Time will tell if Dami has real star quality
THERE are many versions of the reality talent show on TV at the moment and I try to avoid all of them where possible.
It is not easy to go through your day, however, without hearing or reading or seeing some kind of reference to X-Factor, Australia's Got Talent, The Voice, Popstars or Australian Idol.
Over the last 10 years or more, these shows have continued to deliver mediocre talent, weeded down to a final few by a panel of washed up has-beens or - in Kyle Sandilands' case - never will be's.
With that in mind, I was impressed with the little bits 'n pieces I saw of Logan singer Dami Im.
In the words of the great Wayne Campbell: she can really wail.
Friends of mine may note that I did pay out on Dami several times over the last few weeks, by referring to her as sounding like a cat being run over.
This was said in jest of course, but there is one thing that worries me when I think of what the future holds for this talented young woman.
Things are obviously looking great for Dami right now, but if we examine the history of reality talent show contestants, most of them have been extremely challenged when it comes to the longevity department.
Just look at one of Dami's most notable predecessors - 2003 Australian Idol runner-up Shannon Noll.
It doesn't seem that long ago that Mr Noll, with his rustic charm, sunny demeanour and almost Barnesy-like vocal chords, was going to have a long and prosperous career in the music biz.
But somehow, somewhere along the line, it all went wrong.
Shannon has slumped from singing about big black shiny cars to serenading dishwashers and jaffle irons for RT Edwards.
While I'm sure he's making some respectable coin out of it, I just can't see that this was part of the big dream that the Australian Idol people were flogging off back in the early 2000s.
"Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, the top three in this competition could one day go on to cover Roy Orbison in an advertisement for white goods!"
Fair enough, the bloke who beat Shannon that year, Guy Sebastian, has gone on with the job of making pop songs - without setting the music world on fire, mind you.
Jessica Mauboy and Damien Leith launched their careers out of the 2006 series of Australian Idol.
On the other hand, do you remember Scandal'us? What about young Scott Cain? No?
What about Casey Donovan? Still nothing?
Young Talent Time almost had a better strike rate.
I feel excited for Dami and I'm sure her success will open many doors for her, but I just hope she turns out more interesting than what the reality talent shows have pumped out so far.
Vote tally system is failing to inspire confidence
WELL, it's confirmed now, Clive Palmer has won the seat of Fairfax and - barring some kind of bizarre, unforseen circumstances - will be in Federal Parliament for at least the next three years.
While I am fully expecting Big Clive to stir things up, I'm not so much worried about that as I am worried about the circumstances leading up to the announcement of the winner.
There are clearly problems with the system used to count election votes in this country.
Not only has it taken what seems like an eternity to settle on a winner, but the first count had Clive winning by seven votes, while the second had him winning by 53.
Where did the extra 46 votes come from - or rather, where were they the first time around?
If you thought Clive was crazy for alleging that there was something fishy going on in the Sunshine Coast electorate, you couldn't blame him for saying it now.
If Fairfax is fishy, than the situation in WA is plain old suspect.
More than 1300 ballots have "gone missing" in the recount for the Senate race, prompting an investigation by former police commissioner Mick Keelty.
Regardless of whether it is a result of human error or some kind of corruption, it doesn't say much for our democratic process when you can't count on the people in charge of counting.