An edited, cut-down version of a song used in a Talent Show, where each competitor is limited to a certain time.
It can be disconcerting if you know the song and it jumps an entire stanza.
It sometimes happens in movies based on theatrical musicals, since plays still have intermissions, but modern films don't (at least not in the theater). It happened in the filmed version of the Broadway musical Cats, with Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer... the omission is so jarring that it seems like a censorship cut.
It may also happen transferring a musical from film to TV, in which case it literally is a censorship cut..
Shows using this:
- American Idol
- America's Got Talent and Britain's Got Talent
- Dancing On Ice
- Strictly Come Dancing
- And Dancing with the Stars, the American variant
- So You Think You Can Dance
- All the various "cast an unknown in a big musical" shows like I'd Do Anything or Any Dream Will Do use this trope.
- Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch, just about every episode. Some episodes do show the full versions of songs, but they're few and far between.
- In the UK's X Factor they show shots of them with song sheets that have big blocks of text crossed out, I seem to remember seeing contastant and voice coach talking, then the voice coach crossed a chunk of the lyrics out.
- Just about every arcade Rhythm Game does this.
- The Movie version of The Phantom of the Opera leaves out the entire verse about how "in all your fantasy you always knew that man and mystery/ were both in you..." et cetera. It's both jarring and pointless.
- The Voice does this for most of the season, but in the final voting phase of the show they break out the full-length versions.
- The Sing-Off uses this; each group's song, especially in the first episodes of each season, is usually missing at least one verse and chorus so they can all be included in the episode's timeframe.
- Several radio stations have actually used a format that uses shortened edits of songs. A station in Calgary did so, just so they could proclaim thet they technically played more music per hour than any other station in the city. However, after a poor reception by musicians (particularly Jann Arden, who requested her Twitter followers to find her "half a good book" to read) and the implication that there were legal threats, the idea was dropped.