I recently came across a video of a group of elderly pensioners auditioning on the Britain’s Got Talent show. They were so wonderful and I laughed with sheer joy at the fun and energy they exuded. The audition video below is a “must watch”.
They are the Zimmers, a British band with the oldest members in the world. The band was created in 2007 as a feature in a BBC TV documentary intended to give voice to the feelings of isolation and imprisonment of older people. Fifteen of the band members took part in this audition. The lead singer, Grace, at 88 is the oldest, and others are in their 80’s and 70’s. But age could not dim their feistiness and energy. While they don’t take themselves seriously, they give their all in the performance. They started the show with the Beetles track: “what the world needs now”. Indeed, what the world needs right now is love, sweet love – more than ever.
Ageism rears its ugly head
The reactions of the judges, especially of Simon Cowell, are also interesting to watch. They saw a bunch of elderly people shuffling onto the stage and instantly and visibly they went into ageism – a stereotype reaction to elderly people. It is amazing that after the initial mishap with Susan Boyles, and indeed many other talented contestants, Mr. Cowell and his co-panelists still have not learnt to be more open minded and not to judge by first appearances. Not all talented people are young, good looking and smartly dressed.
The Zimmers made it to top three in the semi-finals of Britain’s Got Talent and here is the video of that performance. The song they chose is LMFAO’s: “Sexy and I know it”. A good and feisty choice!