Tortured souls

Dr Nadia Buhannad may find her critiques on Million's Poet are met with the standard response of poets everywhere: the sad sulk

Difficult, “nasty” characters have a proud tradition in reality television – think of Anne Robinson in the Weakest Link or Simon Cowell in his various incarnations – and Dr Nadia Buhannad fits easily into that tradition. Although better qualified and more telegenic than other resident “nasties”, her withering critiques of aspiring lyricists on Million’s Poet certainly do not lack bite. Not for nothing is she keen on the sobriquet “Queen of Intimidation”.

And yet, just as TV shows should know their audience, psychologists should know their patients. One wonders if poets are really the best equipped artists for such psychological intimidation. Aspiring singers can – and do, frequently – throw tantrums when they are rejected.

But poets? By nature, they tend to be introverted, tortured souls, keener to put their emotions on paper than flaunt them around a television studio. If TV bosses are hoping for similarly dramatic displays after Dr Nadia’s judgements, they may be disappointed and have to content themselves with the poets’ default setting: the sulk.

There may, however, be method in the madness: Dr Nadia’s intimidations may not provoke crying and shouting, but should at least offer material for the tortured poets to write about and bring back to the stage.

Published: May 6, 2014 04:00 AM