If you make a mistake that big you’re not really giving your best, so on that I have to say I was disappointed.”

Okay Bryan I think we get the idea.

Bryan re-iterated this mistake, not just once, not twice, not three times, but four times! Maybe he thought the viewers didn’t get the message the first time, the second time, or even the third time!

I didn’t really notice the mistake myself, and I don’t think most of the viewers would have either. Kyle didn’t notice the mistake.

Kyle Sandilands: “I didn’t notice the mistake, and I was still impressed with the full on chooka chooka thing you did and luckily for you guys, nobody at home got to see the mistake either, so hopefully it won’t affect the judging, the votes, but Bryan has let everybody know at home that there was a huge error, so they will factor that in.”

While Kyle was more fair in his judging, by saying “but Bryan has let everybody know at home that there was a huge error, so they will factor that in” this just reinforces the unfortunate mistake in everybody’s mind, not necessarily helpful to Rock N Roll Rollers.

But I like Kyle, and I was pleased when he went on to say…

“What you kids do is a great message for parents that if you don’t let your kids play and run around on the streets, going to parties and living their life on Facebook, your kid can have talent as well.”

Case in point (2): Bree De Rome

Kyle: “Another fabulous performance. You’re a real find. Genuine. Authentic. I find you fabulous and can sit there and watch you for hours.”

Danni: “It’s your personality and the voice. That performance is how it should be done. Your voice is magnificent, like listening to a recording, like you’ve had 50 years experience.”

And there’s Bryan’s comments…

Bryan: “You just captured in 2 mins in that performance what it feels like to fall in love. You took everybody in this room to a different place, for that whole performance I was in a different world. You are just beyond incredible. I love every single thing about you, your voice, your performance style, your personality, how you look. If you had an album out now I’d listen to it on repeat, if you had a concert now I’d go to your concert. I’d be your biggest fan.”

I have to be honest, when I heard Bryan’s comments, I wanted to turn off the TV. If the comments by the judges, especially Bryan’s, aren’t enough to sway the votes, then nothing will.

I personally didn’t think the performance was as brilliant as the judges have made it out to be. Okay, Bree has a cute look, a nice voice, but did she really deserve so much praise? Compare her performance with Soprano Fiona Mariah’s. I much preferred Fiona’s performance, but unfortunately the judges didn’t.

Case in point (3) : Fiona Mariah

Kyle: “I loved that song. First time we saw you everybody leaped to their feet and you had a huge standing ovation and you felt the electricity in the room, but we didn’t get a standing ovation tonight, so to me that means that they (the audience) didn’t enjoy it as much, but you sang it beautifully. I did enjoy it and I think you’re amazingly talented.”

Bryan: “I was blown away by your original audition, I thought it was amazing, dramatic. For me I was really disappointed by that performance. I found it underwhelming. I don’t think it has to do with your voice, you didn’t recreate the drama you created in your first audition. It started really slow, it took you a long time to get to the big notes, which is what made us stand on our feet the first time, and you really only got there at the end, and to be honest with you, by the time you got there I was kind of over that performance. I put that down to bad song choice.”

Bryan says that the performance started really slow, but Unchained Melody is supposed to be a slow song. It’s an emotional song.

“It took you a long time to get to the big notes” he said, but the big notes are only in the middle and end of the song, so what would he have wanted her to do? Gone straight into the middle of the song?

The judges said that she didn’t get a standing ovation for this song, like she did when she sang Nessun Dorma in her audition, so therefore they said the performance wasn’t good? There’s always a standing ovation for Nessun Dorma. It’s like it’s programed in people’s mind that if anybody can sing it the audience will be up on their feet.

Is the judging really fair?

The judges put their comments out there in an attempt to sway votes, and people chat about it on Facebook and twitter, echo and quote what the judge’s say, which empowers the judges and gives them more credibility. The judges know that most of the voting audience is the younger demographic, and that many of them are very impressionable and more likely to take on board what the judges say when casting their votes.

I noticed 4 or 5 comments on Youtube from young people that were identical to what the judges were saying about Fiona’s performance, e.g. ‘disappointing, poor song choice.’

In the case of Jack Vidgen, who is one of the judge’s favourites, and in fact one of everybody’s favourites, the judges know that the younger generation are looking for an idol, so they can play on that. They can say whatever they like and know the younger demographic will support what they say because they are looking for someone to idolize, to look up to, like another Bieber phenomenon.

It’s all big business

The judges are happy to be controversial too. They attempt to create sensationalism. It’s a smoke screen that the judges are there just to judge. It’s a case of good cop, bad cop. They’re giving their own performance. They’re there to spice things up a bit, keep things interesting.

A lot of people like negative commentary because a lot of people are cynical, and also people are very quick to judge. When a judge puts somebody down, a lot of people enjoy that.

The order that the acts are shown also play a part in the program rating schemings. If they showed Jack Vidgen’s performance in the beginning for example, they could lose ratings. The producers usually save the favourites to last as a ploy because they know that there’s a possibility that you could tune out after you see the performance. It makes sense for them to push someone like Vidgen that’s going to make money for the network and help with the ratings.

Jack Vidgen is the perfect poster boy for the teeny boppers, the main demographic of this show, so pushing this guy is great. Ironically in my opinion this guy looks like a girl, but whatever. When people are sitting in their lounge rooms enjoying the performances, they don’t think about the show as a money spinner for the network. While we’re being entertained, we’re making the network rich. Like everybody signing into Facebook is making Mark Zuckerberg rich.

In conclusion

The judge’s comments are strategic and deliberate, in an attempt to manipulate votes, increase ratings for the network, and stir the pot if necessary.

The judging system isn’t fair in these competitions. If it was, the judge’s comments should be made after the votes have come in. This way all the acts get a fair go.

© Simone Cooper

Previous Older Entries