Sob-stories, Get Your Sob-stories!

Share on Tumblr
Submit to redditShare via email

Ugh. Sub-stories. They have become ubiquitous. We gripe about them. We dissect them. We try to determine there veracity. People lament their inclusion, but yet, they remain. Why? Probably because they are like negative political ads. We all hate ‘em, but they work like a charm.

This week feels like I’m on depression overload. Between 3 nights of The Voice and 2 nights of the X-Factor, I’m ready for some cheerful news. We’ve had single moms, dead parents, bullied children, dismissive teachers, falsely imprisoned parents, victims of racism, dire diseases, home invasions, kids supporting ill parents and struggling musicians wanting to feed their families. And of course, music is the one cure. The thing that helped them to go on living. If we don’t vote for them, we might as well be the bullies/diseases/racists/thieves/evil-record-executives ourselves!

A few contestants have been able to hide their sob-stories (David Cook and his brother), some sob-stories have fallen by the wayside (whatever happened to Lauren’s cousin?) and some were criticized on camera for not using their sob-stories (Elise! How dare you deny us the story of your sick dog!). Some were denied their sob-stories (Gedeon’s father who died between the Hollywood rounds and the live rounds in Season 5) while others make up sob-stories out of the most minor problems (Simon making Lee’s paint store career a travesty that must be rectified!).

So, let’s take some time to rage about, praise, or make-up sob-stories. What are the most egregious sob-stories of all-time? What sob-stories touched your heart? What sob-stories actually made you like the contestant less? What sob-stories did we never get to hear? What would be the perfect sob-story? What would be the most ridiculous sob-story?

And who had the best sob-story of the week?

 
  • quickjessie

    EVERY contestant could hide the sob story if they wanted to.  But they don’t.  These stories are put out intentionally, with the full cooperation of said contestant. 

    I hate them.  If anything, they turn me off to a contestant so they’re having the opposite of the desired affect with me. 

    And as far as political ads go, I fact-check everything I hear and read so if I find I’ve wasted a ton of time checking a bunch of blatant lies – yes R/R, I’m thinking of you – the likelihood of that politician getting my vote is slim to none.

  • Chris

    I think after a few “fake” sob stories, most do more harm than good. Even legitimate ones, like Elise and her dog story can draw the wrath of viewers who say its all just smoke and mirrors.  Or some accused Phillip of faking sick to gain votes and not work as hard as the other contestants.
    I didn’t see anything this week that was at least a combination of:  1) a fabulous voice or performance combined with 2) a good story.  On X Factor, the bullied girl was close, but her voice – eh.  She can’t sing about being bullied every week so I see her gone.

  • mileyfan123

    The only idol auditions I’ve ever cried at were Vanessa Wolfe and Rose Flack. Both seemed very genuine. Rose had experienced so much loss, and you could feel the pain radiating from her, but also the desire to carry on and keep going and make something of herself. Vanessa had that bittersweet tinge of being proud of where you are from, while at the same time recognizing that if you don’t get out of your small town you won’t ever experience a lot of what life has to offer, and her mom’s reaction when everyone is cheering for her is just the sweetest/saddest thing I’ve seen on tv.

  • Chris

    Well, I don’t think people need to “hide” their sob stories.  Like I mentioned with Phillip, he really was sick, so why hide it. Don’t flaunt it, but it looks wierd to hide as well.

    There is a difference between standing behind the sob story like its a shield and expecting people vote you through.

  • Pippygirl

    I think Kris not milking the story about the removal of the tumor on his rib was a missed opportunity. He could have shown x-rays of the rib, maybe taken the viewers to where the rib was buried (in a field of wildflowers hopefully), his family could have held up a picture of the rib while he was singing….the possibilities are endless.

  • DB987

    I too think the sob story has positive and negative effects depending on if your a skeptic or not.  I feel like most of these kids just do what they are told if they have a sob story and the producers want to exploit it it would be hard to say no.

  • Incipit

    Ugh. Sub-stories.

    That pretty much covers my reaction to those things. “Ugh”. 

    I’m one of those Writer’s Strike Refugees who came to Idol in Season 7 – I wasn’t aware Sob Stories were supposed to be part of the resume’ for a contestant. Heh. I thought the way the show harped on KLC’s Barrel Horse and Archie’s one vocal cord was annoying – or even how they tried to make a Sob Story out of his age! for pity’s sake – little did I know how bad it could get. (Gokey) Or how desperate. (Paint store salesman as ‘tragedy’? Really, Cowell?) 

    Some situations are obvious, or cannot be ignored – like diabetes, or another chronic condition – or even Scot’s blindness…but I would respect if they were just treated as a fact of life – the contestants who willingly offer their private lives for fodder, in the hopes of getting votes? Total turn off. The way the show tried to extract pathos from DC’s family situation, when he obviously wasn’t going to discuss it during the season? Disgusting.

    The show lies about the contestants by omission all.the.time – to try to present them as the ‘kid next door that Idol discovered for you’. They just excise chunks of their history that doesn’t suit the story they want to show. Heck, even if a contestant gets the Galloping Crud, or some other affliction while on the show – they pick and choose if it will even be mentioned…you know who they are pimping if their state of health is even brought up. That bias is a Minor sob story moment by itself…and the selective notice removes any idea of authentic concern on Idol’s part.

     I would be happy for the omission of any and all deliberate, annoying, ubiquitous or inflated Sob Stories – and one cannot miss them – even if you are not watching anymore, and just reading about the week’s show. Using them is ultra tacky, which… explains a lot about Idol, i suppose. IMO. Of Course.-

  • BonnieDee

    Re:  Whatever happened to Lauren’s cousin, I was at a meet and greet in Huntsville with Lauren last year and her cousin Holly came in with her.  She looks like she’s doing well.  

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UHX5LYQ3ZJPMPFEYPSFX3ZEE4Q Jack

    You may fact check everything that you read and hear in political ads, but your vote counts the same as those people who vote because they get a warm fuzzy feeling in their toes when the candidate speaks, but couldn’t tell you a single thing about the candidates positions.

    Same with singers.  The votes from the people who vote based on the sob stories count as much as those who vote based on talent – maybe more – if the are motivated to vote lots of times.

  • BonnieDee

    I thought the bullied girl was a horrible singer and feel she only made it through due to her story.  I wasn’t moved by it, which is unusual for me.  I can cry at a good commercial.  That girl (forget her name) wasn’t ringing true with me.  

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/XDQP2Y46M5B3OHOKALDDGDHQCM Leandro

    Jensen’s video is by far the one with most views on YT. She’s the contest now with the largest fanbase, by far, at least on the internet.

    She managed all that without even explain why she was bullied and how she was bullied!!

    I usually notice when a sob story is true and inspirational, like the one with Chris Rene. I didn’t feel nothing on her. I think she’s just a wonderful actress, much better than a singer.

  • mikaylaislove

    lol..good topic. :)

  • Eileen99

    I only started watching Idol in S6, but the first sob story that really got under my skin that went. on. forever. was Gokey & his wife.  IT NEVER ENDED.  That’s the first time a sob story made me actively want someone to get voted off, as callous as that sounds. I just couldn’t take any more of the story or the heart hands, etc. It got to where I just couldn’t even stand listening to him sing, sorry Danny fans. TOO MUCH ALREADY.

    Now, my sob-story radar functions quite well & I am immediately turned off to a contestant if I feel like they are actively promoting their sob story to get votes. I understand producers sometimes foist these things on us & them, but the contestant can put the brakes on it if they want to.

    *scrolling over political comments*

  • elliegrll

    Jensen’s video is by far the one with most views on YT. She’s the contest now with the largest fanbase, by far, at least on the internet.

    Which shows why all of the shows do sob stories.  I think that since these are television shows that telling a storing is necessary and expected.  It’s what the medium is all about.

    It is weird that one of the shows decided to follow a kidnapping story up with one about a contestant’s father having epilepsy.  That just seemed weird and unfair.

  • fantoo1

    Remember Katelyn Epperly’s sob story about her parents getting divorced? I remember laughing at that just because it wasn’t that big of a sob story.

  • tripp_ncwy

    Add to that when Kris caught  viral hepatitis on his mission trip and could have died. He was sick for over a year which led him into his songwriting.  They could have milked that one pretty well.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=6709126 Zoey Giesberg

    The one sob story that drove me insane to no end was Danny Gokey. He and production milked his “dead wife” to no end, and it really didn’t help that he wasn’t nearly as good of a singer as the judges made him out to be.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    “EVERY contestant could hide the sob story if they wanted to.  But they
    don’t.  These stories are put out intentionally, with the full
    cooperation of said contestant.”

    True, but I’m pretty sure that the initial screening producers at the cattle calls ask about backstories, and potential contestants will reveal anything if they think that it will give them an advantage (and I believe that casting often relies on/is affected by backstories, if not sob-stories).

    The sob story that stands out most to me in recent years is Danny and his wife, Sophia, who died shortly before he auditioned for AI. IMO, that sob story was pushed so much that it really turned me off Danny (especially when he wore his wedding ring during performances, but not offstage).

  • fuzzywuzzy

    “Now, my sob-story radar functions quite well & I am immediately
    turned off to a contestant if I feel like they are actively promoting
    their sob story to get votes. I understand producers sometimes foist
    these things on us & them, but the contestant can put the brakes on
    it if they want to.”

    I feel the same way. Now, it’s a total turn off for me.

  • thirdtime

    I actually like to “get to know” contestants on a more personal level on these shows, so I don’t mind a sad back story one bit.  What I do mind though is when the show spends an excessive amount of time promoting the story.  That girl this week on X-Factor – the bullied girl – she was on screen waaaay too long that night.  All the close up shots of her crying face and long pauses and audience reactions, and the tears from the judges (and Simon’s crying didn’t even look real) – for heavens sake – definite overkill. 

  • chillj

    And the more you read, the less she rings true.  She won’t last long.

  • chillj

    I may be mis-remembering, but it seems to me most of the biggest sob stories really don’t last a long time as contestants.  I didn’t take PP’s kidneys as a sob story because he pretty much kept his mouth shut and persevered; even if you don’t like his vocals, you gotta respect that.

    This week probably did in sob stories for a long time:   kidnapping, bullying, yadda, yadda.  Way over the top. Now, you hear a sob story and yell “Get ovah it” at the teevee.  I personally have more respect for those who function under difficulty, but don’t milk it.  Crystal Bowersox comes to mind; she had incredible stories of diabetes and extreme poverty, but didn’t really tell her tale until after the talent contest.  And she also used her pain for her music and in it.  She works for me.

    I know producers fish for the good, or even the bad, story.  But it is out of hand; the producers and the contestant alienate their audience.  No chance Crying Girl is ever gonna win the X Factor.  Nor is Kidnap Girl. That is okay with me, because in the end the music matters.

  • Ratna12

    Kris’ not disclosing the info that he almost died on his mission and yet disclosing his marital status (yep, I saw that big ring on your left hand, Kris).

    That Kris has it backward, even Katy did not want it known at first (per Jay Leno interview) saying, he has to have something to make the girls vote for him. Heh.

  • chillj

    Now that was a story that lasted a minute and a half.

  • http://twitter.com/KatiesUVULA Katie’s Uvula

     Not necessarily. Remember that Don guy on XF? They forced him to reveal he was gay even though he didn’t want to. I remember reading one of the audition forms for XF or Idol and one of the questions was “What was the most difficult thing in your life and how did you overcome it” and from there the producers milk it.

  • chillj

    I fact check, also, but oddly find that both sides do it pretty egregiously.  I have trained my dog to howl through political commercials, which is helpful.

  • http://twitter.com/KatiesUVULA Katie’s Uvula

    I remember there was publicity going around that Cher Lloyd was bullied for being different but it was revealed she was the bullier. I’m not saying Jillian Jensen deserved to get bullied but they never really went in depth about it. I agree her voice is not strong and thank goodness she didn’t make the live shows because honestly, her voice is just okay and I would hate for her to fly through based on her backstory alone (cough) Gokey (cough)

  • fuzzywuzzy

    My problem with the bullied girl (Jillian?) is that she was so tremendously emotionally overwrought that I honestly felt that it undermined her sense of “triumph” over the bullies during her moment onstage. I felt that there was far too much desperation in her baring her soul onstage, and I feared that she was counting on the show too much as a vindication against her bullies. It just made me feel very uncomfortable and that she would need to be put on suicide watch if she were cut from the show. I didn’t feel that it was an inspiring story, the way that it played out.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    “I personally have more respect for those who function under difficulty,
    but don’t milk it.  Crystal Bowersox comes to mind; she had incredible
    stories of diabetes and extreme poverty, but didn’t really tell her tale
    until after the talent contest.  And she also used her pain for her
    music and in it.  She works for me.”

    I agree and really respected Crystal for not exploiting her backstory for votes.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/XDQP2Y46M5B3OHOKALDDGDHQCM Leandro

    Jillian has been participating of countless contests all her life, since the age of 2, including acting contests (heh!). She won some and lost some, like when she was dumped on Hollywood Week of Idol. No suicide watch, she’s more than prepared to be cut from this show. LOL

    ETA: http://magicofmusic.weebly.com/

  • fuzzywuzzy

    lol Thanks for the 411. Jillian is a better (or worse?) actress than I realized.  ;)

  • yclept

    I don’t mind the stories, because it gives us a perspective of who the person is – and rarely on these shows do people get to the end based on a backstory.  

    The thing I don’t like is when they try to hide a contestant’s past music history. Danny Gokey’s friend from American Idol showing up on “The Voice” being one such story.    If Jillian Jensen has been trying for years to get a recording contract (and even has an album or two out there), tell me about it.  If anything, these types of things may get me *more* interested in the contestants…seeing how they have grown since their early days.

    As for Jensen’s backstory itself, it didn’t bother me that they gave it the airtime as it is a hot-button topic (and not just a hot-button topic – but a VERY IMPORTANT one).   I don’t think she needs to explain to me or anyone *why* she was bullied – often the reason is as simple as being different.  Or as simple as jealousy.   Sometimes the bullies do it just because they can.    I see no reason to question her ethics in this regard.  And she did go into some of the *how* she was bullied.

    And I thought her voice was raw and emotional – not someone I would ever expect to win a show like this, but she is not untalented.  

  • http://twitter.com/bagel08 John S

    Huh, I never knew that. I guess almost all of the contestants can have some kind of sob story if they wanted to-no matter how minor or silly.

    Here are some sob stories that could have been used, but weren’t:

    Kelly Clarkson-Lived in her car for a while.
    Scotty McCreery-Lost his Grandpa a few years back.
    Carrie Underwood-Lost a potential record deal.
    Crystal Bowersox-Practically having to beg for insulin and look through dumpsters for food. Living most of her life in poverty and was bullied.
    Jordin Sparks-Being in a biracial family.
    Phillip Phillips-His struggle with kidney stones(although it was later emphasized).
    Ruben Studdard-His struggles with being overweight.
    Adam Lambert/Clay Aiken-Struggles when he was in the closet.

  • elliegrll

    Keeping how the X Factor works, I thought that Jillian’s moment was more about Demi Lovato.  It seemed like at that moment Demi became the leader of the panel.  It’s funny, but the pictures that the producers have released since then seem to have Demi being the one whose standing out from the other three, and displaying the most personality.

  • Chris

    A Biracial family is no sob story, especially not Jordin since her family is quite normal. And a the death of a grand parent happens to all of us so I am sure the producers just passed on many angles since there wasn’t enough “sob”.

  • Heidijoy

    It’s all in the eye of the beholder.
    Idol using them more than the contestants do:  Ie; Cooks brother including fans collecting money so brother could be flown to see him perform.  I don’t think Cook himself wanted it to influence voters.  Archie’s vocal Chord was found out accidentally when staff asked him about his breathing and they used it.  He did not nor did he intend to.  Crystal’s Diabetes was used by Idol  Etc. 
    Now days it works against the contestant because people see it as Manipulative ie: Gokey.

    Season 7 wanted to use the Homeless teen story but the Contestant couldn’t handle Hollywood Week etc etc.

    I think because we have had so many years of it, it is more of a Turn off than Help.  Seeing Simon cry on X factor during the bullied contestant performing was just too much to bear.

  • Chris

    I think the producers quickly moved away from the Hollie story and switched to “next Faith Hill” i.e. focused on the music and her age (the 15-16 year old from small town America angle is quite effective.) A good intro story can get you through one round but I am sure producers know they need more.

  • fantoo1

    Oddly enough, some people still look down upon biracial families.

  • http://twitter.com/ClaudeDee Claude Dee

    CHRIS MEDINA’s audition. I SWEAR I WAS BRAWLING LIKE SOMEONE DIED IN MY FAMILY. And he sang the song that’s very close to my heart so… yeah… one of the best sob-stories of all time.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Yes, that’s a good point. That entire incident served to highlight Demi more than anyone. I have a feeling that once the live shows start that Britney is going to be a dud as a judge.

  • Ellessay

    I hate the sob stories.  I don’t mind learning more about the contestants when they’ve been whittled down to the top ten or twelve, but it doesn’t all have to be “poor me” stories.  I don’t mind hearing success stories, how music helped during bad times, struggles they’ve had getting into the business, or what led them to want to be a performer.  I have enough drama in real life.  Some of those “sob stories” just aren’t touching my compassionate bone.  I love music, I just want to see/hear the talent!

  • fuzzywuzzy

    As I recall, Clay’s primary sob story at the time was that his step-father had died recently and him being on Idol was a way to try to lift the spirits of his family. Then, when Clay wrote his memoirs a couple of years after Idol, he wrote that his stepfather was rather abusive to him. lol

  • http://twitter.com/bagel08 John S

     His was so sad…and I didn’t think he was exploiting her at all, despite what some may think.

  • tucker davis

    The two sob story lines that I usually switch channels quickly about are: divorce & bullying. Yes, I know both are real and damaging, but after teaching for quite a while, you’d be surprised how many students have experienced both of these. Probably 80% of my students’ parents are divorced or never married. And bullying…well, most students could produce a sob story if they tried hard enough. Not trying to make light of either problem, they’re just both so common. Actually, I usually switch channels when any of the sob stories begin. That’s when you check out the OTHER show!

  • Jordana33

    My problem with the bullied girl (Jillian?) is that she was so tremendously emotionally overwrought that I honestly felt that it undermined her sense of “triumph” over the bullies 

    I completely agree. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that she’s still emotionally traumatized by the bullying, which is why I worry that the clip might actually backfire. Like many kids who are bullied, this girl doesn’t have the emotional objectivity or insight to understand how her some of her actions might actually trigger more bullying or mockery.  For her own sake, I wish they had edited her in a less tragic light. I know it was her choice to bare her soul on national TV, but this is the kind of contestant who actually needs to be protected a bit.

  • Chris

    Yeah, I haven’t seen anything this week as touching as Chris Medina’s. It was different, it was still unfolding so when his fiance came out in her wheelchair, boom. They had gold. J Lo crying to send him home? Even better TV. The bully story felt a bit contrived because its an old issue. She is out of high school, move forward. Not making light of bullying but get counseling.

  • Eileen99

    CHRIS MEDINA’s audition. I SWEAR I WAS BRAWLING LIKE SOMEONE DIED IN MY FAMILY. 

    And yet, I remain unmoved (quoting Mr. Bennet).  This audition really rubbed me the wrong way; I didn’t like it at all, confirming my cold heart, apparently.  I did, however, download his single to redeem myself.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/XDQP2Y46M5B3OHOKALDDGDHQCM Leandro

    I agree that it’s usually more to grab the attention of the public. But if they aren’t careful, it will backfire, as they can end up electing a winner that’s 100% non-commercial, like already happened on AGT. I can understand why they pimped Chris Rene, as Simon said, he’s not a great live singer but his music and his persona/style can sell records. But what about Danny being pimped all the way through? He isn’t marketable and people wouldn’t buy his music today because his wife died 5 years ago. 

    If it’s only for the show and ratings, the best thing to do is cut these people in the last minute before the live rounds, like they did with Chris Medina.

  • angiedb

    I have absolutely no problem with any of the stories, sob or not. I quite enjoy getting to know the contestants. I just wish AI were more consistent. Tell me more about ALL of them, not just a chosen few. Making me cry or laugh won’t sway my vote, but it makes the show more interesting. 

  • fuzzywuzzy

    James Durbin had a pretty good sob-story: suffers from both Tourettes and Aspergers (and bullied because of this), was struggling to support his SO and son and couldn’t even afford to buy diapers (although it wasn’t clear if his SO was working outside the home or not), and then being fired from his pizza delivery job a few days before trying out for Idol. I don’t think that it beats Chris Medina, but it’s in the top 5 all-time Idol sob stories, IMO.

  • Jordana33

    I remember that teenager Josiah Leming, in season 7 of American Idol.  His intro package focussed a lot on the fact that he lived out of his car and had to support his family. I thought he was a decent songwriter, but was also a bit arrogant and entitled (he had quite a few insulting things to say about Idol after he was ousted). Nevertheless when he was eliminated during Hollywood week, he gained a lot of sympathy and support from viewers. I think he was even invited on Ellen. Interestingly, he says that he never wanted to broadcast his sob story and that Idol pushed him to do it. I wouldn’t be surprised if that was partially true.

  • ptslittlecomment

    Gokey’s story was a turn off because he appeared to milk it at every opportunity. Even when he did not mention hist wife by name he did things like look to the Heavens when singing a love song or make that heart gesture that was a not so subtle reminder of Sophia’s Heart. All this after his close up breakdown on camera and his cousin’s reveal of her photograph made him -seem at least -part of the manipulation process.

    David Cook earned my respect by refusing to use the fact of his brother’s illness – or that of his own hospital visit for high blood pressure -on the show. When asked about it on air, he gave a quick answer that stopped any follow up. When his brother’s first visit to the show got media attention he made sure his brother was sitting out of camera range for the second. His focus was on the music, not manipulation.

    So, yes, I think the contestant can play at least a part in the use and over use of their own back story. I personally detest them and will always favor contestants who try to display their talents rather than showcase their turmiols.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    “But what about Danny being pimped all the way through? He isn’t
    marketable and people wouldn’t buy his music today because his wife died
    5 years ago.”

    I htink that Danny’s fans are loyal to him in large part because of he presented himself as a conservative Christian.

  • mikaylaislove

    No one makes me hate sob stories like Stacy Francis can…

  • wkstrack

    I respect the contestants that don’t bring up their “sob stories” like Elliott with his sick mom and Lee with his uncle supposedly killing his aunt (that was scary). I think you could tell which contestants on these singing comp shows are “using” their sob stories for votes and which are not.

  • merkureye

    I consider a true sob story to be about situations or circumstances that are beyond someone’s own control (i.e., parents splitting, disease, accident and yes, a sick puppy-btw Elise, how’s Leon doing?).  

    Stories about a person’s inability to keep the refrigerator door closed or, to pass a McDonalds drive-thru do not rise to the level of a sob story, IMO.  Heck, JHud and Jordin Sparks have turned self-inflicted weight struggles into triumph and ca$h!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Guilherme-Santos/100000846666929 Guilherme Santos

    Usually the sob-stories are there not only to grab audience, but to hide some of the contestants lack of talent. Like, Kellie Pickler?! The problem is that X Factor relies too much on this (Simon relies too much on this, since Idol, he always went for the contestants with the sob-stories). That why I can´t watch a single audition from X-Factor.

  • Jazz_11

    When I first heard Danny’s voice, I like it but then the milking of his sob story made me want to gag and turn me off very quickly. IMO, without that sob story I doubt he would get that far, but I guess we would never know now.
    And yes.. I have a lot of respect of idols who don’t us his/her sobs story and just use their ability to sing.

  • http://twitter.com/ClaudeDee Claude Dee

    I’m Filipino (living in the US now) and people… if you watch reality shows in the Philippines: Philippine’s Got Talent, Filipino Big Brother, X Factor Philippines… there’s a lot of sob stories. AND MOST OF THE WINNERS ARE EITHER POOR OR HAD A TRAGIC LIFE. Some Filipinos (including me) call these shows: The Charity Show. Yep, it’s so easy to manipulate the emotions of Filipinos. Heh.

  • justmefornow

    Yes, Heidi was working at the time as a receptionist. 
    Not necessarily to add to the sob aspect, but Heidi herself was homeless as a child for a while living out of her mother’s car.
    Maybe James and Heidi’s shared rough early lives played a factor in them building a relationship together.
    Part of what I love about Idol is it’s ability to really change lives by giving these contestants a chance to make a living in music with the national exposure they get from the show.
    This sure seems to be the case with James and Heidi.

  • http://twitter.com/ClaudeDee Claude Dee

    Oh, and I remember my friend who auditioned for a reality show. He had a great voice, but he doesn’t have a sob story. So what the producers did was they made up a fake sob story for him. Uh yeah, it’s a reality show… Producers create these sob stories so that people could relate/connect to the contestants… but meh. Talent – above all things. :)

  • DB987

    I think almost everyone has lost a grandpa etc at some point i would not call that a sob story.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PVEFG2TOUIXSROKUSO2O2DOWWE Taylor

    She’s a cutter, like Demi. Hopefully, she has had counseling.

    From interviews and stories from much older adults who were bullied in school, it appears that the wounds and memories are hard to completely forget.

  • chillj

    There needs to be some kind of distinction between bullying and teasing, because you can not get through childhood without teasing.  

  • chillj

    James’s story needed to be told for the audience to understand him.  To not tell his story would set him up for ridicule.  I don’t have a problem with being aware of his problems.

  • Niall

    I’m pretty sure a sob story that was never used involved Diana Degarmo in season 3. She had a ready made “Estranged father” “Child caught between parents in bitter divorce” story that would have been very sympathetic. It might have rivaled Fantasia’s assortment of boo hoo stories but it never came up. Unless I’m mistaken she’s never really talked about it to this day.

  • http://twitter.com/frazzledsoul K

    Crystal Bowersox extensively used her sob story to promote her album after the show ended. I seem to recall her going on Anderson Cooper at one point claiming she was the victim of bullying so she could hawk her music, and she conveniently never mentioned this aspect of her sob story again. Based on that incident, I think it’s highly possible some exaggerations were made along the way.

    Her life may have been rough, but let’s make no mistake about this. Crystal was not at all shy about milking her circumstances to get attention.

  • durbesque

    Stacy Francis – The Queen of Sob

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PVEFG2TOUIXSROKUSO2O2DOWWE Taylor

    but after teaching for quite a while…
    And bullying…well, most students could produce a sob story if they tried hard enough. Not trying to make light of either problem, they’re just both so common.

    This is part of the problem. When kids, who are being relentlessly bullied, tell the teachers, they are told that they are producing a “sob story” or that their story is a “common one”. Their cry for help is often times met with a “suck it up, this happens to everyone”. 

    And we wonder why kids learn to keep these types of problems to themselves, why they end up cutting, abusing substances, or even killing themselves.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/XDQP2Y46M5B3OHOKALDDGDHQCM Leandro

    I didn’t know she was a recepcionist. One of the things that I like about James is that, as far as I remember, after the audition, he never mentioned his diseases to gain votes. I don’t remember one single episode of the live rounds that he talks anything about his sob story.

  • justmefornow

    That was just one of her jobs. I don’t recall the other ones or how long she worked at all of them. I remember in one interview James did during Idol that he mentioned when he met Heidi she was holding down several jobs at once. It was one of the things that inspired him to turn his life around. She had goals and dreams for the future and he wanted to be a better person for her.

    (If he ever gets really famous, their story would make a great movie, IMO).

  • fuzzywuzzy

    I didn’t say that there was a problem, just that it was quite the sob story. And it didn’t stop at the Tourettes and Aspergers, but extended into his not being able to buy diapers for his child and being fired from his job. Sorry, but those parts weren’t necessary. Thank goodness that it ended once the live shows started.

  • irockhard

    Yip James’ sob story was one of the biggest, but just a little correction: he wasn’t fired from Dominos Pizza, the branch he worked for closed so they laid off all their staff, including him of course. I hear the unemployment rate is Santa Cruz is pretty high.

  • HMc

    I thought James lost his job because they closed the Dominos Pizza that he worked at and all the employees including James were let go. 

  • irockhard

    Believe it or not it doesn’t end there, LOL! He was also a high school drop out (he did get his diploma later though) and (AFAIK) has no academic qualifications. Most of the other contestants his season, being young, could go back to mommy and daddy if things don’t work out. James’ doesn’t have that option, he has to make it. Oh and you left out the bit about his dad dying from a drug overdose when he was 9, that was also mentioned.

  • irockhard

    Yes that’s correct, he was laid off not fired.

  • HMc

    I don’t think the fact that he was a high school drop out came out during the show. I think that only came out after the show when he got involved with the WWE anti bullying … and more info was shared about the bullying he went through at school when he was a kid, which led to him having to change school several times and eventually dropping out. What is (AFAIK) ?
    Thats true, although James is young he doesn’t have the option that a lot of the others have to go home to his parents. 

  • irockhard

    That he dropped out of high school and has no academic qualifications wasn’t mentioned on the show no, but I mentioned to point that as massive as James sob story on Idol was, even that was the whole story.

    AFAIK = As far as I know

  • roarpen

    I don’t think that knowledge stopped any ridicule. 

    I didn’t watch enough of AI Season 8 to see much Gokey. But I know my office mates talked about him – and predominantly they were “into” his story. Yuck.

    The all-time biggest turn-off to me was Stacey Francis. Oh good lord, I could not stand that woman. She is the sleeziest contestant of all time in my book. On another note, Chris Medina’s story was really exceptional and felt very real. It is a good thing he did not go through because he didn’t really belong in the top 10. But his story was tough. Did this Jillan girl get through? I hope if she does it is because she has additional material that is not about bullying and sounds better when she is not so emotional. Otherwise it will feel manipulated and will backfire.

    But bullying is an important topic and bullying can be misconstrued as “teasing.” This is serious stuff and not to be taken lightly. It concerns me when  I hear people not take it seriously. Teen suicide is second only to car accidents as the reason for teen deaths. And most, not all, teen suicides involve a child who was teased or bullied. Yes, people have to learn “hot to take it,” but hopefully when they are young and vulnerable, the adults around them are taking the “no  tolerance” policies in place at school seriously. End of lecture – been to too many funerals for the young due to suicide.

  • everything

    I remember the story that James Durbin would have ended up as another California welfare case, if not for Idol.  There are always choices.  Obviously, he made the choice to father a child at a young age. Then he complains that Idol was to cheap to take them along on the summer tour.

  • irockhard

    “Thats true, although James is young he doesn’t have the option that a lot of the others have to go home to his parents.”

    And due to that I saw a much greater hunger in James for the opportunity than I did in the other contestants, that’s what really drew me in. While James has other talents besides singing he doesn’t have other career options.

  • roarpen

    “how to take it”  jeez – queen of typos today.

  • milwlovesadam

    I dunno. LOL. To me, the best sob story lately is that big bully Simon Cowell ( who I just can’t get enough of, BTW ) actually has a heart, and showed it on TV. Seeing him shed a tear over Jillian’s sob story was surreal.

    Maybe there’s hope for him yet! What’s his sob story? What is going on his life that he cried? Like we’ll ever be privy to know…

  • milwlovesadam

    And, OMG, being from Gokey’s hometown was and still is, to this day, just nauseating. He and his sob story are still getting media, eyeglasses commercials left and right, UGH!! He has a puppy! He got married! In town for an event!! Another event!! And another !!

  • abbysee

    Considering that AC’s show wasn’t a chat or music show and that bullying was extremely topical at the time that was why she was on that show. Telling your story and selling your story are two different things!

  • HMc

    I had never heard that, I thought James got laid off a couple of days before the auditions … do you qualify for welfare right away ? 
    I actually thought it was cool, because I read on this blog (not sure if its true ), that James could have qualified for disability and IMO he did everything not to take advantage of that. 
    I also though it was cruel and unusual punishment for Idol to NOT allow someone to accompany him on tour, knowing the nature of his disability. 
    I didn’ t watch Idol this year, but a few days ago I read on this blog that Philip’s girlfriend was able to accompany him on tour … I wondered if the difference was that PP was the winner …?

  • abbysee

    That while sympathetic is sadly commonplace. I don’t remember any sob story about Fantasia, besides the single parent thing which truth be told worked more against her Imho. I only remember how insanely talented she was.

    My biggest problem with sob stories are when they are used to bolster a contestant instead of giving us an insight into who they are.

  • HMc

    I don’t know if he doesn’t have other career options… IMO it seems that he isn’t that interested in any other options. He has his GED which would allow him to continue his education … I think ? Yes, the fact that he has a family and he is poor would make it difficult .. but he seems like the type of person who would find a way if he wanted to pursue another career option. James seems very determined and capable.

  • roarpen

    “There are always choices.  Obviously, he made the choice to father a
    child at a young age.”

    I have a problem with bringing a child into the world and then abandoning the inherent responsibilities of fatherhood. That tragically happens too often, with negative results. But that was not the case here.The importance of a father’s responsibilities appear to have been taken seriously and served as one of the driving forces for success. He married the mother as well, and is quite demonstrative about love for his family.

    “Then he complains that Idol was to cheap to take
    them along on the summer tour.”

    This was not his finest moment. Although I do agree with the poster that said Idol should have accommodated him in some way, given the issues, he appears to have learned how to cope successfully now. What a difference in maturity and growth a year can make. As an “oldster” I find it refreshing to watch a “youngster” grow and mature as much as he appears to have in the last year. Perhaps fatherhood, in this case, was a good thing – a driving force for growth and maturity, even if at happened at such a young age.

  • Chris

    Yeah, single parent didn’t really work for Fantasia in some circles.  I saw a lot of comments that showed her status turned off a lot “family value” viewers.  She still won, but I think it was more her final performances that trumped any of the back story noise.

    Many people see having a baby young, that you can’t afford, as a self inflicted wound.

  • judes

    I only knew about this bullied contestant from Faceook -where the angle was that Simon Cowell has a heart after all which got me interested enough to watch the video. I’ve had a child who was bullied -so what she said rang true to me & I did find it emotional.yes this may only get her through one stage but I’d like to see her perform without all the emotion choking her up!!

  • Venus Hooper

    I read an Interview just yesterday on why the bullying began with Jillian Jensen.  I forget where, if I see the link again I’ll post it for you all but in the story she was asked how and why it all started.  She answered 7th. grade someone (a guy) offered her drugs, not sure if for free or to try and sell to her but she said NO and went home and called the school and turned him in to the school officials.  Thought it was the right thing to do.  From there apparently she was taunted at school for being “a snitch” and then it carried over into her aspirations of what she wants to be and do in her life.

    The pimping of Chris Rene’s bothered the hell out of me.  Why you might ask?  I’m an A.A. person, N.A. and all the others followed A.A. and still do, with the 12 steps and the 12 traditions.  Chris Rene violated a tradition in the worse possible way by basically pimping his story for his own gain!  It was and still is in my opinion an insult and slap in the face for an organization that have helped so many.  If anyone here other than myself is was an A.A. or N.A. person knows EXACTLY what I’m talking about as far as the 12 Traditions go.

    Here’s the A.A. Tradition:

    6. An A.A. group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the A.A. name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.

    and

    11. Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films.

    The N.A. Tradition:

    6. An NA Group ought never endorse, finance or lend the NA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property
    or prestige divert us from our primary purpose.

    and

    11. Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio and films.

    I took it personal and was pissed at that time because I feel he sold on out on A.A./N.A. for his own sole purpose and gain, breaking some IMPORTANT Traditions!  But that will be on him when he does another 4th Step if he gets brutally honest with himself.

    I have been to some meetings where “High Profile Celebrities” have attended, know I never hear them “milking” their “disease” to gain another hand up to their aspirations and my hands are off to them for that!

  • DragonFly

    No one is going to just put tourettes out there to an uninformed audience.  James will always be asked/interviewed about it but he certainly never used it for gain imo, in fact “the new normal” was his clarification re. problems people have & definitely tried to make it a calling card so to speak more than an attention-getting winning story.  He likes giving his support to people & makes it about them–using himself as a story of deciding to turn things around w/what your’re dealt & finding a better attitude.  His performances during the show were for the most part “very upbeat” & he was a “hoot”.  Although we all have stories of not fitting in or rude nicknames–I’m sure we’ve all witnessed the extremes (they do exist) & it’s a problem that seems to be getting national attention.   I for one recognize, w/o apology the “It Factor” of James performing & fans genuinely loving his voice & music. 

    I believe he described being discouraged & dropping out of school (really walk a mile in the shoes folks).  Child before marriage??–wondered how long the conversation w/b before this all turned to him.  Just didn’t know how mean it could get–welfare, disibility, no other options.  Wow!  Hope he has those “positivity glasses” on or just too busy having fun making the new album & being with his family.
     

  • DragonFly

    I’ll clarify the ?? after child before marriage–it may look like I’m questioning the fact—it’s the fact that it’s brought up at all.  Although not an ideal recommendation we make for couples–uh…..

  • tucker davis

    I didn’t mean to imply that bullying isn’t a reality and should definitely not be tolerated. I just meant that if a young person is asked to talk about problems in their life, most of them could come up with a bullying story of some sort. We discuss this topic in class (a lot), and there is definitely an epidemic in schools. Much older teachers tell me it’s always been there, and today’s school climate may even have less bullying due to the spotlight on it. I was referring to milder cases, and you are addressing more severe cases. I agree that all cases are damaging.

  • HMc

    I thought Aspergers is considered a disability, I didn’t think it was mean to use this terminology in my post. I am super impressed by James and all that he has accomplished. I was responding to another poster – the point I was trying to make in my post is that there was no accommodation made for James on tour last year, when there probably should have been. And its not because they can’t … they did it this year and they did it in the past with the guy that was blind (I am sorry I can’t remember his name). Anyway sorry if I offended you in any way.

  • justmefornow

    I’m not sure, and maybe someone knows the answer, but perhaps it was the record label supplying the accommodation on tour and not Idol itself?
    That would perhaps explain P2′s girlfriend’s presence since he’s signed to Interscope and James was not?

    Don’t know the blind guy (what season was that?) was he signed to a label or did Idol itself foot that bill? Idol seemed to spend a lot more money on the tour years ago. This could also have been one of the perks they cut. 
    Even the pay was less for the S10 group.

  • everything

    the point I was trying to make in my post is that there was no accommodation made for James on tour last year, when there probably should have been. And its not because they can’t … they did it this year and they did it in the past with the guy that was blind (I am sorry I can’t remember his name).

    If other people were able to do that, it’s because they probably got medical clearance.  The way it came across with James Durbin was more a sense of entitlement; he wanted his family with him on the tour and he wanted Idol to pay for it.  I’m sure if he required medical accomodations, Idol would have provided it. 

  • HMc

    No idea what season … I don’t usually watch Idol. But I read on this blog that there was a blind guy one season and his brother was allowed to go with him on tour . I don’t think he placed very high and I don’t think he is signed or anything.  

  • justmefornow

    Just curious, but what required medical accommodation does a college student meet the criteria for?
    (Don’t get me wrong, if P2 paid for his girlfriend out of his own pocket, I have no problem with that)

  • justmefornow

    That makes total sense, and very nice of his brother.

  • roarpen

    Scott MacIntyre is the name – not sure about spelling – of the blind individual who was with Idol on tour. His brother was on the tour bus and Idol foot the bill. Perhaps there was something written into a contract for him. I don’t know. He is from a family of musical performers and had traveled extensively on the road with his family touring before Idol. So, perhaps the family was savvy about ensuring there were accommodations. That and Idol spent more money then. Once the investment firm bought Idol things got a lot cheaper. Plus it would have been more complicated for them to accommodate Heidi and a young child. I believe P2s gf drives a car separate from the tour bus, but I could be wrong about that.

    If James had a brother or male cousin or father that could travel on the bus with him that would have been easier. But then again, what is he going to do? Mainly help him cope, which is a lot different from helping him physically get around like Scott. That is not to say that he should not have been accommodated – but Idol likely had an argument not to as he was fully able to work, drive a car etc. without accommodation. I think that it would have helped James to have Heidi on the road, or at least visit. But he is a fully functioning adult, so it’s complicated. On the other hand, Ryan Seacrest appeared to be accommodating James early on during the show by telling him first whether or not he was safe so that he did not have to stand there twitching and waiting – which was a reasonable thing to do. He stopped that around top 5 though. Other than that, they really did very little to accommodate him. And, although I still think Heidi should have been there, it’s best that any individual learns to function with only the amount of accommodation that is absolutely necessary – basically the mainstreaming philosophy.

    This summer James did travel with friends – his band, the next best thing to having Heidi there.

  • DragonFly

    James succeeds very well in being likable, hard-working, family man, & so far a success story etc. & I respect that.   He is so positive & uplifting–I’m pulling for him all the way & not alone.  Between his art, bringing music together, an excellent voice & being a people friendly person–many would (bad word but) die for those abilities.  I’ve “liked” many positive comments thrown his way here. 

  • Incipit

    Don’t know the blind guy (what season was that?) was he signed to a label or did Idol itself foot that bill?

    Scott MacIntyre – Season 8 – 2009. One brother, one sister, all three siblings auditioned. Went out in 8th place and His brother Todd or his Mother was present as a Sighted Guide during the show, and accompanied Scott on the Idol Tour in 2009. His Wiki BIO is full of all the many things Idol never told the audience.  (Kidney failure, other albums released, A Marshall Scholarship, White House reception, etc, etc.)  As I said earlier – they are such liars, by omission.

     Scott was not signed to a Label on the tour – in fact, AFAIK, his 2010 post Idol album “Heartstrings”, his seventh or eighth, I think, was self-released. He was married in 2011, Fred Bronson of THR attended the ceremony.

  • justmefornow

    Thanks for the info on Scott. Very interesting. 
    In the long run, I think it actually helped James mature and grow to be on his own for the tour. But he did also have Stefano and Casey on tour with him whom he seemed to grow close to, so he wasn’t really completely on his own.

    I’m still a little confused about P2 though. What disability does he have that allowed the girlfriend along for the tour, whether Idol paid for her or not?
    I mean wouldn’t all the contestants with significant others want them along as well? 
    Why the allowance, because he was the winner?

  • justmefornow

    Thanks for the info. Didn’t watch S8.
    I may have to YouTube him :)

  • roarpen

     I doubt it was because P2 was the winner. He had a major surgery just prior to going on tour. I don’t know that Idol is paying for her to travel along – but my guess is she is there to help him and keep him from doing too much given his surgery. I wouldn’t let someone I love go out on that grueling of a tour that had just had a – what was it – 6 hour major surgery? -  that involved some reconstruction of his kidney. I would make sure he was closely watched and had extra help and someone who enforced that as well as helped out. So, maybe it was doctor’s orders ala – “he can only go on this tour if he has extra accommodation and help.”

  • Incipit

    What disability does he have that allowed the girlfriend along for the tour, whether Idol paid for her or not?

    I mean wouldn’t all the contestants with significant others want them along as well? 
    Why the allowance, because he was the winner?

    I have no idea. Just as I have no idea what suddenly qualified a guitar to be played at the previously a capella auditions. He wasn’t the winner then – and no one else got that dispensation either.

    Sure, the contestants and the past winners may have liked having the SO’s along for the tour, especially those who were married. But Idol has personnel on the Tour who could have been assigned to Do the Lifting, etc – for Phillip – and maybe they ought to have done that – because from pictures we saw – he was schlepping the bags on his own anyway.

    Eh, perhaps this is a new wrinkle – - and next year’s winner will get this special consideration as well. Wouldn’t count on it, though. Idol doesn’t have to make sense, or even pretend to show parity to the contestants. – IMO.

  • roarpen

     Interesting about Scott – I just read his wiki page. He started college at 14 and was a Marshall scholar and got his masters in music in London – wow, impressive!

  • justmefornow

    Could be, but then I would think it would be some sort of medical professional accompanying him and watching for trouble.
    Is she going to the Philippines with the group as well or is he recovered enough by now perhaps? That would be somewhat more expensive I believe.

  • roarpen

     I think she is a nursing student – which qualifies her in absolutely no way – but maybe in Idol’s eyes it does. He likely doesn’t need a medical professional, just extra help and an “enforcer” to keep him from doing, or being asked to do too much. But who knows, maybe she is just tagging along. I think it has something to do with the surgery though. I doubt Idol is footing any of that bill. I bet his fans know the inside scoop. Maybe one of them will post about it. : )

  • Anny_nanny

    I think you are talking about Scott MacIntyre, the eighth season. I don’t know whether brother on the tour, but I remember him in the course of the season. And I remember the support of the rest of the contestants were given to Scott – I’ve loved these kids.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PVEFG2TOUIXSROKUSO2O2DOWWE Taylor

    The traditions you listed pertain to the organization, not the individual. Chris was not pimping his story, he was being honest about being an addict.
    That has nothing to do with the 12 traditions  of A.A. or N.A.

  • http://twitter.com/doesmonaknow DoesMonaKnow

    Hannah’s gone absolutely everywhere with Phillip so I expect to see her in the Philippines too. Earlier on before the tour and when it first began, she said she hoped to be at several shows without making it seem like she would definitely be there the whole way. As it became clear that she was going to every single stop and beyond, she got some flack on Twitter about that. She would try to answer her critics for a bit but the conversation would invariably end with her tweeting some sort of proverb about positivity or determination or not judging other people.

    She’s mentioned being on the tour for “support” and “Phillip’s health concerns” but if your boyfriend had been through major surgery and were going on a nationwide tour, you could just want to be around him to see how he was doing, regardless of what career you were pursuing. Prior to the tour, P2 said he hoped she could join him and in her thank you tweets after the tour ended, she mentioned P2 asking her to come. So maybe it was a typical situation where the Idol wanted his partner at his side, but this time TPTB allowed it because of his medical issues and her “nursing background” (she’s just a student but that’s better than nothing). Maybe if P2 had been completely healthy or if she were an aspiring teacher instead, it would have been a no-go.

    Scott MacIntyre’s brother went along with him for much of the S8 tour. If you really want to scroll back to 2009 on his Twitter account for proof it’s all there.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/XDQP2Y46M5B3OHOKALDDGDHQCM Leandro

    I would be surprised if Hannah weren’t allowed to tour with them, as I would also be surprised if P2 didn’t get his own bus, if he asked for. 

    P2 is gifted and has the ability to get everything he wants to. The luck of this world is that he doesn’t want too much, which pretty much closes a healthy equation. The world is luckier than P2.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/XDQP2Y46M5B3OHOKALDDGDHQCM Leandro

    I read Jansen’s explanation about her systematic and absolutely traumatizing bullying, that hurts her until these days and I thought…no, thanks.

    As for your explanation about Chris Rene trying to use A.A, quoting rules (“traditions)” or whatever…no, thanks too. He just talks about his struggles when he’s asked for. In any interview he gave it’s HARD to imagine that he is taking advantage of a specific institution, like A.A.

  • Venus Hooper

    Sorry but I fail to agree with you on this…  He used his story of being an addict in recovery for the pity vote, pimping  story or whatever any wish to call it.  He used the press and television to do it, for personal gain.  I’m an addict, I been through hell, including a bad car wreck and raising his son.  These days in America people do actually have a heart for those of us battling our personal demons by working and living the 12 Steps and I honestly believe it helped in keeping him around as long as it did.  I mean don’t get me wrong, I loved that Audition when he sang that song he wrote, it has so much meaning and comes from the heart and he did a heck of a job delivering it.  And he does have that persona, that stage presence, he possesses a beautiful gift.  However I feel he used the press and (television) film for his own personal gain and sold out on his “personal anonymity”.

    JMO

  • Incipit

    as I would also be surprised if P2 didn’t get his own bus, if he asked for. 

    *snerk* OK, Leandro – That’s too far OTT for me. 

    I don’t follow Phillip, he’s not my cuppa – so whatever TPTB want to invest his money in, it’s all good. Well, not really, it ‘is’ his money – but YKWIM.

    The interest will arise when the next winner comes to pass, and we see if any precedents have been set. I’m not into this “Favored Nation Status” – but if TPTB have taken away any lessons – i’m hoping it’s not Sob Stories for their Special Snowflake to be, I hope it will be the Coronary. Make it match the winner’s genre, make it a real song – – better than the Kiddie Song they stuck Scotty with, even better and closer than they did this time, and stop with the Albatross around the Neck once and for all. Prove this wasn’t a fluke. If they do that, I probably will only minimally kvetch about the rest of their standard manipulations. 

    Probably. Heh.

  • whoisthatwoman

    I must be a producers’ nightmare.  I ignore all but the talent.

  • rodolfochengcanepa

    P2 is so charismatic, that he even convinced 19 to pay the tour 4 her lover. (Period).

    The illness recovering and all that bull… it´s only that, mere excuse. She just began studying nursery or infirmary (i can´t remember) the last month 4 God sake.

  • http://twitter.com/J_SanchezFans J SanchezFan Kaylo™

    Chris Medina. That is all.

  • Anny_nanny

     lol

  • littleapple

    Simply, 1.Phillip was the winner. 2.He just had big surgery.

  • chillj

    You are right.  You need to know where to stop with the background.

  • Axxxel

    I am not familiar with Clay Aiken’s story, but even if the stepfather has been rather abusive towards him, he was still the husband of his mother… and the death of this stepfather must have shaken the family…no matter if he was good to them or not that good to them…

  • Axxxel

    It is not the grandpa that matters but the child of the grandpa, in other words, one of the parent of the candidate… Not much fun to go for auditions when you know that your father or mother is still in mourning.

  • chillj

    The interview you read was in the Boston herald a couple of days ago.  I posted it somewhere, but I don’t think it got read.  There was another on-air one at Access Hollywood or some such.

  • chillj

    The Internet has, I think, exacerbated the problem dramatically, in part because adults are routinely insulting and rude on most web sites.  Vicious, even.  There was some bullying when I was a child, but it never rose the the current level:  the society is overall meaner (look at your political conversations).

  • fuzzywuzzy

    “he wasn’t fired from Dominos Pizza, the branch he worked for closed so
    they laid off all their staff, including him of course. I hear the
    unemployment rate is Santa Cruz is pretty high.”

    Thanks for the correction. I thought that I heard that he asked for time off to audition for Idol, but they didn’t give him permission, so he decided to go anyway and that’s why he was fired. He wouldn’t have been the first person to quit his job to audition for Idol.

    “Believe it or not it doesn’t end there, LOL! He was also a high school
    drop out (he did get his diploma later though) and (AFAIK) has no
    academic qualifications. Most of the other contestants his season, being
    young, could go back to mommy and daddy if things don’t work out.
    James’ doesn’t have that option, he has to make it. Oh and you left out the bit about his dad dying from a drug overdose when he was 9, that was also mentioned.”

    lol Oh right! I forgot about James losing his father when he was a child. I don’t remember him dropping out of high school, though. Everything combined, James’ sob story is definitely one of the top SS ever on Idol.

    ETA: I see that dropping out of high school wasn’t mentioned on the show. That most definitely would have made it difficult for James to get a better paying job than a pizza delivery guy.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    True, but the perception that was given was such that Clay received a lot of sympathy from viewers and fans, when it was probably unwarranted.

  • Axxxel

    Adam Lambert…

    I only knew much much later after Idol Season 8 that his parents were divorced when he was 19-20 years old… Many times his father and mother were sitting next to each other in the audience… they were interviewed together (during the “Mad World ” week)… and I read from his father’s girlfriend’s postings on internet that she was convienently left out of the picture, even if she was present in the audience.

    Mad World… When I saw E!True Hollywood Story of Adam Lambert and saw his vocal coach,  Lynne Broyles,sobbing when she talked about Adam’s rendition of Mad World… I was like ” yeah sob story” !!… see her sobbing at 6’06” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JLW_zZdmyA&NR=1&feature=endscreen

    ETA: when I saw her crying… I just wanted to hug her…not Adam… (and I am a huge Adam Lambert fan..hhmmm).

  • fuzzywuzzy

    I don’t think that the situation with Scott McIntyre is at all comparable to James’ situation. James was employed as a pizza delivery guy before Idol, which involved a lot of dealing with the public, knowing how to get around, payment transactions, etc. He may have had some problems in dealing with the crowds at Idol, but IMO, he seemed to handle himself well during the tour. I think that he wanted Heidi and his son with him as moral support, and at the time, was a bit carried away with everything, so made that entitled remark about having them on tour with him. The fact that Heidi hasn’t been on tour with him since Idol suggests that he’s handling things fine and doesn’t need her constant presence to deal with the world (maybe, James is also learning this for the first time).

    ETA: “But he is a fully functioning adult, so it’s complicated. On the other hand, Ryan Seacrest appeared to be accommodating James early on during the show by telling him first whether or not he was safe so that he did not have to stand there twitching and waiting – which was a reasonable thing to do. He stopped that around top 5 though. Other than that, they really did very little to accommodate him. And, although I still think Heidi should have been there, it’s best that any individual learns to function with only the amount of accommodation that is absolutely necessary – basically the mainstreaming philosophy.

    Exactly. Especially the bolded part. Perhaps, the Idol tour and touring post-Idol has allowed James develop more coping strategies in Heidi’s absence, and therefore, made him more independent and capable of dealing with the world on his own, which IMO is a very good thing for him personally.

  • http://aquayers.blogspot.com aquayers

    Good to know that some people in here share what I feel regarding Jillian Jensen’s audition. I really can relate with her story,but I didn’t feel a thing. I didn’t even have misty eyes. Maybe because probably she’s not that good or that the editing about her audition was way overkill.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    “I only knew much much later after Idol Season 8 that his parents were
    divorced when he was 19-20 years old… Many times his father and
    mother were sitting next to each other in the audience… they were
    interviewed together (during the “Mad World ” week)”

    There was definitely the perception given that Adam’s parents were still together in the way that they showed them in the audience and disregarded his Dad’s gf. At least that was the perception that I had from the show. lol

    AI are masters at “guiding” the viewers in directions that they want, with “creative” editing and omission of information. They’ve been doing it for so long that they are experts at manipulation.

  • Karen C

    I think she is a nursing student – which qualifies her in absolutely no way – but maybe in Idol’s eyes it does

    Nursing students sometimes work as nurse’s aides or in drs offices while they are in school, especially in the summer. So she would qualify, though it’s stretching it a bit.

    It might be more that he was allowed to bring someone with him because he was recovering from surgery, and she was available because she’s a student.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    This recent tweet from Hannah states that “the situation changed” and suggests that 19 paid/arranged for her being able to accompany P2 on the AI tour:

    Jxxxx Dxxxx
    @Hannahblackwell thought you said you weren’t going to every tour date… #liar
    6:46 PM – 10 Sep 12

    Hannah Blackwell@Dxxxx situation changed and changes were necessary.6:58 PM – 10 Sep 12Jxxxx
    ?@Dxxxx@HannahBlackwell don’t believe you.6:59 PM – 10 Sep 12

    nxxxxx
    ?@Axxxx@HannahBlackwell @dxxxx I agree y not just say you’d be there the whole tour
    12:52 PM – 11 Sep 12

    Hannah Blackwell@Axxxx did not know the opportunity would come about. Once I knew, I knew many would have a strong opinion about it.3:03 PM – 11 Sep 12

    Hannah Blackwell
    I’ve had the best summer of my life. I want to thank @Phillips for asking me to join his journey, and 19 for making it all possible. You
    1:15 AM – 12 Sep 12

    I haven’t followed the AI tour or P2. Does anyone know more about this?

  • wordnerdarchie

     And they probably wouldn’t have to pay her – think that’s the key to why her & not someone else. ;)

  • shamrock

    I didn’t say that there was a problem, just that it was quite the sob
    story. And it didn’t stop at the Tourettes and Aspergers, but extended
    into his not being able to buy diapers for his child and being fired
    from his job. Sorry, but those parts weren’t necessary. Thank goodness
    that it ended once the live shows started.

    IMO there is a difference between a back story and a sob story.

    James’ backstory is (among other things) having tourette’s and asperger’s. I think an audience should know (and in an ideal case also be educated, but that’s probably to much of asking of an entertainment show) about his conditions, as helping them to understand him.

    But of course, as roarpen pointed out, it didn’t save him from any ridicule. If anything it seemed to fuel the hate (shred anybody to little piece who is only slightly outside the perceived norm *rolls eyes* ).

    The diaper thing is a sob story, and it still makes me slightly cringe. I could easily do without those. But I give TPTB more of the blame on those, using the naivete of some alumns to get their “great TV moment”, while others are more experienced or naturally guarded.
    And I think especilly Heidi realised later that some things come accross TV differently than they were actually meant, as she made some joking remarks about “not having to worry about money for diapers anymore”.

    I think part of the success of these shows is, “getting to know the contestants” (and I believe it is for most of us one of the reasons to watch, or we wouldn’t be filling thousands of blog pages, LOL), but it doesn’t mean I need to know *everything*. Tell me, why they love music so much, who inspired them to try a career in the music business, who encouraged them to go the Idol route, why they chose this certain song to perform (given that they could choose from a greater selection than abt. a 12 songs), what they did before Idol (I see no shame in trying to get a foothold for abt. 10 years via musical theatres etc., but not finding a major label wiling to take the risk to sign you like e.g. Adam Lambert) a.s.o. And mostly as someone already said, give them the spotlight equally.

  • justmefornow

    lol. Maybe P2 will ask TPTB and he and his grilfriend will fly first class with everyone else in coach to the Philippines.
     (Just Kidding, but if he’s footing the bill for her, and not 19, so be it. It’s his money. If 19 and/or the label is paying maybe it’s because “Home” has sold so well. Maybe he wouldn’t have gotten his way if the song had bombed.)

  • HMc

    James dropped out of High school because of bullying, he had to change schools a few times because he was bullied. He did however get his GED 
    (General Education Diploma.. not sure if this is the exact title), which is the equivalent of having completed high school. I don’t think the fact that he  dropped out of school or got his GED was mentioned on the show. Wiki, doesn’t have the info about his GED … but it has been mentioned in several interviews esp. those interviews which are the result of the anti bullying stuff he has been doing with WWE.

  • HMc

    I love you post …esp. the part about backstory verses sob story. I tried to “like” your post but I am sure my like button is working today…:-)

  • fuzzywuzzy

    “I think part of the success of these shows is, “getting to know the
    contestants” (and I believe it is for most of us one of the reasons to
    watch, or we wouldn’t be filling thousands of blog pages, LOL), but it
    doesn’t mean I need to know *everything*.”

    The problem arises when naive viewers/fans actually believe the image or perception that is given on the show, when it can be very misleading, often through omission of information. That’s where the manipulation can be harmful, IMO.

  • Caro3278sweet

    My biggest problem with sob stories are when they are used to bolster a contestant instead of giving us an insight into who they are.

    Excellent observation. It’s a fine line but I think most of us instinctively know when that line has been crossed. Two examples came to my mind immediately when I saw this great topic:

    Season 7 – The difference between the way Gokey’s story was played out vs Cookie’s should stand as a major “teaching moment” for anyone thinking of trying out for one of these singing shows. I didn’t mind hearing about the death of Danny’s wife. I did mind greatly when it kept coming up and coming up and coming up. Enough already! 

    I didn’t mind hearing about Cookie’s brother and had great respect for how David handled the whole situation. The knowledge of his backstory made me empathize with him but with none of the cringing I did with Danny. 

    I do think both of these gentlemen had some say in how this was all played out. That should be instructive to future contestants because I continue to be a Cookie fan and buy his music, but I cannot follow Danny. Even though I do think he has a good voice and he sings the genre I like.

    Season 9 – I remember being interested in Lee’s background and thinking it was kind of cool that he came from selling paint to AI stardom. But like Gokey, it became nauseating, the endless mentions and pimping… until by the end, I was actively rooting for some paint can to turn over on Lee’s head. And my impression watching the show is that Lee bought in to this. It got him the win after all. But I don’t think it helped him long term. 

    In comparison, I had absolutely no knowledge at all that Casey James was very, very ill through the course of most of the show. And he was kind of my snowflake then (not a big fan, just had chosen him as my guy that year). So when I found this out later, that was a big thumbs up in my book. He has said in some interviews that he told the AI staff he didn’t want it mentioned at all and they honored that. 

    Again two different approaches and I am left with two very different takes on these two gentlemen. 

  • fuzzywuzzy

    “In comparison, I had absolutely no knowledge at all that Casey James was
    very, very ill through the course of most of the show. And he was kind
    of my snowflake then (not a big fan, just had chosen him as my guy that
    year). So when I found this out later, that was a big thumbs up in my
    book. He has said in some interviews that he told the AI staff he didn’t
    want it mentioned at all and they honored that.

    I wasn’t aware of this either, but IMO the bolded part says it all. Ultimately, the contestants DO have control over how much their sob/backstories are mentioned on the show.

  • chillj

    I’m getting the idea people are reacting to his girlfriend’s presence as a “fairness” issue.    My guess is that PP is perceived by management to be a hit-maker, and TPTB will do everything in its power to keep him content and healthy – and the two are intertwined.  They doubtless will not pay for spouse or girlfriend travel companions for everyone.  First, it would be a zoo, and, second, why should they?  For a potential money maker, of course they will stretch; heck, they stretched what he participated in during the season and how often have they done that?

  • chillj

    Adam’s parents are divorced?

  • Tess

    I haven’t read this thread through so if I am repeating anything..my apologies.

    First I think it has to be said and emphasized that Idol is not the one “instigating” the back stories.  Auditioners fill out a form where they are asked some personal questions and they “choose” to answer knowing full well that “anything” they write can be used by the show.  They are probably also subjected to a brief producer’s interview early on and at that time, also, they can elucidate on their answers.

    It is easy for a potential Idol to to get caught up in the “tell everything” mode when they are desperately seeking ways to make the show…and I am sure many of them regret that impulse if they do make it to national prominence.  And, of course, it is very easy for AI to manipulate even the most innocent of remarks to its advantage when they “highlight” the contestant.

    Also, I think “back stories” can be as detrimental as they can be helpful.  Viewers who are familiar with people having thinks like turrets or Asbergers probably are aware that thousands of people function extremely well under these conditions, others who have recently gone through their own bereavements aren’t so easily taken in by the grieving contestant, and most of us probably are aware that saying you are doing something because of someone else (ie: I’m doing this ’cause I want to honor my sick relative) is very rarely as altruistic as it sounds.

    Personally I don’t think the American public is as moved by the “stories” as people think just because I believe most of us have real life tales that are just as  compelling as those highlighted for some contestants.  I’m exposed to blind people who are living up to their potentials, widows and widowers who are living a fulfilling life without harping on their losses, friends who have lost everything and are struggling back relying on their own motivation without harping on the “woe is me”.

    Back stories may get a few “sympathy” votes but I don’t think they are “the thing” that separates the wheat from the chaff.  I give the viewing public a lot more credit than, it seems, the producers do.

  • LA Kim

    Yes, Adam’s parents are divorced however, his parents are still friends and Eber’s girlfriend had stated on her blog her and Leila loved watching Adam performances together.

  • wkstrack

    I didn’t know Hannah was going on the whole tour with P2 until someone brought it up that she’s been traveling with the idols to every stop, etc here. Though I checked on IDF and in P2′ forums there is a thread where his relationship is “discussed” lol and Woah I am somewhat surprised how she isn’t very much liked by his fans over there. 

  • shamrock

    The problem arises when naive viewers/fans actually believe the image or perception that is given on the show, when it can be very misleading, often through omission of information. That’s where the manipulation can be harmful, IMO.

    I put the “getting to know” into inverted commas, because I realise that we don’t really know the alumns. But I think it doesn’t stop most of us (well, it certainly doesn’t stop me, LOL) from building an opinion anyway. And those perception can vary widely:

    For everyone saying Scotty is cool and laid-back, there is someone claiming he is boring. For everyone thinking is pandering with his religion, there is someone believing he is just true to who he is. This list could go on, and could be made about every alumn ever been on a reality TV show.

    As most here know, James is my “special snowflake”:

    I like his enthusiasm (exlamation marks galore!!!), his mostly upbeat, positive, over-the-top personality (especially given the hardships that were largely pointed out that could have turned him easily into a bitter and resentful human being), that he is not shy to express his love for Heidi and Hunter, his outspokenness, that he doesn’t let his conditions held him back a.s.o.

    Do I think he is perfect? Uhmm, no. But then I don’t expect him to be. There will always be arkward moments and “foot-in-mouth” incidents. I can shrug over those, because I generally like him but MOSTLY because I love his force of nature voice, his soulful tone, his performance style, his musical direction. And if the second part isn’t there for me, no sympathy/perceived likeability or whatever can bring me to buy an album from them.

    @ HMc:
    Your like button worked. And thanks for the love. :D

  • http://twitter.com/doesmonaknow DoesMonaKnow

    Yes, Adam’s parents got divorced when he was like 19 or 20, years before he tried out for Idol. However, TPTB worked to present them as still being married. Adam’s father had been involved with someone else for years at that point and she blogged about how a director pulled her out of camera view for a “family shot” and that her mother kept asking why they were putting Adam’s dad next to “that other woman” (Adam’s mom) on the show. Divorced parents were hardly scandalous in 2009. I guess TPTB thought Adam would go over better somehow if “America” thought he came from a nuclear family, an idea which is a little troubling to say the least.

    Right after P2 won, he said he hoped his girlfriend would be able to join him on tour and “it would be cool to have her there”. His health might have been a factor in her getting to go but I doubt it was the only reason she ended up being around. It sounds to me like the typical rules were in place earlier on and they were hoping TPTB would relent but weren’t entirely sure it would happen.

  • chillj

    Well, I certainly managed not to notice that divorce (not that I care; it never really mattered).

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/XDQP2Y46M5B3OHOKALDDGDHQCM Leandro

    She was like in the first year, basic subjects. I remember that they psoted it here when she tweeted that she was just talking about artist because would be doingva subject about music, not to interefere in P2′s career. She isn’t qualified at all, even as a trainee. 

    It’s more like u said. They allowed him to have someone all the time with him because he was recovering, even considering she travels in the girls bus. lol

  • http://twitter.com/doesmonaknow DoesMonaKnow

    Though I checked on IDF and in P2′ forums there is a thread where his
    relationship is “discussed” lol and Woah I am somewhat surprised how she
    isn’t very much liked by his fans over there.

    Yeah, that is an interesting “discussion” going on at IDF. On page 1 it starts off all “she’s a nursing student, I hope people are nice to her” and now at page 100 whatever she is just being eviscerated for breathing pretty much. I’m not surprised at all…the regulars there ultimately see Hannah as an “obstacle” to the things they want for P2. They think P2 needs to be a sexy single hunk to break out of the “WGWG = boring” image and Hannah is in the way of all their plans for his “celebrity” (because he seems like the type who really wants that, lol). Plus, without her being there at every turn they think P2 would have had more time for an epic tour bromance with Heejun a la Mavid or Kradam. Katy Allen and Heidi have been brought up as examples of Idol partners who are preferable to her, though “ideally” P2 should be single or dating other famous women.

  • Niall

    Just because Phil’s GF is traveling with him doesn’t mean AI is footing the bill for any of her expenses (meals, etc). Between his illness and the strain separations take on relationships, spending the summer together makes sense. As far as how fans react to her, My guess is nothing she did or didn’t do is responsible. Almost every female who is perceived as “close” to a popular male idol is going to have an irrational club of stans who resent her.

  • zjzr

    I am a Filipino in the Philippines, and I concur, especially since these shows also allot a special time to see behind-the-scenes of what they are doing and possibly an insight of their back/sob story. Even the game shows got to have a sob story (the current Who Wants To Be a Millionaire edition here has every contestant having a sob story) and allots a time also to interview the contestant’s life almost as much as the game time. Maybe that is why I am not really phased or turn-off per se if someone had a sob story, though and really see the emphasis on contestants’ performance (though I might be turned off by TPTB’s overrating of certain contestants though).

    I started watching regularly S8. I actually kind of like Gokey’s rough tone on songs, and seeing that he is one of TPTB’s 3 Chosen Ones from the start (Adam and Lil are the others) that enabled them to have a very strong fanbase despite of sub-par performances (even with Lil’s “flameout” IMO still managed to land her in the Top 7) made sense on why he still survived after “Dream On”. I didn’t really notice him really milking the story and just noticed that he doesn’t have a concrete artistic vision IMO during his run and just sang ballads just cause I thought he was an R&B balladeer (still not sure why he picked country during his career start, really). S9 was weird. What is the problem working at a paint store? It was pushed so much during the last weeks that there was even a thread in the AI Forums joking with Simon’s treatment of Lee’s backstory (even the Lee fans were laughing). James in S10 didn’t really milk his disorders, but he did say about doing it for his family but didn’t really phase me as sharing family ties is a common trait here. I don’t think Phillip won S11 because of his kidney problems but I hoped TPTB didn’t say how much he did his best with his conditions much.

    In short amidst all of the sob stories, I still see the talent behind them (subjectively and objectively of course), and would support whoever I like.

  • journey1

    I didn’t look at David A.’s vocal chord paralysis as a sob story.  I just found it interesting that he could sing like that with only one working vocal chord.  I have a vocal chord problem (not like David’s), but although I would never make it as a singer professionally, I sang for years in choirs and small groups. When the vocal problem developed about 10 years ago, I was not able to sing at all.  It was interesting to me, also, that while David was on Idol he had strep throat(that was not mentioned at all) and a ENT was called.  It was the same doctor that treated David with his original problem.  He found that the healthy vocal chord had entwined with the paralyzed chord and they were somehow making it possible for David to sing.  Who knows how his voice would sound with 2 healthy chords.  That is not a sob story…just an interesting one.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    “I put the “getting to know” into inverted commas, because I realise that
    we don’t really know the alumns. But I think it doesn’t stop most of us
    (well, it certainly doesn’t stop me, LOL) from building an opinion
    anyway. And those perception can vary widely:”

    Right, you may realize the you “don’t really know” the alums, but I specified naive fans (and this probably includes mentally/emotionally ill fans as well). It just seems like the most rabid, invested fans behave like they “know” their favorites, defending them like they are members of their own families, and that can be detrimental.

  • Venus Hooper

     Yeah that could be “Access Hollywood”, I do a lot of rss feeds and they end up linking to stuff like this, so yes I think you’re right!

  • shamrock

    But you don’t need Idol to get these overinvested fans. You’ll find them everywhere, fans of sport teams, movie stars, pop and rock singers a.s.o.

    And along with the stans you have the overinvested haters, wo like to stirr the pot and rile up the fans, be it for the fun of it, or because of the IMO idiotic belief they are doing their “snowflake” a favour with it. (As if X would care/see it as a sign of affection when his/her fans put down Y. LOL.)

    Luckily most can adjust their dosis of involvement to an acceptable level after a certain amout of time and only a very, very small per milleage has dangerous tendendies (to others, like developping stalkerish tendencies,or to themselves, like becoming depressive or similar).

    If you’ve seen the collective breakdown of teenagers at the break-up of “Take That” in  the mid-nineties, you’d think the world would be void of people (at least of the female species) now in their early to mid thirties. But luckily no such thing happened and most seemed to have recovered quite well and became “productive members” of our society. ;)

    ETA:
    Somehow the reply-button didn’t work, above is a reply to fuzzywuzzy’s latest posting.

  • roarpen

     Unfortunately, this is true > “The Internet has, I think, exacerbated the problem dramatically, in part
    because adults are routinely insulting and rude on most web sites.
     Vicious, even.  There was some bullying when I was a child, but it
    never rose the the current level:  the society is overall meaner (look
    at your political conversations).”

  • roarpen

    “Exactly. Especially the bolded part. Perhaps, the Idol tour and touring
    post-Idol has allowed James develop more coping strategies in Heidi’s
    absence, and therefore, made him more independent and capable of dealing
    with the world on his own, which IMO is a very good thing for him
    personally.”

    Although we have disagreed about this in the past, the growth and maturity that James has shown in the last year shows that in the long run, it turned out fine. I think the tour was the first time he was ever away from family, and I know a lot about his disability, and know that it must have been extremely difficult, and he did make missteps that were routinely discussed on this blog. But, I give him tremendous credit for the fortitude and determination it has taken to grow past that, and it shows just how capable he is, as are those with similar issues. So in the end, it’s all good.

    During the Idol tour, the thing that was maddening to me was that Idol threw him out there on these interviews etc, and had no coaching available for him. And autism is predominantly about that lack of social understanding.
    WindUp, or his management, or whoever, has clearly taken the time to teach James more about PR, and he handles himself so well now. On top of that, his attitude is predominantly grateful – so even if there was a sense of entitlement at one time – it is long gone. James has learned and grown – now I’m looking forward to what his new music will sound like.

  • roarpen

     ”They think P2 needs to be a sexy single hunk to break out of the “WGWG”

    *facepalm* and a great big LMAO!!

  • wkstrack

    I don’t think even if P2 was single it’s going to break him out of the “WGWG=boring” image or whatever that means lol There are plenty of taken musicians out there that aren’t “boring”. It’s called having charisma and a personality that makes them not “boring”. If that’s what they’re getting at with the “WGWG=boring” image. 

  • http://twitter.com/doesmonaknow DoesMonaKnow

    Basically, the thought is that WGWGs are seen as humble boy next door types by the public at large, while they want P2 to be the kind of celebrity who is seen as having sex appeal by everyone, not just his fanbase. Maybe non-Idol guys can be taken and also regarded as charismatic by the general public, but for a WGWG winner with an “all about the music” attitude and a long-term relationship with a local girl…they think he’s just going to be written off as a nice guy but not an interesting “celebrity”. To these fans, breaking out of the nice guy mold is crucial to his prospects for success (even more than his singles getting airplay apparently, lol). Any “but Daughtry” comment there is quickly dismissed. They believe lasing superstardom is impossible for P2 so long as he’s seen as just another humble guitar playing Idol winner who has been with the same girl for years. The thought is that if he gets romantically linked with a celebrity or two (or three…the more the better), then he might get headlines for his love life, be seen as a sexy bachelor, become an US Weekly staple and the general public might find him (and his music) interesting in a way that they didn’t with Kris or Lee.

  • Mateja Praznik

    I think the problem with WGWG is that even if he gets one or two hit singles, once he starts touring and then working on his sophomore album, the public will forget about him and 2 years later no one will even know his name. They are all so regular. You can’t make a superstar out of a guy like Cook, Allen, DeWyze or Phillips. Once there is a new Idol winner crowned, the previous WGWG is just … former Idol winner. Old news.

  • Karen C

    They are all so regular. You can’t make a superstar out of a guy like Cook, Allen, DeWyze or Phillips.

    Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, John Mellencamp, Bryan Adams, Paul Simon, Billy Joel, Eddie Vedder, David Grohl and more recently John Mayer and Jason Mraz are all regular guys that have had popularity in music.   They wouldn’t be considered pop starts but have had long careers in music.  Actually they have been around longer than most pop stars that started out the same time they did.

  • http://twitter.com/doesmonaknow DoesMonaKnow

    That’s happened to several non-WGWGs from Idol too though. They get
    one or two hits from their first album and then there’s a Christmas album or a covers album or they take years to “get it right”. By the time there’s a new studio album the fans who bought their music the first time have largely moved on.

    And thanks KarenC for bringing that several singers who could be described as WGWGs and “regular guys” have been huge music in music through the years. Though if they had TPTB from the Idol labels in charge of their careers they might never have attained superstardom. I’m not saying Lee DeWyze is the next Springsteen or anything but I do think severe missteps have been made and a lot of Idol careers never reached their full potential. I say that of guitar players and non-guitar players alike. I don’t like to say that because Kelly and Carrie have had more lasting success and others haven’t that they have that special something that the rest of the Idols lack. They’re good but they also had lucky breaks that some of the rest maybe haven’t. But history tends to be written by the winners and all the naysayers they had early on tend to shut up about how wrong they were.

  • Mateja Praznik

    Well yeah, but I think for some other types there are at least some other options. Like Broadway. Or, for someone like Jordin, movies.

    I agree that second albums are more or less all destined to flop now because 19 and labels aren’t interested. But that’s a general problem of the Idol machine.

  • chillj

    PUt a group behind them, get them a lot of tattoos  grow odd facial hair and grow out the head hair, don’t brush the teeth for a year and don feathers and funky jewelry, it can happen. Hee. Look at Ozzy Osbourne, who woulda thunk he would have a career?

  • chillj

    I think Peepee is the exception to the rule:  if he puts out a decent album, he is going places.

  • breakdown

    I turned on X Factor, saw everyone crying, and immediately switched channels.

  • http://twitter.com/dam744 Damien Roberts

    You feel like a horrible person for even commenting on the things that happen to these people, but I’d have to say that Danny Gokey’s story is the one that got the most out of hand. It quite literally carried him into the top 3 over Allison Iraheta. Simply put, these stories, while sad, have no place in a talent competition.

  • http://twitter.com/shoriagirl Shoriagirl

    Although some of the “sob stories” are over the top, it is really annoying when contestants/producers conveniently “forget” to mention some facts from contestants past in the attempt to make this contestant to look better/more acceptable to the viewers.
    Most blatant example would be the image constructed for Adam Lambert during his season, when a lot of details about his past/present were hidden from the public.
    At least, Gokey was honest.

  • fuzzywuzzy

     ”To these fans, breaking out of the nice guy mold is crucial to his
    prospects for success (even more than his singles getting airplay
    apparently, lol). Any “but Daughtry” comment there is quickly dismissed.
    They believe lasing superstardom is impossible for P2 so long as he’s
    seen as just another humble guitar playing Idol winner who has been with
    the same girl for years. The thought is that if he gets romantically
    linked with a celebrity or two (or three…the more the better), then he
    might get headlines for his love life, be seen as a sexy bachelor,
    become an US Weekly staple and the general public might find him (and
    his music) interesting in a way that they didn’t with Kris or Lee.”

    “lasting superstardom”? lol P2 isn’t even close to a “superstar” yet, so I think that level of stardom needs to be achieved first, let alone worrying about it being “lasting”. Talk about delusional.

  • fuzzywuzzy

     ”At least, Gokey was honest.”

    You mean about how he talked about being a truck driver on Idol? Oh, wait … lol

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PVEFG2TOUIXSROKUSO2O2DOWWE Taylor

    What facts would that be? Announcing someone’s sexual orientation isn’t something Idol has ever done, beginning from the first season.
    The contestants fill out a questionnaire and the producers decide what information they want to use or not. Adam answered the orientation question honestly.

  • http://twitter.com/shoriagirl Shoriagirl

    NVM

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/XDQP2Y46M5B3OHOKALDDGDHQCM Leandro

    He could get his own private jet if he wanted to. Maybe even a Concorde. It seems now  that somehow is handling most of the “bill”.