Collapsing Talents

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“I don’t understand. Why are they all such bad singers? We received their audition tapes and they sounded really good on them,” said Dr. Hamilton, the lead researcher on “So You Think You Can Sing.”

            “Maybe they just auto-tuned their voices. It happens all the time,” replied Dr. Dennis, the researching assistant.

            “But that is the third one in a row we turned down. They all were upset because they said they didn’t know what happened. They all seemed very genuine.”

            “They all say that. They just want to get attention and be on TV.”

Dr. Hamilton could not believe his eyes. So far, everyone that had a good audition tape and who they called back could not sing for their life. He was starting to think they might have to start their search all over again. How could three people in a row have auto-tuned their voices so well?  Dr. Hamilton and Dr. Dennis watched another girl enter the room and waited for her to begin. They remembered this girl from the audition tapes, Jessica. They thought she was going to make it all the way this year; she sounded like one of the best.

“Hi! My name is Jessica and I will be singing ‘Someone Like You’ by Adele.”

But as soon as she opened her mouth, scooping vowels and voice cracking filled the room. She stopped mid-line. Her face was full of terror. She had obviously never heard those sounds before. Dr. Dennis looked down and Dr. Hamilton looked away; they could not believe they had been duped again.

“I so not know where that came from, let me just start over.” She cleared her throat and began again, the two judges still not looking at her.

She started to sing and the sound was beautiful.  Dr. Hamilton looked up in awe, but as soon as his eyes fell on her, the screeching began. Again, she stopped in utter shock. They couldn’t understand what just happened and they all just stood there looking dumbfounded. Jessica went into a rant about how she had never heard her voice do that before and how she wasn’t even that nervous. Dr. Hamilton stood up and started pacing around the room, trying to comprehend the oddness of the situation.

“There is obviously something wrong here,” Dr. Hamilton said aloud to the room after a few minutes. “It is getting late. Come back tomorrow morning and maybe we can think of a solution.” The two judges stayed up all night contemplating the weird happenings of the day. They couldn’t comprehend it.

Around two thirty they called it quits and went to sleep. In the morning, they were still brewing over what they were going to do. Dr. Dennis said, “I couldn’t believe we were tricked again. I thought she might win the season according to her audition tape. I was so shocked; I looked down at my papers. I couldn’t bear looking at her any more.”

“Wait! You were not looking at her when she started to sing the second time?” Dr. Hamilton questioned earnestly, as if something had clicked in his brain.

“No I wasn’t.”

“That’s it!” Dr. Hamilton jumped out of his seat.

“What’s it?” cried Dr. Dennis, running after him.

“You’ll see!” replied Dr. Hamilton.

Back in the studio, the two took their seats and had Jessica brought back in. She entered looking incredibly nervous, worried that she was going to blow her audition again.

“Now go ahead and start singing.” Dr. Hamilton told her. She started to sing but only screeching came out. Dr. Hamilton told her to stop. A frown came over Dr. Dennis’s face; beginning to think all hope was lost.

“ Okay. Now this time, Dr. Dennis, don’t look at her. I won’t either.” Dr. Dennis looked puzzlingly at Dr. Hamilton, but he was already turned around in his chair. So he slowly turned his chair around. “Okay, Jessica. Start again.”

The same sweet voice that was on Jessica’s audition tape filled the room. Dr. Hamilton couldn’t believe it. He had figured it out. They told her to stand to the side and they brought in another singer. They did the same thing. First, looking at them and sounding horrible, and then looking away and the pleasant sounds entered the room again. Dr. Hamilton gave them both passes to actually be on the show. And from then on, they realized that if they were looking at the singer, strangely, they could no longer sing. 

About the Author: 
I am a student in Southern California taking an Honors Physics class.

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