Thursday, June 02, 2011

Career Lessons from American Idol 10

"Slap that baby on the ass and call me Christmas!” Steven Tyler got the audience applause on this line he made after Scotty McCreery’s deep-passion interpretation of Josh Turner’s Your Man.

My excitement and anticipation involved in watching American Idol week after week came from the punches that could only come from new judge Steven Tyler.

Tyler proves to be a total entertainer with his wit and line flips. I also love his sensitivity and care for every artist who went on stage. He led me to an analysis of what was right and what went wrong with every performance.

When I went hopping from one island to another in our beloved Philippines to give career orientation to high students and their parents, my weekly AI delight became the mold for my talk. I would tell my audience that choosing a career is like singing for American Idol. You have to have the right song. A song that pleases the judges -- the possible employers.

At the same time, it must be the song that you love -- passion is essential for a good performance. It should be the song that blends with the outward packaging; look and perform like the one they need, just like how Lauren Alaina shines with her prom-queen blue gown. We may have hated it, but America loves it like that.

It should be the song and style blend that will outshine all “generic” tendencies of a performer: trying to look like a diva even with the ‘upbeat music’ requirement, which resulted in the elimination of Pia Toscano and Jacob Lusk -- too sweet even when the role calls for a more mature presence. That was the reason why Filipina Thia Megia’s American dream had to end; and too wild beyond the moments that required a more dignified and respectable manicure: Naima Adedapo did not have the voice range to sustain the image, and James Durbin failed to dwell in silence when he had a back-to-back song variation opportunity; instead, he chose to scream on both performnaces. My favorite Casey Abrams, my lady bet Haley Reinhart,my fashion icon Paul McDonald, and my sistahs' crush Stefano Langone were all victims of wrong song choices.

The 10th season of American Idol revived the world’s love for country music. The two artists in the 2011 final week battle, Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina, were both born to be country music stars. Their home circles -- McCreery hails from North Carolina, and Alaina from Georgia -- defined their natural style and voice technique; there was raw talent in them, and days with American Idol elevated what- they’ve-got to an enduring star power.

Honesty towards the innate capacity was essential in defining the direction to make. The other hopefuls crumbled as they failed to have a consistent direction. And the others failed to harvest the votes as they were too selfish to give back to the audience – the ultimate judge. The ultimate idol Scotty McCreery got all the love for he grew week after week with the humble heart of a learner and a drive of a dreamer.

Tyler’s feels-like-Christmas moment can easily be given when we are sensitive to what the world needs.

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