Thursday, January 17, 2008

Idol thoughts 1/16, or, why the last contestant is sometimes an epiphany

Yeah, I got done with class early enough to catch the last 45 minutes or so of Idol. But I was busy checking e-mail and crap right next to the TV and no one really caught my attention until the last audition came up. There was a guy, an Asian with a heavy accent, dressed like a cross between a pimp and, well, someone who ministers to pimps, I guess.

Well, he comes into the audition room and, of course, the crew aren't looking forward to hearing him. I mean, when someone shows up on costume on this show, it's usually to offset the fact that they're really bad singers. Well, this guy was no exception. He wasn't all that good. But he was a lot of fun. Simon, Paula and Randy all got into it, started singing along with him (he was singing an original composition even) and toward the end got up and danced with him. It went on for several minutes.

The judges all seemed to genuinely like the guy. But not in an American Idol, go to Hollywood kind of way. So, they told him that they liked him but he wasn't Idol material.

To be fair, the guy was a whack job. I mean, a bit over the top, but in a harmless kind of way. Less crazy and more socially inept, and I think that could be because of the difference in upbringing where he's from originally. They gave his "I'm from" town as Vegas. Hell, his outfit fit right in there.

At this point, most contestants lose their minds. Even the costumed ones. The American contestants, by and large, can't seem to understand how the judges can't see their talent, can't understand how they're entitled to be on the show. They cuss, call Simon a variety of names and the post-audition interviews are even worse because they show the depth of these folk's delusions.

But this guy, obviously a first-generation immigrant, goes into that post-audition interview gushing praise for Simon. He says, thank you Simon for this chance. You do such a wonderful thing, giving all these people a chance.

And that, my friends is why America, as a collective society sucks right now. There was a time we were happy to have a chance. Now we believe we're entitled to have whatever the chance offers.

This bit of TV nonsense helped me realize something I want my kids to know: Grasp your dreams early and fight hard for them, because no one's going to hand them to you. Most importantly though, always be thankful for someone who gives you a chance. You never know what kind of dividends gratitude can pay.

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