Elvis Costello has been quoted as saying, "I don't feel any form of music is beyond me in the sense of that I don't understand it or I don't have some love for some part of it." Apparently, that love does not extend to musical reality programs, notably American Idol, The Voice, and The X-Factor.
On April 2, Hollywood.com spoke to Costello at the A Celebration of Paul Newman's Dream benefit at Lincoln Center in New York City. When asked about his feelings towards musical competition shows like Idol, The Voice, and The X-Factor, the singer-songwriter, 57, expressed an extreme distaste for the lot.
"No, absolutely not. I hate those shows. They’re all ghastly. I mean, I heard a couple of those people singing on the Grammys who judge those things. Both of them should be banned from ever giving an opinion about singing again. They can’t sing at all!" However, when asked exactly to whom he was referring, Costello replied, "I’m not going to say any names." He even refused to specify which shows the alluded culprits were from. "Oh, that would be telling! Sorry for that. Did I say that? I can’t believe it."
Costello summed up his thoughts on reality shows by explaining that music should be about joy, not competition, and should never be something you force. "I don’t think music should be a blood sport. I think it would be good if it was fun, but it gives people the impression that they can just get there like that. And it makes people sad. It also encourages people to sing really badly. Like with way too much volume. There are singers who can do that really well. Whether you like them or not, there are singers who can really do that. They really knew how to start to do that. Opera singers know how to do that. Some music is written to do that. Some other songs don’t want to be sung like that."
A Celebration of Paul Newman's Dream benefits Newman's Hole in the Wall Camps/Serious Fun organization, a camp for children suffering from critical illnesses. You can learn more about the organization here.