Occasionally I accidentally view snippets of both The voice and Cardiff young singer of the world. Both feature remarkable singers—within their respective genres and social milieux. My reservations merely concern the blinkered media hype, with all its competitive ethos (for Alexei Sayle and others on contests, see here).* They jump through the hoops, displaying just the right degrees of individuality, gauging the prevailing ethos within their respective social and temporal fanbase. Image is is a major aspect of both events.
And of course neither contest, and neither genre, reflects the diverse riches of “singers of the world”— even for the current scene, let alone earlier histories. For a more rigorous attempt to document the riches of world singing, see here.
It’s not that I really expect Romanian wedding laments, praise singing from Rajasthan, or the songs of Chinese spirit mediums to feature prominently in popular TV viewing (for an intriguing case in Ukraine, click here); but even the impasse between those two contrasting contemporary Western genres is glaring. Neither can be regarded as intrinsically superior. For yet more, see here.
* Another fatuous Bible quote:
The race is not to the swift.
Who’s going to break the news to Usain Bolt?