Young Maltese singer Emma Muscat was reduced to tears on last night’s episode of Italian talent show Amici as host Paola Turci compared her to a Barbie doll and demanded she be more authentic.
“You still come out as a bit cold and blocked, and I need to understand why,” Paola tells Emma. “I would like to ask you whether you know why.”
Emma insists that she’s trying to bring out her emotions, but Paola retorts whether she’s trying hard enough to actually feel them.
The host then criticised Emma for immediately applying make-up right after her latest performance.
“Do you feel safer with make-up on?” she asks. “Don’t you feel beautiful without it? Do you want to be in the music industry or do you just want to be perfect. You seek perfection, right?”
“No one is perfect,” Emma responds.
Paola then brings out a Barbie doll to drive the point home.
“You try to look perfect aesthetically, but if you look perfect, you would look like a doll. There are many dolls out there, but perfection is all about finding yourself.”
Emma then sings a rendition of Sam Smith’s ‘Too Good in Goodbyes’, but Paola criticises her for looking at the cameras while singing and messes up the Maltese singer’s hair in an attempt to force out her ‘aesthetic perfection’.
“Being beautiful is important but it’s not the foundation of your career, and if you don’t bring out your emotions you would just be a doll,” she tells her.
The stinging rebuke clearly has its desired effect as Emma rushes off the stage in tears.
“Just leave me alone, please,” she says, with the cameras still focusing on her.
Paola then calls Emma back on stage and the two exchange hugs.