december 4th, 2013.
Here is how it goes:
The video is usually titled "MOST EMOTIONAL AUDITION EVR!!!" The contestant on The X-Factor or America's Got Talent or Britain's Got Talent is nervous, and talks to the camera about having poor self-image. Sitting on the edge of a metal folding chair, looking down at hands. Presenting as ordinary, if with a shy gentleness that shines out (gentleness its own beauty). And then the contestant comes out on stage, still nervous, lacking in confidence. If the judges are hard or cruel, or present as hard or cruel, the camera cuts to the judges sneering.
And then the contestant begins to sing, and the song is so beautiful, and the audience rises to its feet and ROARS, and the contestant is SINGING now, singing! This extraordinary person is singing a gift to humanity! And the room is filled with true love, and the cruelest judge wipes a tear from a watery eye.
Susan Boyle did it first, but she's had many successors. And if you watch one of these videos on YouTube, then the right sidebar instantly populates with, like, fifteen more. And the other week I was just chain-watching these and weeping. “It's-it's-soooo beautiful! Oh! ... ... ooh, another one [click]” Yes, I was pre-menstrual. Yes, you cracked the code.
Ok let's watch one now! Here's Jonathan, whose parents disowned him because he's gay. What the judges say at the end, and how they refrain from saying anything mean to Jonathan's parents, who are clearly shitty shitty people, and instead offer a national invitation to them to love their son: it's the most graceful television I've ever seen.
My dark secret is that I love these videos. I love this story. Every manifestation. I love every single one. Not just at certain monthly times. All the times. You can know this about me.