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Indian Kids Are Pitted Against Each Other on Reality Shows

A show with a name like Boogie Woogie sounds like it should be nothing but harmless fun right? For the tidal wave of kids clamoring to get onto the Indian reality TV show, perhaps not. After one young girl collapsed on the dance contest show after she lost, the pressure is starting to get noticed. Her parents blame the Simon Cowell-esque reprimanding after her performance for her collapse, while the show's producers say the parents should know the limits of their children.

Regardless of the cause its anything but a deterrent for hopeful contestants for any of India's five music and dance contest shows. Thousands of kids are signing up, and the long days, grueling criticism, and even the parents themselves are becoming a problem. One Boogie Woogie producer says, "Some parents are so ambitious that they need to be counselled. We have to tell them to let the children be. Sometimes parents push the children to wear certain clothes, practice some gyrating adult moves. At such times we ask them to change their dance."

Why are kids being pushed onto TV shows? To find out,


The same reason so many things happen: money honey. One media researcher says, "The audience segment of four to 14 years is becoming important. Children are a major influence on consumer behaviour. Segments like sports, music, and pure children's channels have a viewership base which manufacturers of consumer durables, auto industries, food industry would like to tap."

Four-year-olds are the next coveted demographic?! Wow. While the dubious trend is taking off, experts counsel moderation. "As long as parents and children know that these competitions are just a part of life and not life itself, children will be able to handle the pressures."

Should kids be able to compete on reality shows, or in the words of Simon, is that "just awful?"


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