Friday, February 29, 2008

They Know the Business

I'm an American Idol fan.

I've been watching since Kelly Clarkson won that very first year. My husband claims not to be interested in it but since he managed to pick Carrie Underwood as the winner the first time she appeared before the judges (and he did the same with Jordan Sparks) he thinks he's got an inside as far as who's going to bring home the coveted title.

Last night, as we learned which four were going home, and one contestant mentioned JAC's responses to their performance (That's the panel of Jackson, Abdul and Cowell). My husband turns to me and wonders why the contestants or the millions of fans who vote, put any stock in what JAC says.

"Because they know the business," I say. "It's like in writing. The Agents and Editors know what the reader wants and how they'll perceive something. Simon makes the right call every time."

My husband had to agree. We'll watch the show and Simon will make a harsh comment, yet Billy and I look at each other and agree. I would've said it a nicer way, but if I was on the panel and giving the singer what I thought, trying to be nice about it, would the contestant have heard me?

I doubt it. Sometimes it takes the blunt professional to open our eyes, make us a little mad, and push us toward taking action. Maybe we need to work harder on our manuscript or chunk it all together. The agents and editors, like the JAC panel, know what the readers want.


  1. So true, Christy! I've said that over the last couple of weeks: Simon is right! Even though I hate how mean he can be, he's right on target.

    I have last night taped. I can't wait to watch it!! (So don't give spoilers!!) :)


  2. Just like a critique on a contest entry! The analogy is definitely in there.

  3. I think you have a great analogy here. We need to listen and learn from experts in our chosen field. But I also think we can treat each other much nicer than the crude, rude way that Simon acts. I don't watch that show because of that negative behavior. I can't stand reality television spectacles. I don't think we need to be purposefully cruel. I received a letter once from an agent that had a personal remark that was totally unprofessional. After I got over the stunned feeling, I could go back and look at the business acumen. However, when people are humiliated publicly like Simon has a penchant for doing, I wonder if they can ever look at the situation objectively again to find the lesson in it. Maybe those people aren't the next superstar, but I admire their willingness to take a chance on a dream. I think anyone who does that should be respected and respectfully treated. Crass behavior is unprofessional. I hope that I can at least be courteous and kind when applicable. It's one thing to be honest and another to devalue a human being. These new reality shows remind me of the crowds watching the lions kill helpless citizens or the gladiators performing to the death for the entertainment of the crowd.