Last night brought American Idol back into my life after a couple of years of separation. It was a beautiful thing. I watched hundreds of people willingly humiliate themselves and saw a few people get what could be a big break in their lives/careers. I used to get a similar rush from watching the Olympics as a kid.
There’s a side of me that enjoys it when figure skaters fall after their big jump. That’s the same side that loves to hear someone sing off-key in front of millions of television viewers. Then there are the beautiful spins and jumps that take years of training to learn. There are singers who just need someone to hear them and know how much talent they have. It’s just wonderful.
You don’t often get to watch people in their big moments. Businessmen make the deal of their lifetime without camera crews around, and big choices are made in private every day. You do get to watch the Olympics live and share a tiny part of the glory or the pain that the athletes are going through.
When I was a little kid, I used to pretend I was a figure skater during their performances. I would dance around the living room while their music played, trying to figure out how on earth I could do a triple Lutz on carpet. My parents probably got pretty annoyed that little munchkin was dancing in front of the tv, but they were nice about it.
Last night as I was singing in the shower, I realized that I was doing the same thing I did all of those years ago. Watching people try for something big made me want to try, too. It made my shower singing at least twice as loud, and my mind was thinking through the odds of making it to Hollywood with a golden ticket. It’s funny what things you hold onto as you get older. I think my odds of getting Simon to say yes are better than my odds to land the triple Lutz, but I’m glad I haven’t lost my ability to hope for ridiculous things. I’m not planning an audition any time soon, but I’m glad just the same.