Paul McCartney watches reality singing competitions, calls them “fascinating”

The Beatles’ Paul McCartney said Thursday that shows such as such as The Voice and American Idol are “cool” and “fascinating,” and says he watches them.

He was promoting his upcoming Showtime documentary The Love We Make, which is about his post-Sept. 11 benefit concert, and uses cinema verite footage shot then by Albert Maysles, who directed Grey Gardens, among other documentaries. The film debuts Sept. 10; McCartney said, “the 10th anniversary spurred me into thinking, wait a minute, Albert took some great footage back then that we never did anything with. And it just seemed like it would be a good opportunity.”

Asked about singing competition reality series, McCartney said, “I think all of that is cool because it’s what’s happening today and you always have to understand that. You know, if people want it, people are going to have it. So it’s got some value. I feel a little sorry sometimes for some of the performers because they don’t have that background. We had years before we hit it big time. They can tend to hit it overnight. But I think the shows are fascinating. And I watch those kind of shows.” He later said, “I love those kind of shows.”

He didn’t specify what he watched, although later said, “I probably watch more sport. I like ESPN. I hate to say I sometimes get completely hooked on the shopping channels. Where do you think I got this collarless jacket?”

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.