Have YOU got what it takes to be the next American Idol
American Idol – great stuff.
Love it or hate it, American Idol isn’t going to go away. I fall into the former camp – I love it.
For the lucky few, it becomes an incredible fast track to celebrity status – even some of the failures are now recognized by millions.
Driven by this knowledge, every year thousands of aspiring singers from the furthest reaches of America take their shot at stardom. They all turn out for the Great American Idol Audition. And who can blame them, it's life-changing stuff.
Judge if you dare ...
The show's judges listen to the outpouring from these hopefuls. Sometimes they cringe at the piercing shrills, sometimes I cringe with them, sometimes they simply laugh aloud, but always, at the end, one talented person finds huge success.
Some don’t necessarily agree with the concept of American Idol. Cheryl Crow publicly stated that it’s nothing but commercialisation of music. Yet is the converse true? Ordinary people, who might otherwise not have had the opportunity, suddenly have a chance. American Idol throws them into the public arena. The very ordinary nature of the entrants confers enchantment to the show, and followers become incredibly involved with them - I always find myself willing my favourites on.
American Idol - a touch of stress
The first few shows each year verge on the hilarious, better than any karoake songs. The judges plod through thousands of hopefuls, who think they can sing, who believe they are the next American Idol – or simply want a couple of minutes of TV exposure. It’s only after the wheat and chaff have been separated that REAL talent begins to emerge. Full marks to the judges for putting up with it – except of course, they are rather well paid to do it, so don't get feeling sorry for them ….
So you think YOU’D like to try. Why not … providing you have a decent voice, can hold a note, are flexible with your repertoire of songs, and are prepared to put up with a heck of a lot of stress.
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Be honest - are you really an American Idol
First, be honest with yourself. What are you basing your opinion on? Have you actually heard yourself sing? I seriously wonder if many of the contestants have.
If you’re simply basing your expectations on what you hear in your bathroom, forget it. Echoing acoustics tell fibs. Sound reverberates in a bathroom and EVERYONE sounds great in there.
So, your singing is good?
What experience do you have then, a choir? The problem with choirs is they deliberately tone down distinctive voices in preference to a unified sound. Even if you’ve sung solo with them, you’re still one of a bunch. An American Idol has to absolutely stand out.
You think you sound terrific singing along with the radio? You might, but you’re probably blending with the performers and seem better than you are – people rarely listen to their own mistakes.
Karaoke? Do they clap you? An audience cheers all performers at a karaoke; everyone’s a hero.
Be honest with yourself
You need to step out of the box. Examine your motives, examine your talent. Do you STILL think you can sing - REALLY sing good enough to be an American Idol?
Okay, perhaps you can. But why not simply record yourself in private - no music, no background, listen to yourself just as they do on the show. You don’t need anything hi-tech, a cheap digital device or maybe a freebie on your computer. Study the recording – be honest, be critical.
About the author
- Short stories by AJ have been published since 1994 in magazines, summer specials and international competitions, broadcast on radio and recorded for audio books.
- Heartwarming stories - Short Moments
An American Idol? Ask for opinions first
Let an impartial voice have their say, not friends or family – pay someone for expert knowledge. Friends and family are notoriously biased. Get someone who knows what they’re about, and ask them to give their opinion.
In the end, surely it’s better to acknowledge beforehand that you aren't quite good enough, than suffer a slating on television. Public humiliation on a show as popular as American Idol doesn't do anyone's ego any good.
Too many wannerbies make fools of themselves. Don't be one of them.
Don't be put off from trying if you really DO have talent. If you DO have a gift don't keep it to yourself. By trying, the only thing you'll lose is your inhibition - but PLEASE, make sure you have the talent first.