american idol 2011, children, children auditions, Lani Young, samoa blog, sleepless in samoa

American Idol – Is it safe?

I am an avid follower of American Idol. The bestest part about it would have to be the insults. The crushing put-downs. The devastating critiques. And then we sit here and ask the TV – WHY? You fool! Why did you try out when you cant sing for @#$*&?! Yes, watching American Idol is great fun.

However, I confess I am puzzled. With all the soul-shredding comments that are dished out to hopeful contestants, I cannot understand why the Judges dont get stalked/threatened/attacked more often. Think back to some of Simon Cowell’s splendiferous critiques – why, they alone should have been enough for him to need 24 hr security, sign up for the Witness Protection Program even.

Now im not talking here about contestants getting murderous, Im thinking about contestants PARENTS getting murderous. Especially now that American Idol has lowered their entry age and hopefuls have to bring their mummy and daddy with them when they go to Hollywood.

Ive been thinking about it because, last week the Princess auditioned for the school choir. That’s right. Her little primary school of 300 children, situated within walking distance on my street, required choir hopefuls to AUDITION. I was aghast. And spent the day biting my nails to the quick. Because the Princess wants to be a famous singer when she grows up. No, strike that – the Princess KNOWS she’s going to be a famous singer when she grows up. ( And who are we to contradict her? We cant sing for #$@&*% so what do we know?) This is the child who challenges others school children to ‘sing offs’. Thats right. When she hears on the primary school grapevine that some other child has singing aspirations, she goes and she CHALLENGES them to a singing competition. This is the child who every other day, tells her teacher, ‘Miss, I have a new song I would like to sing for the class. Would that be alright?’ ( And who is the teacher to say no? The poor woman probably cant sing for #%@$^& either, so what does she know?)

I have heard my daughter sing. And yes, she TOTALLY does NOT take after me in the voice department. Because yes, she does have a rather stunning voice. And when you combine it with her graceful, J-Lo kick butt dance moves – well, then you just know this child is going to be a famous singer/dancer when she grows up. (But like i said, I cant sing for #@&#^%$ so I could be wrong…)

I was not happy that the school was having auditions. I was imagining a Simon Cowell wannabe ripping my daughter’s soul to shreds. And a Randy Jackson twin telling her, ‘You’ve got to bring something DIFFERENT to the song. That just didnt do it for me, sorry.‘ And a J-Lo clone bursting beautifully into tears as she tells her, ‘Im so sorry you didnt make it. You’re so talented and wonderful and sing like an angel but youre just not good enough for this choir. And its making me cry and mess up my makeup so we need to take a break now so everybody can focus on ME ME ME.

I spent the day preparing what i would do and say IF the child didnt make it into the school choir. ‘It’s alright darling, there’ll be other choirs, other shows. Come lets eat a gallon of soyamilk ice cream together.’ or ‘Dont worry about it, they dont know #%@^&%* about good singing. Lets go shopping at the mall and drown our sorrows in fashion…

I also spent the day thinking of all the things i SHOULDNT do to the choir teachers in charge of the audition, if my daughter had her dreams dashed. No, i would NOT slash their tyres or put maple syrup in their oil tank. No, I would NOT put their faces on ‘NZ Most Wanted’ as escaped dream-dasher criminals. No, I would not import centipedes from Samoa to accidentally release into their briefcases. No, i would NOT
curse, scream, weep or chain my self to the school flagpole and demand my child put into the school choir OR ELSE. No. I would be calm, gracious and understanding.

And then my resolve didnt need to be tested ( and I could cancel my order for paintbombs) because the Princess came home and happily announced that yes, she had made it into the choir! Yippee!

And I was oh so relieved. And Im even more surprised that Simon, Randy, J-Lo, Steven and all those other Idol judges – are still alive. Unscathed. And un-tire-slashed. Wow. What tremendous restraint American parents have. I am so thankful that the Princess is in the choir. And we cant wait to hear the choir perform.

And now, when i watch American Idol this weekend, I will be oh-so-more sympathetic when hopefuls totally stink. I will say, ‘Oh, you poor thing. Never mind. Good on you for having the courage to try. There will be other shows. Other auditions. Other career choices. Other dreams.’

I’ll be a nicer American Idol watcher. Because really, I cant sing for #%@$**% – so what do I know?