Wavves And Susan Boyle Appear In Their Own Versions Of “I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here”

Jun 1st, 2009 // 2 Comments

Nathan “Wavves” Williams and Susan “Conventionally Unattractive People Can Have Good Voices Too” Boyle both stumbled along the path toward celebrity this week. Williams, whose lo-fi star has ascended almost as quickly as the backlash against him, saw his drug-fueled antics onstage in Spain last week result in music-blog chatter and a canceled European tour; Boyle–the early favorite to win the Simon Cowell vehicle Britain’s Got Talent–capped a week of British tabloids chronicling every bad word she said with a second-place finish on the show. Shortly afterward, she checked herself into a UK hospital because of “exhaustion.” Sure, Wavves (and its attendant backlash) is relatively small-potatoes compared to Boyle’s lauding by the likes of Oprah Winfrey and hounding by the British press, but yet again, one is forced to wonder why anyone wants to be famous at all.


I kid, in a way. Of course it’s easy to see why people would want to be famous. All those Black Eyed Peas songs about how awesome it is to be in the Black Eyed Peas are just the tip of the iceberg; especially in these lousy economic times, fame can be seen as an opportunity to escape one’s seemingly sealed fate (note the articles on American Idol Kris Allen that point out he used to sell shoes), or at least to get outside validation from people in a particularly cruel era. But that cruelty doesn’t absolve the famous in the age of TMZ and Perez and other, even less kind amateur punditry. If anything, it fuels the fire and increases the cycle–especially from people who want to believe anything bad about the folks dangled in front of them, no matter how far-fetched those stories might be.


Even with that in mind, though, the speed of the backlashes that both Boyle and Williams had to contend with–Boyle from the British papers who gleefully reported on her tantrums against competitors, Williams from music wags who used him as a poster child against the seemingly iron grip of tastemaking that Pitchfork has on a certain swath of music fans as much as they disliked his aesthetic–is pretty astonishing; I can’t help but wonder if both these breakdowns were pretty much the only thing that could happen. “The British, and I’m as guilty as everyone … like nothing better than building people up, and knocking ‘em down again,” Talent judge Piers Morgan wrote on his show-sanctioned blog shortly before Boyle was taken in to the hospital. I think we might extend that description to “people in general, especially when they’re on the Internet.”


Susan Boyle Taken To Priory Clinic [Guardian]
Wavves cancels European tour [Pitchfork]

  1. The Wavves scandal is more saddening than Susan Boyle’s ability to age faster than milk. The blogging world is just as eager to promote these artists as they are to tear them down.

    Here’s my take over at flavorwire: http://flavorwire.com/23193/wavves-meltdown-primavera-youtub

  2. @stelios@flavorwire:

    I really got more of a Macauley Kulkin vibe than Edvard Munch. But seriously, I can’t help but think that a tour being canceled must have a little bit more behind it than an isolated performance meltdown and the resulting blog criticisms (regardless of how hypocritical those blogs might be).

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