AUSTRALIAN amateur singers, jugglers and dancers are facing burnout with a boom in talent shows sparking a shortage of performers.
Reality performance show researcher Professor Geoff Bandstand said almost a decade of talent shows had severely depleted talent stakes and forced some celebrity wannabes to appear on up to five different shows in a single week to fill the quota.
"If the trend continues I expect within three years we will need to recycle Guy Sebastian and Shannon Noll and just hope nobody remembers they have already been on TV," he said.
Television insiders conceded they were struggling to find genuine talent to sustain a full season of talent programs.
"We are certainly becoming far less discerning," one insider said.
"These days we will pretty much take anyone who can sing vaguely in tune, dance without falling off stage or pull a rabbit out of a hat without killing it.
"In fact, on the rare occasion we uncover anyone with actual talent, everyone's jaw drops and it goes crazy on YouTube. A lot of genuine performers steer clear of the shows if only to avoid the banal interview with the annoying host at the end of the set."
Prof Bandstand said the shows also seemed less able to attract performers with bad attitudes who were prepared to storm off the stage or belittle the music talent of the judges.
"We have entered the era of the talent show wimp," he said.
"When people are told they have no talent or personality, and pretty much no prospects in life, they tend to thank the judges for their honesty rather than knocking over tables and using expletives.
"Even the nasty judges seem to have run out of energy. And if one more person talks about the journey they are on I will puke."
Research on the fate of talent show winners suggests that they have approximately zero per cent chance of becoming superstars and most will be totally forgotten after six months, except once a year at the Christmas carols concert.
Second albums by talent show contestants typically end up as landfill or stabilising tables on uneven floors.
"The best they can really hope for is a slot on Celebrity Apprentice or to put on a heap of weight and get a gig on a celebrity weight-loss show," statistician Bernie Sugar said.
Mr Sugar said the only other hope for these performers seemed to be exposure in women's magazines because of personal crises or relationship breakdowns, or through clustering of generic talent as boy bands singing soft pop for screaming 12-year-olds.
"They might also get a small slot on another reality show if they try to smuggle contraband into the country or they do something dramatic on Bondi Beach," he said.