I used to get embarrassed talking about my
fascination for American Idol. Not anymore. I
haven’t been embarrassed since it has become a
learning lab for me as a life coach, writer,
actor and director.
The finalists seem to naturally fall into
categories which then impact their success.
There are the researchers, the talk-backers,
the listeners, the coachables and
Two of the most notable talk-backers are
now off the show.
I noticed a couple weeks ago that certain
singers would become indignant when the
judges gave them constructive feedback.
As an Actor, I look forward to getting
feedback from my Director. When My Director
gives me feedback, I can improve my
I have trained myself to always thank
the director for the notes and then
apply them the next time.
Anoop Desai is a great example of this. He
was almost kicked off the show before the
top 12 were selected. He had a horrible performance
on the first show featuring the finalists.
He managed to squeak through and he took the
notes of the Judges to heart. He thanked them
and applied their critique the next week.
He has been successful. Last week, the judges
asked him to switch his stylings a bit to show
more versatility my bet is this week, he will.
Two back-talkers have been kicked off the show.
Both Alexis Grace and Michael Sarver had the
talk-back bug. Both got the axe by the fans.
Why? They didn’t apply the constructive feedback
the judges gave them. They thought they were
better than the experts.
I have coaching clients who do this same thing:
they pay me to help them sort out their lives and
then don’t apply what we discuss. I have been
known to actually turn clients away when they
do this. I don’t want half-way-to-transformation
I want clients who are as devoted to their
success as I am.
Alexis Grace and Michael Sarver weren't as
devoted to their success as the others on
American Idol. Their own opinions got in
the way of their success.
Another example from Life Coaching:
I have writing students who take my courses and
I give my all to them. Some of them don’t apply what I
teach. They don't do the exercises, they don't learn
the skill set and six months after the class everything
we did together is gone from their memory.
I don’t want people who don’t follow up with what we
have learned clogging up my sessions.
I want people who are willing to work. I want action-oriented,
reflective people who listen, who want to improve
and are willing to set aside their opinions
and judgments in order to do so.
Did you see Lil’s Rounds’ face when she was critiqued
by the judges last week? I wondered if she heard a word
they said. She didn’t talk back with words, she talked
back with her facial expression and her demeanor.
Here’s the thing: their critiques were accurate. Lil
was an early favorite who is falling off in memorability
and votes. I thought she was vulnerable last week.
The talk-backers are uncoachable. They don’t listen to
the constructive critique from the judges. They don’t
change their performances. They obviously think
they know the best.
I won’t waste time giving energy to VotefortheWorst.com,
but you can also see their antics in the American Idol
results. Whose performance has been the worst week
after week yet survives, week after week?
The VotefortheWorst.com contestants are also uncoachable.
Notice the contestants who don’t grow and are equally
poor episode after episode. Then go to VotefortheWorst.com
and see who is getting their votes.
My favorite contestants combine the positive qualities
of being coachable and who do research to make a performance
go far beyond anything we might have imagined.
Adam Lambert, love him or hate him, did exactly that last
week. He sang “Tracks of My Tears” for the song writer
himself: Motown icon, Smokey Robinson.
After hearing him sing at rehearsal, Smokey said “I
have never heard any one do it that way before…” which
could be the kiss of death. I don’t think Smokey knew
the power of the conversation he and Adam
had after he listened to Adam rehearse.
Adam is a Musical Theatre actor who knows the power of
research. He asked Smokey an important question,
“What is the story behind the song?”
Smokey shared the story, what is behind the lyrics
of “Tracks of My Tears” – that the singer has cried
so much, that if someone looks closely at his face
his tears are forever evident. Most people never
notice, though, because he is joking and smiling
all the time: his out-of-place smile is a
Adam heard that and I, as a conscious audience member,
heard Adam's gasp in response. It was in that moment I knew
something magical would happen.
That momentary inhale, that feeling, that emotion
from his research made a difference we could then see in
his memorable performance.
Adam researched, he knew his strengths, and he
is among the boldest American Idol contestants
I have ever seen.
It was a moment everything clicked into place, just
like that, in a deep inhale.
I used to be slightly ashamed to admit I was a fan
of the mega-hit television show, “American Idol.”
This year I have noticed a different element that
has impacted me not only as an Artist but also
in my work as a Creative Life Coach.
When Adam sang “Tracks of My Tears” he added a
depth to the song that had never been heard or
seen before. Smokey rose to his feet, responding
with “Yeah”…. “Yeah….” And a final, whispered
prayer of “Yeah”
When the judges spoke I watched Adam’s face when
he heard always hyper critical – and truthful – and
constructive – Simon Cowell’s comments.
What did I see?
Humility. I didn’t see the swagger of the Back-Talkers.
I didn’t see the blind stares of the VotefortheWorst
contestants. I didn’t see a stoop shouldered, “What
am I doing here?” stance of the less poised contestants.
I saw a gifted performer, accepting praise and at the
same time being slightly astonished to be receiving praise.
Adam is exceptionally coachable. He knows his strengths
and he wants to capitalize on them. He does research.
He listens well. He is fearless. He asks questions. He
listens to feedback. He stays true to himself artistically.
He is bold.
He will have my vote. Again and again and again.
I want to be more like him.
I want my clients to be like him.
I would like more people in the world, period, to
learn from him.
= + =
Julie Jordan Scott is a Writer, Life Coach, Poet,
Speaker, Actor, Director and Mom Extraordinaire
whose deepest passion is helping people -
like you - discover and live with passion.
Call 661.444.2735 to book your complimentary
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