Popularity - American Idol Style

Check out the kid in the "parachute pant" - the so-called "white MC Hammer" - dancing with his sister in this clip from Fox 

And they got a huge write up in the Bergen Record: 

This adorable duo are my two kids. For his 21st birthday on Thursday, AJ decided on a whim to try out for Americal Idol. The blockbuster show added a last minute audition city at the Meadowlands, just a short ride from our home. They were shooting for the humor angle. AJ facebooked:

  • Heading out for my American Idol audition with Lauren. Remember, infamy wields a much greater spotlight than fame. [take American heart-throb William Hung for example..]

Since they're great friends as well as siblings, Lauren went along for the ride. They entertained the waiting crowds with their Party Rock Anthem dance shuffle moves. And captured LOTS of attention. "EVERYONE wanted to talk and interview us!!" And it was true - E!, Fox News, Bergen Record, NJ News 12, MTV News, Inside Edition, American Idol reps, and 102.7 FM radio all wanted a few minutes of their attention. It was all lots of fun for two charismatic kids with slightly better than average singing skills. 

And they got the golden ticket! Not to Hollywood yet, but to come back 2 days later for Rounds 2 and 3.

And my mommy radar went into overdrive. 

Sure it was great fun. But what about the bigger picture:
- What about their plans? College and beyond.
More importantly:
- What about their character? The pull of celebrity? The innate insatiable desire to be popular? . 


"Popular" from the Broadway show "Wicked' 

On Friday, Rick Warren tweeted the following:

"Believe me: popularity is an insidious force that will destroy your character unless you deal ruthlessly with it before God."

I immediately texted that to my kids. Thanks Pastor Rick! 

Oh, what is it about celebrity that is so attractive? Is it wanting people to like us? Wanting to be popular? If so, then American Idol is the right name for that show, and for the culture that adores it. An idol is "1. an image or representation of a god used as on object of worship.  2. someone who is adored blindly and excessively." In other words, an idol is anything that replaces God in our worship. When we want to be liked by people more than we care about what God thinks of us, we are in idol worship. And we must deal with it ruthlessly. 

I admit I want people to like me. I don't like it if I think they don't or if I feel left out. And there's nothing wrong with wanting to connect with others. The problem is when the desire to be liked causes us to compromise, or causes us to neglect  our relationship with God in some way. 

When Jesus walked the earth, some people liked Him and some didn't. And if not everyone liked Him, why would we expect everyone to like us? Jesus said just the opposite would be true.
"Everyone will hate you because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved." Mk 13:13
"Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude and insult you and reject your name, because of the Son of Man." Lk 6:22
"But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies and do good to those who hate you." Lk 6:27
"Everyone will hate you because of Me." Lk 21:17

Jesus loved everyone no matter how they felt about Him. He empowers us to do the same. 

So what happened with the kids on Saturday? Well, they got a second golden ticket which took them to Round 3 and another audition, this time before the Executive Producers. That didn't go as well. They were told that their song was not an allowed song (copyright issues we're guessing) so they had a just few minutes to prepare another song. And in the end, they were told to strengthen their vocals and maybe audition for So You Think You Can Dance. 

Not really a surprise. Going in, AJ's ultimate hope was just to meet Steven Tyler. They got a lot farther than they expected. Must have been their winning personalities. 

Then again, maybe it was just the pants. 


Maria said...

wow. i thought it looked like Lauren. LOL

Sonya Lee said...

Great post, and how fun for your kids! But what a treasure to have a faith based momma in the background.

Rhonda Schrock said...

Wow!! Funny! Hey, they had an adventure and got their 15 minutes, right? And you've got some great pix for their photo albums.

Fun, fun story, Susan.

KelliGirl said...

What a fun story! What great kids you have...And what a great mom you are! And yes, our desire for popularity and celebrity seems to be a bigger lure than it's ever been before...or at least easier to achieve.

I remember you saying you really like Dave Pettigrew, well he's playing at a FREE coffeehouse on October 8 at Christian Life Church. Here are the details...

Conquering Grounds Cafe
7-10pm, doors open at 6:30pm
The Edge building , CLC
3100 Galloway Rd., Bensalem, PA

OCTOBER 8 @ 7-10pm


Sue M said...

Wow! Sue, what was the song that has copyright issues?? Just curious.

Chris said...

I saw the write up in the paper! I was wondering if maybe they were related to your family, had no idea they were your kids! Best of luck to them, how exciting!

Susan Panzica - EternityCafe said...

It was a verrryyy interesting experience. I will not look at American Idol (or any tv show really) quite the same. Lots of staged "live" action. But the kids may be on the show when it airs, probably in the beginning episodes. Hopefully they'll mention the kids desire to be missionaries. That'd be interesting.

Jennifer Dougan said...

Hi Susan,

Thanks for letting me stop by. I found you via another's blog.

How fun for your kids to get to try out! It's fun to watch our kids grow and change, isn't it?

Wow, tell me more about your kids' hopes to be missionaries? I lived overseas as a kid, and have led missions trips with my youth pastor husband at times since.

Blessings to you in your ministries for His glory,
Jennifer Dougan