I admit to having more than a passing interest in pop culture. And when it comes to certain reality TV shows, my interest is heightened.
No, I’m not much of a Snookie fan preferring instead MTV’s pro-social themed Buried Life and Made. I will confess to having followed with excitement MTV’s Sun Drop soda launch, since my honey was one of the team leaders on an über-successful campaign that introduced the almost unknown soda into the pop zeitgeist beyond anyone’s expectations.
But as far as my rare cheesy TV chill out time is spent – I admit my tastes run more to Clean House, American Pickers, Pawn Stars, almost anything on HGTV, Top Chef and my fave – this season’s American Idol.
From my perspective as a professional singer, I am blown away by this season’s level of talent, which is more exciting than all previous seasons combined, but that’s not why I’m drawn in.
The show has an incredible, evolved sensibility since Simon departed, focusing more on the development of the talent and less on shaming the contestants. I’m particularly loving the expansive heart-music connection Randy, Jennifer and Steven are trying to illicit from the hopeful artists.
Last week’s elimination shocked the studio audience, judges and rabid fans across America. Pia, a competition leader and projected top three finalist, was surprisingly and mercilessly booted.
Dramatic, yes, but for me personally, the highlight of the show came when Steven Tyler offered his summary of just how wrong this situation was and placed blame where it belonged: squarely on the shoulders of American viewers.
To not vote is one thing, but “to not have passion is unforgivable.”
Indeed, the Aerosmith front man could have been calling for action or raising consciousness for any ethical, moral or civil issue. Of course I’m not presuming that Pia’s Idol career demise is in any way, shape or form on par with concerns such as Japan radiation levels or exit strategy with Libya.
Yet understanding the power mass media and pop culture have on our lives, I found it interesting that the judges chastised us, the home audience, for not stepping up to express our opinions and vote - to make our voices heard.
This was my takeaway and it resonated because I try to live my life every day being more aware, self-attuned and present. I keep my eyes, ears, mind, heart and soul open for ways to connect to my passion. From this place I can move mountains, if not school boards. I can make my own music in this world and hopefully, my song will make a difference.
So take heart all reality TV show devotees. If we’re lucky, every so often a resonant life-lesson is offered, yes even on television, that reminds us who we are and where we are on our journey. I like to think of it as just a little something special, a high-note of a different kind.