Clearly, this works as a marketing tool. But are such competitions of any value in actually finding talent? While I realize that the standard audition process for such shows can be grueling, I also think that pandering to audience whim is likely to lead to performances that fit a mold rather than create something new and interesting.
But apparently the producers of these shows aren't looking for interesting.
And, be honest, if there were a local, televised talent competetion to cast the lead in a production at American Cabaret Theatre or Beef & Boards, would that make you more likely to buy a ticket?