As we near the fifteenth and final season of this popularity contest I thought I would share this piece.
One night last winter I was watching American Idol with my wife.
Normally I don’t watch American Idol or any of those talent contest shows. I just don’t care for them. But this night I was just too tired to care or to go into another room and watch something else. I had spent most of the day shoveling snow.
This week they were narrowing down the sixteen contestants and on this night the top eight girls had to sing.
Now I used the word “girls” because to me at my age that is what was singing. If I remember correctly the oldest was twenty two and the youngest was seventeen.
Singing is the easiest yet hardest instrument to have true emotion. Good singers are as dramatic as a good actor. And like bad actors, singers are bad singers when the emotion isn’t honest.
Of all the eight contestants that I watched sing this night, I only saw honesty in one of them.
Unfortunately for her what she did was a bit quirky, a bit off the beaten path but I thought she was doing what she felt was honest.
American Idol is just a glorified high school class president election. It’s a popularity contest so I guess it’s just like our presidential elections too. And we all know that in politics honesty is not what it takes to win.
I’m guessing by next week this girl will be gone. She was the only one that I liked because what she did was honest.
The other seven girls were all good singers but what I heard from each and every one of them was not from the gut and honest.
What I heard was each girl performing in a manner that they felt would impress the judges and the audience and get them the votes to move on.
The second you don’t do this for yourself is the second it becomes fake, plastic, put on, dishonest.
Each and every one of these seven girls was looking to integrate some form of vocal gymnastics to impress someone else.
It wasn’t “What do I feel? What honest emotion do I have right now when I sing these words?” If they were honest they wouldn’t have did what they did. They made some pretty poor choices.
These girls were singing what they thought the crowd wants to hear. I’m sure they were coached to do that as well. They were told not to sing what’s honest but something contrived and calculated. That’s not music or art, that’s business.
Unfortunately the winner of this popularity contest will end up going down the road to obscurity like all the predecessors but one.
I guess that’s why I don’t watch this show or show’s like it.
It’s not honest.
It’s like watching a political contest all fluff and no substance.
© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.