What I Learned From Idol

Pages written since last post: ABSOLUTELY ZERO (but I had lots of great ideas!)

Okay, I’m busted. For the past four years I have been a closet American Idol fan. I resisted as long as I could, but really, as a writer, isn’t it irresponsible to ignore a cultural phenomenon? I can’t help noticing that over the years the competition has gone from an amateur talent show to a battle of the professionals, and that’s what made this season to interesting to me. When the top ten contenders are all outstanding, what is it about that one that defines star power– in a singer, a dancer, an actor or a writer? If Idol is emblematic of success in the entertainment industry– and, take my word for it, if you are a writer, you are in the entertainment industry--what can we learn from this past season?

One by one I watched the front-runners fall. Lil Rounds. Allison. Danny?? They were all incredible performers; they had risen above the crowd and defeated thousands upon thousands of competitors to be among the best in the entire nation. They could all make records today (and some of them will). What I learned from Idol is that even if you stand head and shoulders above the crowd, just take a look around: you’re likely to find several hundred others sharing your view. When the entire playing field is composed of the best of the best, it takes more than talent and hard work to be a superstar.

Sometimes it’s completely random.

And that’s yet an other reason to be true to your own vision, to create the work you love, to sing your own song. In the end, if superstardom doesn’t tap you on the shoulder, at least you can be sure it wasn’t because you made the wrong song choice.

Oh, and what am I reading? The Shack by William Paul Young. There are three million copies in print, and I rest my case.


annette said…
I do not watch American Idol, but my co-workers talk about it all the time.
They also talk about what they are currently reading. Everyone loves The Shack. I am curious about your take on the book.

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