Tuesday, September 30, 2014
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That Ronan Parke BGT Fix Letter In Full

Well, this should be getting all the sheeple in a flat spin then … according to the Daily Mail, Simon Cowell and his Britain’s Got Talent ITV show has come under fire following accusations made on an anonymous blog. They centre around a Justin Bieber look-a-like called Ronan Parke and allegations that he has been groomed by SYCO, Simon and Sony in an effort to fix the programme.

Well, I can’t say that I’m too surprised or bothered to be honest. However, I’m not too keen that the original letter seems to be disappearing from the internet. We can’t have that now can we. Internet censorship? How is anyone supposed to form an opinion on the situation if they can’t actually read the rumours?

So, for anyone who wants to know what all the fuss is about, here’s the letter in full …

BRITAIN’S GOT TALENT and the RONAN PARKE CONNECTION

For reasons which will become obvious, I can’t reveal my full identity. But let me just say that, I am an executive with Sony Music UK with many years experience in music mangement. My work involves close liasion with Simon Cowell’s SYCO company (specifically SYCO Music and SYCO TV) and, as a result, I have seen what goes on from the inside and this has left me increasingly uncomfortable about the integrity of Britain’s Got Talent and particularly the workings of SYCO.

It’s long been known that there is a quite a degree of “fixing” in BGT. ( Daily Mail http://bit.ly/fxkWne ) But press reports on “fixing” are only the tip pf the iceberg when it comes to SYCO’s manipulation of, not only the show and the contestants, but also the viewing public and hopefully, in this email, I can shine some light on the smoke and mirrors trickery of SYCO.

Take BGT 2011 for example. Scouts working for SYCO first saw Ronan Parke (the 12 year old singer) some two years ago when he was just 10 and was singing at a birthday party for former Norwich City goal-keeper, Bryan Gunn. Following that, Ronan was privately auditioned by SYCO scouts on two more occasions and, as is usual practice on BGT, he was “invited” to audition for the show as a “preferred” contestant. At the same time, Ronan and his parents were “required” to enter into a contract with SYCO. Like all SYCO contracts, it is heavily weighted in favour of the label and are notoriously bad, even in the cut-throat world of the music industry. Simon effectively signed Ronan for life and he’s got little or no chance of ever getting out of it…unless Simon decides to terminate. Recording contracts are legally extremely complex and usually require input and advice from very expensive, specialist contract lawyers. SYCO knows that such legal advice goes well beyond the means of most contestants. As one senior SYCO executive said to me recently. “These people are mugs. They’ll sign away their own mother just to get on tv. It’s a fucking turkey-shoot and then we own their arses!”

As is common for “invited” contestants that SYCO likes and have already signed, Ronan and his parents were provided with a car to drive them to the audition in London. These “invited” contestants don’t have to queue up with everyone else, they don’t go through the preliminary auditions with producers, but perform straight to Simon and the judging panel at a prearranged

time-slot. And so it was for Ronan back in 2009 when he was just 10.

It was at this initial audition that I first met Ronan and he looked very different back then. He was a skinny, 10 year old lad who, even at that time, was a bit effeminate. His voice needed a bit of working on, but that wouldn’t be a problem.

Unfortunately, nerves got the better of Ronan and he was unable to perform. Simon however, had already seen the audition tapes from the scouts and took Ronan into an unused dressing room and got him to sing in there with his mum for support.

Clearly Ronan was not going to be part of BGT in 2009 and nothing from this was ever televised.

Ordinarily, you would think that would be the end of things, but with Ronan already signed to SYCO, far from it. This was just the start of a two year grooming and manipulation process to prepare Ronan for stardom.

It’s no big secret that Simon has been looking for an artist who could crack the very lucrative pre-teen market for some time, particularly in the US. If you like, he wanted his own rival to Bieber and, taking a leaf out of how professional football academies develop youngersters to feed their main team, Simon wanted his own singing academy and Ronan was just one of a number of identified youngsters, with whom SYCO intensively works with.

A development package, which included professional singing, dancing and stage-craft tuition was arranged for Ronan and the SYCO machine kicked into gear with the view of Ronan entering BGT 2010. Lots of work had been done with Ronan and his voice was much improved, unfortunately nerves were still a major issue for him and it was decided by SYCO not to

enter him into the 2010 series. At a following senior exec meeting at SYCO it was suggested that Ronan be dropped, but with Simon confident that he could be the kid he had been looking for, it was agreed that Ronan would receive “intensive support and input” to ready him for the 2011 series. Although Ronan’s voice was now stunning, there were other major problems to be dealt with in order to sell him to the public. With respect to Ronan, he was nothing more than a cooky-looking, skinny runt of a kid and this was identified as a major handicap to sales.

It was agreed at a high-level, secret SYCO meeting, that if they were to do anything with Ronan, he needed totally restyling from the toes up. And so with time running out to develop Ronan into the star Simon wanted, SYCO went into overdrive.

Ronan was even given speech and elocution training to rid him of his rural Norfolk accent, again in preparation for the potential US market. As for his effeminate and girlishness, this posed a bigger problem and resulted in many highly confidential meetings. At one of these meetings, the unthinkable was raised as a way forward….

Until now Ronan had been encouraged to “boy-up” and it was planned to present Ronan as an everyday skater-boy. But with his girliness still showing through, the image just wasn’t believable. So a decision was taken to encourage and allow Ronan to “release” and enhance his campness . Disgustingly, SYCO planned to sexualise him. They were well aware of course, that if they sexualised a young girl to look sexually older than she is, all hell would let loose. But with Ronan, as one executive put it, “no one has ever seen a ‘gay’ kid before, it’ll be a novelty.” As for the pre-teen market, it was accepted they wouldn’t care if Ronan appeared gay or not…most probably don’t know what gay is anyway. And so, with a total gaysexualisation of Ronan secretly planned, SYCO got to work. I should stress, Ronan’s parents were not aware of any of this

and were never consulted about Ronan’s development or management. When I first met Ronan he was a bit effeminate in his ways, but nothing like the camp, girlie-giggling kid you see now on BGT and this is a direct result of SYCO’s styling. Even his clothing worn at the audition and live semi-final were chosen for him by SYCO to match his new image.

SYCO took over everything to do with Ronan. His hairstyle, his clothes, his poise, giving tv interviews, you name it, Ronan was styled within an inch of his life and all on the promise of stardom, just as long as he worked hard and listened to his mentors. As for Ronan’s parents they were constantly reassured that Simon was personally looking after Ronan and “it’s all good”.

And so to BGT 2011. With Ronan ready to be unveiled, SYCO bosses, under instructions from Simon did something not done in previous series of BGT; the winner of BGT 2011 was decided long before the first auditions took place and that winner HAD to be Ronan Parke. With Ronan now 12, he looked and sounded just as SYCO had planned, but time was running out. Soon Ronan would be going into puberty and his voice would eventually break, so BGT 2011 had to be the vehicle to launch Ronan’s career; another year and as a singer he would probably be beyond any meaningful career and the opportunity will have been missed. With all this investment in Ronan, the production managers at SYCO TV are ready to deliver Ronan as ordered. Again, I need to stress, Ronan and his parents know nothing of this and have no idea Ronan will win BGT this weekend.

So far in the history of BGT and X-Factor, for that matter, no one has ever won who has not been an “invited or preferred” contestant, and it does sadden me that, all those thousands of people, lining up outside, often in the rain and cold, are basically wasting their time. The producers of BGT are not looking for the talented people, they aready have those. The reality is that the producers are hunting out oddities, freaks and, I’m ashamed to say, mentally ill people, to act as amusing fillers in the audition shows. They are nothing more than unpaid extras and they don’t even qualify for traveling expenses!

It’s quite disgusting and shameful really, how the production team on BGT operate. People come from all over the country, often at great personal expense, because they think BGT is a talent competition and they stand a chance of realising their dreams. I can tell you from the inside that BGT is no more a “competition”, than I am an astronaut. Nothing is left to chance on BGT, everything is micro-managed, choreographed, manipulated and planned down to the last detail including, the telephone voting.

The ability to manipulate viewers opinion is vital if you are to control telephone voting and indeed get the required result.

SYCO see this as essential to the success of the show and are very open about fact; planning and delivering live shows of quality is impossible if it was purely left to the public vote. As Simon said in a meeting once. “The public NEED to be told who to vote for.” Everything on BGT is geared towards telling you who you should for, particularly on the production side. It’s an art really, which Simon has honed to perfection and SYCO are now world leaders at.

The micro-management of Ronan’s audition performance was incredible. I was really quite shocked at his new image. From a starting point of wanting Ronan to look cute for the pre-teen market, SYCO had totally gayed him up in the process. Ronan’s not a 16 year old expressing his sexualty for the first time, he’s a 12 year old boy. It was horrible and I was very uncomfortable as to where this was going to end. Ronan, still suffering from nerves, performed his song and received a standing ovation from all three judges…why? Because it was in the script to give Ronan a standing ovation. As for Louis comment. “Ronan Parke. Remember that name. This kid’s gonna be a star!!” – that was actually fed to him from the production gallery and I know the guy who wrote the line. And when it comes to Ronan’s tears…well, check it out on YouTube or something. You see Ronan crying and wiping away tears. Only you don’t see any actual tears, not even on close-up and on an HD tv. Yep you guessed it, even that was choreographed, right down to the lip-biting!

It was also interesting to see that even before the final credits rolled on Ronan’s audition show, SYCO TV had uploaded the offical video of Ronan onto YouTube. Today, that particular video has been viewed over 2.5 million times and growing.

SYCO don’t do that for other contestants, so why Ronan? The gaying-up Ronan plan slightly backfired on SYCO when lots of negative comments were being posted on YouTube and Twitter about Ronan’s image and the supposed sexuality that represents. Things got so bad on YouTube that the posting of comments had to be suspended. But SYCO learned from this and dressed Ronan more appropriately for his semi-final show; preferring a much more Bieber inspired look to the ‘gaykid’ image presented in the audition.

In another unusal move for BGT contestants, SYCO created Ronan’s Official Facebook Fan Page and Twitter account. Both these services are managed from within SYCO and they post messages and pictures, not Ronan. This is because they don’t want Ronan posting anything controversial and is standard practice for currrent artists signed to SYCO.

And so this weekend will see Ronan crowned as winner of BGT 2011. Oh and let’s not forget the £100k prize money. It’s unlikely Ronan will see much or any of that. He’s been signed to SYCO for two years now and under the terms of his contract, while SYCO stump-up for costs in advance, this is paid back from future earnings. So he will need to pay for all those lessons, coaches, cars, clothes, styling and management… I wouldn’t be surprised even after winning BGT, if he is not still in debt to SYCO.

As a recording artist Ronan has a relatively short shelf-life. Simon knows he is going to have to hit the ground running to maximise Ronan’s earning potential, particularly if they go ahead with a planned break into the States and the pace is going to be frantic for Ronan. If you think the music industry is bad in the UK, you haven’t seen anything until you experience it Stateside.

With an “anything goes” attitude all morals have long since gone out of the window. There will be no allowance for Ronan’s age and he will be expected to perform on late- night shows and dinners etc. And if he get exhausted, there’s always some sleaze-bag on hand ready to put a line of coke under his nose. I’ve seen it a million times.

I know for a fact, that the songs have already been chosen for Ronan’s debut single and album, and that the backing and drum tracks have already been laid down.

Of course, once Ronan’s voice breaks, it’s game-over and he will be commercially redundant for a few years. By the time he gets through that, the world will have moved on and his fan-base will have grown-up a bit. Will he make a comeback? In my experience I’d say probably not.

I’ve met Ronan a few times over the past couple of years. He’s a really nice kid with a generous, warm personality and the most wonderfully cute, girlie-giggle. There’s nothing to not like about Ronan. He’s a really sensitive soul and this comes across as him being a bit effeminate. But in a world of thuggish chavs, Ronan’s a real breath of fresh air really and a real delight to chat to. Do I think Ronan’s gay? No, is the short answer to that. SYCO have got a lot to answer for in their initial styling and image for Ronan. Like many 12 year old boys, Ronan may have issues in coming to terms with his sexuality in a couple of years. But right now, he’s just a great kid…a bit different, I admit…but a great kid just the same.

I hope Ronan is not damaged by this experience, unforunately, history warns otherwise…but whatever, the genie is already out of the bottle and come this weekend, Ronan’s life will change forever. Whether it’s a good or bad experience being a 12 year old star in today’s music industry, only time will tell. But as an industry insider I have serious reservations about what is about to happen to Ronan Parke and I doubt he or his family are ready for what’s coming.

Thanks to my friends on Twitter and Facebook for getting this document out. Without you my voice would be silent.

** If you want to help expose the lie which is Britain’s Got Talent, please feel free to republish this article or post a link to it

Anon

Sony Music UK

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30 comments

  1. Thanks for posting this Max. As sobering an expose as I have ever read and essential that it receive a wider audience (I’ll be passing it on to people I know, that’s for sure). I’ve never been taken in by the Simon Cowell persona, he’s always come across to me as a slimy piece of shit long overdue the tender attention of the business end of a shovel …. but this..

    At the end of the day this is a 12 year old kid we’re talking about here. He needs protection from the vampires surrounding him – is he getting it?

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    • Captain Haddock

      Without wishing to sound like a wet-wank “liberal” type , which I’m not, (Attila The Hun was a Bed-wetting, Tofu-eating, Sandal-wearing, Grauniad- reading, Macrame-weaving, Limp-Dumb as far as I’m concerned) ..

      This sounds to me, very much like a child protection & exploitation issue which should be brought to the attention of the appropriate authorities ASAP ..

      If Cowell has nothing to hide, then he surely won’t object to an investigation .. which, if it proves that there is no evidence of wrong-doing .. can only enhance his reputation ..

      I won’t however be holding my breath ..

      Incidentally, I’ve never watched BGT & would sooner rip out my own spleen with a pair of Mole-Grips before doing so ..

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      • Ref: Attila – he always speaks well of you Captain ;) (according to Pikey Madam Rosa – in touch with those who have passed beyond the veil…)

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        • Captain Haddock

          Old Attila was a good lad, “C” ..

          Just lacked the “will to win” .. ;)

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  2. Wow.. I knew it was fixed but to exploit a child like this is beyond wrong. Who on earth does ‘Psyco’ think he is. Ronan’s parents need to get him out of this before he is ripped to shreds… And for what?! The world has gone mad…

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  3. Lets remember that this, to the best of my knowledge, is an unsubstantiated claim. It could be malicious, gospel or somewhere in between. Although if it gets people switching off from crap TV it may do some good.
    People should take everything they read or hear in the MSM with a health dose of scepticism.

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    • Captain Haddock

      Absolutely Geo ..

      Which is why I won’t be passing it on .. and why I think the anonymous person making the claims is both honour & duty bound to report the matter to the Police .. so that an investigation into those claims may be launched ..

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  4. Why are people so surprised?
    Financial markets are rigged
    The voting system is rigged
    The BBC is rigged.
    All mainstream news is rigged
    So talent shows are obviously rigged.
    It’s only the morons that watch these shows that believe and go along with the charade.

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  5. There is probably a large grain of truth in this article, with some exaggeration here and there no doubt. You need to step outside the box and consider this: The TV companies and all those who manage and run these programms are working to make as much money as possible from their “work”. The “kids” and other contestants, preauditioned or not are all in it to win it – and presumably to make a fast buck – good luck to them. Those who fail because they are either not good enough ro too nervous to perform can always try elsewhere at a lower level and with practice may well make it away from the “talent” show line of entry. I knew quite a few of the “stars” of my generation who are sadly not with us today. All of these had to work hard to get stardom – and then work harder. I was too lazy – oportunities missed, but I would doubt I had the stamina for stardom – pleny of nerves and not enough talent! But for the losers in all of this – the viewing public. If you don’t like what you see then stop looking. If you don’t like what you hear stop listening – and if you have not got full faith in the system – don’t waste you money by phoning. Believe me – in years to come if there has been anything illegal or immoral done – the perpetrators will be brought to account. PS I no longer watch as I move abroad on retirement, but then I only did watch it if I had nothing else to do.

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  6. Captain Haddock

    It would appear that Cowell is getting his version of events in first with Plod ..

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1393741/Britains-Got-Talent-2011-Revelations-Simon-Cowell-rigged-Ronan-Parke-wins.html

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  7. I’m sure this sort of thing has been going on forever. Unfortunately, in any business when there is such vertical integration of processes (akin to a factory line) and so much money to be made, it is hardly surprising that things get a little murky.

    Being musical, it is a subject close to my heart. You have to view it as ‘entertainment’ as opposed to unearthing real ‘talent,’ particularly of the creative variety. The last thing these people want is a lack of control over the ‘talent’.

    I added a couple of related key words to a song I have on the subject and got it to P1 in a Google video search!

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  8. I like many people, have had idea’s that the possibility was there for rigging these shows as along with x factor, my son got to the bootcamp stage and the contract scared the hell out of me, but these kids have literally minutes to read and sign, basically syco know exactly what they are doing, but as the kids are desperate at this stage they nag their parents too just sign.
    I read Ben Eltons book about all of this he was referring to the x factor but for legal reasons changed names ect, he may have exaggerated it slightly but I really think it’s mainly true.
    They give the songs and dress them not too well, knowing dam well that they won’t receive a high vote, then the judges have their scrips, swaying the public, quite simple really.
    But even if this were proved to be all true, these kids would still go along with it in hope that it’s their year.
    As for Ronan, well is there anything really wrong with being scouted and asked to go on the show? Maybe not, he looks lovely, sounds good if he wins then so be it, the public want him too if he wins the votes, Simon could of afterall of just signed him anyway if he liked him that much.
    I wish him luck whatever happens.

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  9. Simon Cowell is a cunt.

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  10. This is to complex to be fake” come out lad show yourself and the proof ..you could make a couple of mill selling it to papers!!

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  11. What does it really matter if Ronan is a ‘plant’. He is a very good singer so no fault there and he alone will have to win the votes today. The votes cannot be rigged. That being the case dont you think that Simon always has hundreds of hopefuls on his books and suggesting the lad goes on BGT to try and get into the market that way is not a problem in my eyes. The same thing may have happened to Liona Lewis, Oli Murrs and the rest of the x factor and BGT finalists. Try and find something more interesting to do with your life!

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  12. Thank you for reposting this. I think it’s important that people can read it for themselves.

    For me it has the ring of truth. I happened to watch the wretched BGT this year, albeit against my better judgement. And while I doubt that there is outright rigging of the votes, as such, I was very struck by the way the judges “guide” the voters, who, astonishingly, seem entirely willing to comply.

    More specifically, I was struck by the contrast between Ronan Parke and his parents. They are obviously perfectly decent people who want the best for their son, but equally obviously they are ordinary people without false airs and graces – and with very rural accents. He, on the other hand, walked onto the stage looking distinctly effete in a bizarre snood type of garment, and when he spoke he sounded as if his accent came from an expensive public school. I didn’t care enough to ponder the matter further, but it was plainly incongruous. So I find the anonymous executive’s post entirely credible. I hope he took appropriate precautions to prevent his (her?)identity being discovered.

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  13. well… this is a little awkward. Because Ronan DIDNT win. So there seems to be a small flaw in your theory

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  14. Hi,I myself,think that u were a little unfair.Even if he was managed to win(of course he didn’t,with or without managing),people has accepted him as a great singer.
    They(that competition leaders & especially people themselves)put him against Justin Bieber(who’s going to get out of The Teen World).
    If our problem is money,it always have been like that,haha…
    It moves where the Talent is & in fact,we should confess that Ronan Parke has such a talent to deserve it(that wasn’t hppened in BGT,but maybe in future).
    And the last thing,if he had too much stress,he must have destroyed his performances by his own hands,but he has done them beautifully.I should mention he just had a bit anxiety and because of his girlish personality,it was amplified.I totally agree with u that this is a kind of slavery in The Art World :(
    But,despite these terrible rumours,I have accepted Ronan,just because of his incredible suprano voice and wish u and him good luck in every stage of your lives :)
    Before u assume,try this crazy method called asking,so don’t judge me when u don’t know me yet!

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  15. I wonder how many times the word castrato has entered Cowell’s mind?

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  16. I’ve got software that makes me sound exactly like Justin Bib’er. Makes everyone instantly puke, great fun.

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