This post was pure trash and cabaret
So, last night I proved once again that I am a sucker for train-wreck syndrome and tuned into the latest American Idol audition special. As per usual, the show mostly focused on showing the people who were so terrible that you have to wonder why they would try out for this show. Because no one can be that bad without knowing it in some way.
But what amazed me the most was when a young woman who was in school for opera tried out. In her pre-audition interview she talked about how she would probably lose her scholarship if her school found out she was skipping to audition for A.I., but that she didn’t care, she was taking this chance.
Her audition was, honestly, so-so. She sang two different pop pieces before Randy asked her to sing some opera for them. She begins belting out an opera piece looking far more confident than she did with either of her previous pieces. When she had finished, Simon looks at her and says, “You’ve shown us three different voices, who do you want to be?”
She stutters out “The next American Idol…”
Simon, showing some semblance of humanity, says, “I’m not criticizing you. I’m just saying, you sang three different songs in three different voices. Which of those three people do you want to be? Who are you?”
The girl says, somewhat shyly “I’m a singer and a songwriter…” and then, suddenly, she gets this much bolder look in her eyes and says with emphasis “…and a rock star.”
I never thought I would see the day when Simon Cowell would, so offhandedly, make such a poignant statement.
The number of people that come through those auditions and say “I’m going to win because I’m unique,” while dressed up in some ridiculous costume or playing some ridiculous character (and I know that’s what a lot of them have to be doing. A.I. has become two contests, the drawn out one to find the next Kelly Clarkson, and the short audition round one to find the next William Hung. If you can’t sing it doesn’t matter, you can still attain something not totally unlike fame. And you know what? Considering how much of a joke I think a lot of American Idol is, I don’t totally see an issue with that) is overwhelming. But the number of people who can honestly come in and say, “This is who I am,” and believe it, mean it, and be able to back it up? Is very, very small.
I guess that’s just generally how I feel about humanity, though. People talk about how hard it is to be an individual. This is sort of true, but what’s even harder is actually knowing who you are and being yourself. Dressing, acting, writing, dancing, or even just speaking “uniquely” can achieve being an individual, but if you’re not being yourself what’s the point? Honestly, I think it’s harder to be honest with yourself as to who you are and what you want in life than it is to simply be an individual.
So Simon Cowell actually asked the most difficult question in the world last night. “Who are you?” And amazingly, he actually got a response. A response I could get behind, even.