People, ordinary or celebrated, compete in a given field for the votes of the viewing public. Singing, dancing and stand-up comedy are the most common fields.
If you're looking for a common plotline involving the characters of a show participating in something which may be called a "talent show," see Talent Contest.
- Opportunity Knocks - 1940's Radio, Sound-to-Screen Adaptation in The '50s.
- New Faces - 1970's
- Strictly Come Dancing
- The X Factor
- Stars In Their Eyes
- Britain's Got Talent (UK version of America's Got Talent)
- The BBC's Musical Theater Talent Show, the name changes every year as with the musical in question. They all are run by Andrew Lloyd Webber and the first three have conspicuous involvement by John Barrowman.
- 2006 - How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? (Musical: The Sound of Music Role: Maria Von Trapp)
- 2007 - Any Dream Will Do (Musical: Joseph And The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat Role: Joseph)
- 2008 - I'd Do Anything (Musical: Oliver! Roles: 1 Nancy, 3 Olivers)
- 2010 - Over The Rainbow (Musical: The Wizard of Oz Role: Dorothy, Totos)
- ITV's clone of the above Grease: Is The Word (Musical: Grease Roles: Sandy & Danny)
- The Slammer
- Star Search
- Ted Macks Amateur Hour
- The Gong Show (which is actually a subversion of the Talent Show)
- American Idol and its imitators
- America's Got Talent
- Bring The Funny
- Grease: You're The One That We Want, which was a US version of the BBC Musical Search format, which was then imported back to the UK by ITV.
- Dancing with the Stars, the American version of Strictly Come Dancing.
- America's Next Top Model, though the subjectivity of the competition barely qualifies it as such.
- So You Think You Can Dance
- The Voice
- The Masked Singer, based on the South Korean series King of Mask Singer
- Latin America
- Cuanto Vale El Show (Venezuela), who lived trough The '90s and can be seen as a precursor of American Idol, since its three regular judges had similar roles to the ones in American Idol.
- Operación Triunfo (Spain and several countries) and La Academia (Mexico), which have more Reality Show ingredients than most of the shows in this list.