American Idol Contestants Who Can’t Sing?

How many times have you been watching “Idol” auditions and heard something like this (Please listen to the whole tawdry thing. It’s worth it) :

This was done as a joke. And it is brilliant in how it covers every horrifying thing we’ve ever heard a nervous/scared/bad singer do–and some of the things we might have done ourselves. I love it when he goes for the note at the end that is so wildly out of his range that dogs from miles around probably wound up sitting on the recording studio stairs. Also the giant breath he takes mid-stream during the final note? Fab-u-freakin’-lous.

I’ve always wondered why some people don’t seem to be able to tell when they, um, sort of, you know, stink. Clearly they sound nothing like Luciano Pavarotti, yet they try to sing something like this anyway. Or they dance nothing like Baryshnikov or Alex Wong, and yet audition for “So You Think You Can Dance”. How can they not tell?

And then I started writing a book.

There are times I have labored, LABORED, over certain sections of my manuscript. Working, reworking. Reading, rereading. And I think I’ve gotten the thing to a pretty good state. Sometimes even brilliant, if I did say so myself. Then I’ve taken it to my critique group and watched as my writing got shredded. Deservedly so.

How the hoohah did I not see that coming?

Well, I think it’s a phenomenon called “Losing Objectivity Because I Looked At The Thing So Much I Fell In Love With It.” You can get too close to a project and literally be unable to tell where it falls on the quality spectrum. Going over it and over it puts you in danger not only of editing it into oblivion, but also falling so much in love you can’t see your little baby’s warts and wonky teeth and goofy hair.

What I think I am learning is that when we create something it is best to work at it, create it, then leave it. Give it some time to settle, and us some time to disconnect emotionally. Then we can come back and judge it objectively before submitting it to others for review. Leave it. Let it breathe. Look at it with fresh eyes. Save the falling in love for our significant other, you know? Art, as in love, needs to be selfless and somewhat objective to really fly anyway, right?

In the meantime, I can listen to the horrific “O Holy Night” above without being utterly distressed for the guy specifically because I know he’s kidding. His objectivity allows him to create such a thing, and my objectivity allows me to laugh.

Nobody’s objectivity requires me to tell anyone I’ve sung like that before. It’ll just be my little secret.

About Janiel 433 Articles
I have managed to keep the same husband for nearly three decades, and the same four children for almost that long - although one or two of them say it has been much longer. I have been writing since I learned to hold a pencil, and trying to make people laugh even longer. I hope to do some good in the world before I go the way of it. And if not, I'd better at least get to visit Ireland.


  1. we're all shrieking with laughter here. especially the end.

    p.s. personally, i've never sung like that before. ever. really. nope, not me.

  2. I've listened to this every year for 3 years and I am sobbing by the end every time. Dude hits it just right.

    p.s., I know you've never sung like that before, Rob. It's okay. Your secret is safe with me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.