Idol: A greedy therapist's dream

by Jon Peter Lewis, posted Feb 23rd 2007 1:03PM

Jon Peter LewisDo you remember back when the catch phrase "I'm going to Disneyland" was big? I remember saying it all the time after running over home plate during pick-up kickball games with my brothers. It was the quintessential victory phrase. It was almost as big as classic lines like "Where's the beef?" or "Whatchoo talkin' about Willis?" Saying that meant things couldn't get any better. Without any specific phraseology, except for maybe Ryan's annoying "after the break," I think Idol's results show format has found the yin to that yang.

None of this "You've just won [whatever], what are you gonna' do next?" Instead, with the camera practically up your nose, it's "You just lost your big shot to fame a fortune." I'm pretty sure going to Disneyland isn't next on the "to do" list. And, if that weren't enough, they have to bust out the microphone one last time and remind us why we didn't vote for them in the first place. Man, what a series of therapy sessions in-the-making.

That emotional aspect of the competition, I think, is often overlooked and misunderstood. While watching Idol tonight with a bunch of friends, one of them asked me why all the tears when she spotted Melinda crying during somebody's last hurrah -- I don't remember who it was. There are a couple of answers to that, I think.

American Idol is a pressure cooker. On top of having to choose, learn and rehearse a song, then learn some goofy stage movements for the group number, you have to endure the show. What I mean is all that anticipation for performance and results are enough to shoot anyone's nerves to pieces. Just watching it stressed me out while I was comfortably sitting on the sofa.

There is also the comrade-in-arms element. That is to say, the contestants have already invested about six months into this and have made friends and struggled together for the same goal. It almost feels like you're in the trenches and you know that the people around you are gonna die. This is the first live results show and the reality of someone leaving after coming so far can be pretty shocking -- especially when you're worried that it might be you.

Like I said, it's a greedy therapist's dream. Don't get me wrong, though, I don't agree with all the waterworks. I just want to tell then to suck it up. But, that doesn't stop me from understanding and empathizing. The same way I disagree with and understand most crazy celebrities.

[Jon Peter Lewis was a contestant on the third season of "American Idol." He has just released his debut album, "Stories From Hollywood." Visit his Web site, jonpeterlewis.com.]

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Emily

I don't get the resinging of the tune that got you booted, either.

I think instead they should have the remaining contestants sing Na Na Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye). But, I have a twisted sense of humor.

February 26 2007 at 3:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
JP

What, no comments on the group song? Or are you already trying to forget it?

February 24 2007 at 10:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kat Okon

Glad I came by and checked under your name again JP. I find I really do enjoy your blogs that have the bitter sweet taste of Idol nostalgia. That and you seemed to be a pretty active kid! LoL!

BTW thanks JP! Now I really DO have to stop using the whole "Whut chu talkin bout Willis?!" line.

You are right though. Maybe AI does indeed need to come up with a new solgan or tag line. It just so happens, I have a few ideas for next year! Ryan can say: "You just made it to Hollywood! What do you think is going to happen now?" Contestant can say things like:

"I'm going to forget the lyrics to the all time most popular songs!"

or

"I'm finally going to be arrested for the warrants out in my name!"

and our newest classic sure to be a hit..."I'm going to have nude pictures of me released all over the internet!"

=D As always looking forward to reading more of your Blogs!

February 24 2007 at 5:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tammy

I truely feel bad for the contestants. I think its cruel how they make one think that it may be them and then switch and bump the other off. I think these poor souls are already about to have a nervous breakdown!
What do you mean "first live results show" I thought it was all live. did I read that wrong?
Sometimes I wonder if I should even watch this show now. Seems they will do anything for ratings and it makes me wonder if WE. America, is actually choosing the "next American Idol"

February 23 2007 at 7:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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