entertainment

"A little girl burst into tears on The Voice Kids last night. I'm OK with that."

Realising nobody turned around, Romy starts crying.

UPDATE:

13-year-old Romy, who broke down in tears on The Voice Kids last night, appeared on A Current Affair this evening with her parents to talk about the experience of appearing on the reality television show.

Romy told the current affairs program that she was “very happy” with her performance. The teenager also came to the defence of her parents, after they had been slammed on social media for allowing their daughter to appear on the program.

“I don’t know why they’re accusing them, they’re the best,” she told ACA. “If they wouldn’t have allowed me [to go on the show] then I wouldn’t have been allowed to go on the journey of The Voice Kids, so I’m happy and they’re the best parents.

“If you have a dream just go for it, it’s not like it’s just going to come to you. Haters can hate, that’s what they do, they just try and make other people go down…”

Romy’s mother, Liza, also defended the decision to allow her daughter to appear on the program.  “Putting your child up there on national TV, not knowing what could happen, it’s a television program. Although we know she has a beautiful voice, you just never know what’s going to occur on the night.”

Her dad, Richard, agreed.“People were concerned with her being upset last night, I think she would have been a lot more upset if we had actually stood in the way of her going forward with The Voice, it was something she really, really wanted to do,” he said.

Previously, Mia Freedman wrote:

Every Sunday night for the past few weeks, I’ve been watching The Voice Kids with my children. It’s great family entertainment. We also love to watch Masterchef and animal documentaries. Simple pleasures.

Kids competing in a singing contest in front of celebrity judges and a big audience, filmed for a reality show was always going to be a tricky one to get right and there has been some predictable and valid debate around whether it’s appropriate to expose kids to that kind of public scrutiny.

Kiddie talent shows aren’t new – I grew up watching Young Talent Time – but social media is certainly a game changer.

Just as in every aspect of life in 2014, moments in time can now be captured forever online and anyone can unwittingly become the object of discussion and abuse by strangers.

So far so good with The Voice Kids. Social media has – from what I’ve seen – been remarkably restrained when talking about the contestants and the show and it’s all been very feel good TV.

Until tonight.

Tonight, a little girl called Romy sang her little heart out and none of the judges turned their chairs around and at the end of her song, realising she hadn’t been chosen, she burst into tears. Romy is 12.

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You can watch it here:

As Romy began to cry, the audience, the judges and everyone at home let out a collective gasp of concern as the little girl tried to get it together but instead, just sobbed harder. Straight away, all four judges got out of their chairs and went straight over to her, surrounding her protectively and giving her hugs.

As she continued to cry, Delta, Mel B and Joel & Benji Madden consoled Romy by assuring her they’d all had set-backs and been told ‘no’ many times in their careers. As the audience rose to cheer her with a standing ovation, the judges told her how proud she should be of herself.

The judges try to comfort her.

It was hard to watch and emotional but I thought it was very well handled and important to show. A few other kids have had to deal with no judges turning around (and I imagine countless more than were broadcast) but this is the first time tears have been broadcast.

The idea that kids should never experience disappointment is a dangerous one. Unless you place a child in a bubble they will be disappointed and even devastated by life. They will have their hearts broken and their dreams crushed. They will miss out on jobs, they will be sacked, they will lose loved ones and they will encounter shitty, unpleasant people in their lives. They will.

As a parent, the thought of all that awaiting my children makes me want to vomit but I know it’s going to happen and I know it HAS to happen as part of them learning to be resilient.

And resilience is a quality as important as raw talent if you are even considering a career in the performing arts – where rejection is the default setting. I imagine there are more than a few tears on the adult version of the show.

The most heart-breaking part of watching The Voice Kids is when they cut away to the parents as the kids sing. The vulnerability on their faces is excruciating. But when your child wants to be a singer, that vulnerability is something you must both make peace with. Hence the need for resilience.

Romy’s family watches from backstage.

For the producers of The Voice to leave out the tears and the disappointment wouldn’t be telling the full story. Romy has nothing to be ashamed of. She sang beautifully and she was incredibly gutsy to get up on the stage in the first place. It’s more than most adults could do.

She should be incredibly proud of herself.

UPDATE A spokesperson from Channel Nine told Mamamia:

The decision to put this blind audition to air was made after consultation with Romy and her parents who are very proud that she reached the Top 100 young singers in Australia – an impressive achievement in itself.

As with all artists that appear on the show, the lines of communication remain open prior, during and after broadcast and we are in constant contact with the families.

Despite her initial disappointment, Romy has taken only positives from her experience on The Voice Kids and remains dedicated to develop her voice ready for the next opportunity, whatever that may be. ​

 Take a look at the performers from last night’s episode: 

Were you watching the Voice kids tonight?