I found another Hollywood contestant. His name is Will Makar. Interestingly, there is a Shirlyn Makar on the Hollywood List that’s been floating around, but the list posted here mentions that some of the names could be a parent or guardian. When I searched the name “Shirlyn Makar”, this article about a teenaged singer named Will Maker turned up. Shirlyn is Will’s mom and is interviewed in the article. Since registration is required to read it, I’ve posted it myself (oops).
Makar’s vocal coach compares him to Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. and Harry Conick Jr. It’s not a stretch to imagine Will as a teenaged standards singer–not unlike John Stevens from AI3.
I found a really interesting article from the St. Petersburg Times Online that discusses one of my favorite subjects–the idol obsession. Why after 4 seasons does AI’s popularity grow instead of falter? What is it that draws people to this show? Why are they so invested? And what’s up with those crazy fans? (moi)
Here are a few excerpts:
“American Idol trains you like some weird seal, ” explains Martin <idol fan interviewed for this article>, who spends “about an hour every day” at three separate fan sites devoted to her favorite Idol performers: Clarkson, Aiken and season four finalist Constantine Maroulis. “People get plugged into a contestant, and they want that contestant to be the most successful ever.”
There’s never been anything quite like the Idol craze, says Stuart Fischoff, a 65-year-old media psychologist at California State University at Los Angeles…Idol, Fischoff adds, also provides viewers a “sense of community” and the feeling of “the power to influence outcomes.”
“The fanaticism for Idol seems to be very specific to the person rather than the music, ” says Andy Dehnart, the 28-year-old creator and editor of Reality Blurred, a DeLand-based Web site that discusses reality shows and gets more than 400, 000 visitors a month. “Fans really see themselves as being responsible for a contestant’s success. And if the contestant loses, that gives fans a reason to feel even more inflamed.”
Good stuff! I’ve never seen a fandom quite like the Idol fandom. Its uniqueness boils down to the way the show manages to get the viewer strongly invested in the contestants. The fact that, “people get plugged into a contestant, ” develop a “sense of community” amongst themselves and feel a “power to influence outcomes.”–the fact that “fans really see themselves as being responsible for a contestant’s success, ” makes that perceived power potent–the emotions that result are pretty intense. Anybody who spends any time surfing the fan boards will quickly see what I mean. :). For instance, here’s a quote from a Claymate the reporter interviewed–
“Discovering Aiken on American Idol…was like being stranded in the desert, and you’re thirsty, and a drop of rain comes down and touches your tongue.”
Enough said. I don’t want my comment box exploding. ;).
Lastly. A friend of Funeral Director and Hollywood contestant, Jason Horn, left a comment for me yesterday. I knew I’d get at least one comment, as I mocked Jason’s haircut and clothes and called the Funeral Director deal a gimmick. According to this friend, I’m talkin’ out of my butt (me paraphrasing) ’cause Simon stopped Jason after the audition to tell him he’d done very well. Fine–but it’s still true that the producers often let folks through who have middling talent, but a good backstory. Although Jason could very well be a talented contestant, I still think he’s got a gimmick that totally helped him advance, good voice or not. For the record, I think gimmicks are good. I’m especially impressed when they’re pulled off without seeming contrived. Anything a contestant’s got–whether it’s an odd profession, a disability (I’m serious), an overcoming-great-odds story, a personality quirk–anything that helps a contestant stand out from the crowd is a GOOD thing. And the producers are looking for hooks. So, if a contestant’s got one I say, LET IT FLY BABY.