Why Contestants Go on American Idol
Is it only fame and fortune? Experts explore the motivation of American Idol contestants.
Following Your Dream continued...
Do such people have something missing? Psychiatrist Lieberman says she
thinks people who want to be entertainers in the first place often crave love
and attention they did not get in childhood. "I treat a lot of
entertainers. Part of them feels rejected," she says, "so they may
suffer from a repetition compulsion, meaning they keep setting themselves up
for rejection again and again."
However, part of pursuing a dream may be risking rejection. For people on
American Idol, rejection has a face. "Simon may be mean,"
Brownstein says, "but he is not unfair, in my opinion. He gives accurate
criticism, although he lacks a little in bedside manner."
Alternate Ways to Stardom
"Everyone needs goals, a dream," says Lieberman. "You can set
your goal as high as you want -- don't let anyone tell you not to -- but then
you need to be able to do what it takes. You need to take the lessons, work two
jobs to get singing lessons. The problem is not setting unrealistic goals, but
not working as hard as you can to realize them.
"If you want to be a singer," Lieberman continues, "you need to
start as early as possible, take lessons … pay your dues by singing in a choir
or working backstage. Some people want to be a star, but don't want to do what
it takes. Some people won't sing at the old folks home or work a second job to
pay for lessons."
Brody agrees. "People fail not because they don't have goals, but
because they give up too quickly."
So don't let that first American Idol audition get you down, the
one in a city near you, with the long lines and cold or hot waits. Most people
don't even make it to a heart-to-heart with Simon.