As you might know I participated in & won the Voice Kids Finland in 2013. For me it was a pretty good experience and I loved the people I worked with there. But what you see on TV isn't the whole truth and I think many don't understand this.
I've had several friends that have participated in for example Idols, The Voice and X Factor. I'm able to say that I had a good TV journey if you compare it to most of my friends. Because behind the TV cameras there's stress, tears and nervousness you don't see. And they cut SO MUCH away. From all TV shows (not just talent shows). I recently read a posts from a girl that had participated in a reality TV show and was upset because she felt her whole image was wrong in the show. You might tell a whole story from where they cut the two lines they know will sound the most interesting. This way the context is often way off and can make people look "dumb" or like something they're not.
Why I specifically don't like singing competitions is because it has so little to do with the actual singing. Like the whole music industry these days. The one who's technically the most talented often never even makes it to the semi-finals. Why is that? Maybe because we follow new trends in every season. One season it's popular to be a cute "boy band-ish" type of singer that wins over hearts. Another season it's popular to be a pop diva that can dance and perform like Madonna. And then again it's cool to be a singer-songwriter with a guitar. And unless you fit these boxes on these seasons, you most likely won't go far in the competition. No matter if you're a great singer or not.
I wanted to bring this up because I get so many questions from young people asking me what I think about these competitions and wether I think they should participate or not. Yes, I think that if you are good handling pressure and strong enough to keep your confidence you should definitely participate. But if you're vulnerable and think you'd never sing again if you don't fit the season's "box", there's other ways to get forward with your talent.