Sunday, May 27, 2012

Love the "Idol." The Judges? Not So Much.

by Leann

I love music. If there's a reality show involving singing or dancing, you can bet I'll tune in. This year, American Idol got even glitzier than the year before, yet it was the T-shirt wearing, guitar player who took home the big music contract. From his first audition until Ryan Seacrest called Phillip Phillips' name, I knew he would win.

Why did I know? Because unlike the celebrity judges, America is smart enough to pick out a true musician, a simple performer in love with what he does. Try as they might, those judges couldn't sway the vote. Not for lack of trying. They "loved" everyone else from week to week, but you could tell Phillip, with his unique style, was an enigma to them. The fact that he won the whole thing while enduring 8 different procedures on his kidneys says a lot about this kid from Georgia. I work through pain everyday, so maybe that's why I felt such a connection to him. When you love what you do, when you want it that much, you will do whatever it takes.

As a nurse I saw the signs he was fighting his body. The way he stood, the way he walked, told me he was in some serious pain. Yet he kept showing up. And isn't half of luck just showing up? (The other half, I always say, is preparation.) Some of you may not be fans of American Idol, but having fought a long, long time to get my work published, I understand a little of what goes on behind the scenes. The show is all about subtext for me--not the big name judges or the fancy productions or letting the kids "dress up" like stars. The struggle to be heard can be a daunting journey--and all the contestants battled hard. I take my hat off to them. And I cannot wait to buy Phillip's album.

What about you? What's been your struggle and what is your dream. Or is it just the journey?


Heather Blake Webber said...

My daughter and I were just talking about how the judges had tried all season to influence the voting audience. Subtly, yes, but still.

I'm curious who will take JLo's place if she does leave the show...

Maggie Sefton said...

Leann----That was a touching tribute to that young singer. I wish I had caught his performances. But I usually don't watch Idol until the end because, as a former singer, I simply cannot bear to hear the early contestants sing in what we trained singers call: "in the cracks." They don't even know they're doing it. And it's waaaaaay worse than nails on a blackboard. Cuts right through you. shudder. This time I simply spaced the finals of Idol. By then, the "real" singers are there. And it sounds like Phillip is the Real Deal. :) My congratulations to him.