Young Journalist of the Year

Talented Banagher College Leaving Cert student Shauna Cleary recently reached the final of the Independent Colleges Young Journalist of the Year award. Her stylish and cutting commentary on our celebrity obsessed culture caught the eye of the judges at the esteemed journalistic school. Shauna attended the awards ceremony on Dawson Street in Dublin where the judges referred to both the large quantity of entries received from across the country, as well as the consistently high standard of writing on show. Shauna’s entry was the only one from the Midlands region to make the final and she can consider herself very unlucky not to have scooped the overall prize given the excellence of her entry.

Shauna’s shortlisted entry, titled ‘A Delectable Decade‘, submitted on the theme of Entertainment:

A Delectable Decade

Phew! What a decade of entertainment it has been! Madonna found Jesus and Ireland found the Celtic Tiger (R.I.P.) And of course it was our once furry friend who gave birth to the glitzy, glamorous and generally scandalous new era that threatens to consume us all. Out went Dallas, ham sandwiches and Barry’s Tea and in came Xposé, paninis and champagne cocktails. Over the past ten years we’ve witnessed everything from break-ups (Brad and Jen) to breakdowns (Britney) to break-ins (do not leave the spare key under the mat Paris!) It feels as though we have been whisked away by a glitter-soaked whirlwind of entertainment that’s hit us with everything from bling to Jedward to wannabe WAGs to size zero. And let’s not forget the eternally ubiquitous reality T.V. We’ve thrown celebrities into anywhere we could think of – jungles, farms, hotels and deserted houses. Why? Because we wanted to see them suffer of course.

Not only have these celebs taken over our newspapers, magazines, cinemas and televisions but now they have taken over the internet. One word….Twitter. In case you haven’t heard of it (how’s living under that rock going?) Twitter is social networking for stalkers. For those of us who have simply nothing better to do with our lives, we can sit at our computers all day and wait for Ashton Kutcher to tell us he has decided to have a second slice of toast for breakfast. Exciting times!

During our shaky journey through the decade we’ve waved goodbye to many celebrities who have left us for the golden gates of heaven (gates which look strikingly similar to the entrances of their mansions here on earth I might add!) Many of us were shocked by the deaths of Michael Jackson, Heath Ledger and Yves Saint Laurent. But as dust and chewing gum begins to settle on their stars along Sunset Boulevard, new stars begin to sparkle on the horizon. One person, one girl has given us hope…hope of a new, fresh and entertaining decade…Suri Cruise. Yes the kitten-heel clad, lipstick wearing toddler is definitely the celebrity to watch over the next decade. Others who are going to hit the celeb stratosphere in the next ten years include Susan Boyle, Taylor Lautner and Leona Lewis. (You heard it hear first!)

Can we endure another decade of entertainment? Are we physically and mentally prepared to deal with another ten years of deaths, births, marriages, divorces, falls from grace and comebacks? Either way we’d better brace ourselves as 2010 is well underway and we cannot afford to fall off the entertainment wagon. For not keeping up with hourly ‘Breaking News!’ on ‘E!News’ would be like committing social suicide.

For many celebrities, however, 2010 has started with a bang. For Tiger Woods it was a bang across the head with a driver. And for Jordan? Well she walked up the Las Vegas aisle to wed her first?, second?, third? husband. I’ve lost track at this stage-but hey, who’s counting? I will now predict that her recent ‘love’ will deflate faster than her fifth breast enhancement.

And what about the poor unfortunate (rich, beautiful) Cheryl Cole? It turns out that husband Ashley has cheated…yet again!…on her. Well, this is news to me! A Ferrari-driving, Rolex-wearing premiership footballer who earns more than €100,000 a week has cheated on his wife! I am personally shocked! However common sense has prevailed and the Cole brand is no more. I’m sure you will all agree that Cheryl is now doomed to a life of loneliness as there is no hope of her finding another man! And fellow WAG Victoria Beckham? I predict that in the next decade she will achieve her long-term goal of reaching size minus 2 – if she’s not already there; and in the later part of the decade she might actually disappear.

But what people are thinking as we aim towards 2020 is ‘Does the end of the Celtic Tiger and economic boom mean the end of the entertainment world as we know it?’ Personally I think not. Somehow I cannot see Rosanna Davidson, Lady GaGa or Paris Hilton giving up their fortunes to live like average plebs (that’s you and me by the way!) That would be as likely as Jordan condemning plastic surgery, Victoria Beckham being diagnosed as morbidly obese or Chelsea footballers staying faithful to their wives. But what I can predict is an action-packed, scandal-filled, roller-coaster of a decade ahead. For who needs NAMA, Brian Cowen and the credit crunch when we can have MTV, Snoop Dogg and credit cards? So my advice is to sit back and relax because we’re in for a bumpy ride. And let’s be honest, would we have it any other way?

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