What American Idol 2 Contestants Probably… Um… Don’t Really Need to Knowby David Bloomberg & Sting7 -- 01/21/2003
Over on Foxes On Idol, advice was posted earlier today on What American Idol 2 Contestants Need to Know in order to make it into the final 10 and then to become the American Idol. In putting that article full of serious advice together, we came upon other pieces of advice that may be of some use to contestants. We would probably consider these a second tier of advice for those who really need it. Some of the items here are serious, while others… not so much (okay, most fall into that latter category). Let’s take a look.
Change Your Name
This piece of advice has two parts. First, make sure you have a name that can be repeated three times and sounds cool. For example, "Kelly, Kelly, Kelly" is cool. "Hezekiah, Hezekiah, Hezekiah" is not. Also, if you change your name to anything with the initials “R” and “J,” you’ll definitely get Randy’s vote. Hell, why not go all the way and just change your name to Randy Jackson?
Make the Right Friends
Now is the time to make friends with the geeks with whom you wouldn't ordinarily share oxygen. They may have access to, or know somebody who has access to, an auto-dialer.
If you’re attractive, you can get away with just about anything. Forgot the words to the song? Don’t worry about it – you’re good-looking. Sound horrible? No problem, just flirt with the teenage boys/girls in the viewing audience. And if you can make a judge cry, you’re golden.
In order to help you be attractive, take the time to go the Gap/Limited/Structure/wherever and let the manager pick your outfits. They will appreciate the challenge and you won't have to endure hazy criticism like, "You don't LOOK like an Idol."
Also, time to work on the sit-ups. Abs are everywhere. They seem like a requirement for the top thirty. So, if you don't have a discernable six-pack, get down there! Mush!
Set Off Metal Detectors
Nikki got by because of her “look,” which included the tongue piercing. But this time, one little hole won’t cut it. You will need to have a head full of metal (braces don’t count) in order to stand out. Get nose rings, ears full of holes, lip studs, nipple rings, navel piercings, and anything else you can show on TV. If you’re brave, you can connect ‘em all with chains. Just don’t move around too much while singing unless you can jingle them in tune.
Keep Your Mouth Shut, But Smile
Remember that the world is watching you. If you say stupid things like EJay did regarding the whole age controversy, they may come back to haunt you. So keep safe by just not saying anything. Of course, even then EJay came off as pompous, so you need to keep an overall eye on the way you deal with everything. Some people felt Tamyra was aloof as well, so you still need to smile, wave, and pretend to like the audience and make them feel like you are their best friend.
Don’t Get Caught Lying
Speaking of the age controversy, if you’re going to lie about your age, stick to it and burn all evidence to the contrary. Don’t do something stupid like, say, asking to sing a song that you wrote and registered under your real Social Security Number! It reminds me (David) of when I was in college at a convention with other students, and one guy borrowed an ID to hit the bars. Problem was, the dummy was still wearing his badge from the convention. Needless to say, the bouncers didn’t fall for the fake ID.
Reset the Curve
Many people judge American Idol contestants on a curve. If you were doing just okay early on but then come out and steadily get better until you blow people away, you will get more attention and more votes. Mind you, it takes a brave person to do this, because you have to first and foremost make sure you make it past those early rounds. But it worked for Kelly, so maybe it can work for you. Bonus points awarded if you can get Simon to admit he doesn’t even remember you, as he said to Kelly.
Don’t Listen to Your Friends – They Will Lie to You
Your friends are your friends, so they want to be encouraging. This immediately disqualifies them as critics. So, when they tell you that you sound just like Mary J. Blige, don't listen. If you really want to test yourself, get as gussied up as you dare, head to the mall, climb on the giant planter in front of the Cinnabun or the Sbarro's, and sing your lungs out. If a crowd gathers and claps or sings along, start practicing your autograph. If booing or laughing ensues... you know what that means. Time to get those piercings instead.
Remember: You Love the Competition
It was so kumbaya in the rounds of ten, wasn't it? When Tamyra was singing for the judges and they in turn showered her with rose petals, the other nine were thinking to themselves, "She's so talented! I LOVE her!"
Horse-hockey. What they were really thinking was probably closer to a Tamika diatribe. But, that's all "inner." The "outer" you must be love-love-love! Think about it this way, America really loves to have a villain. You get into a hiss-fest with someone and you could be this year's Nikki McKibbin! And, no, that’s not meant to encourage you to try to get third place via this route!
A Good Sob Story Never Hurts
So much of your success is riding on whether America likes you. A good sob story could put you in America's good graces right away. Jim Verraros seems like a really sweet guy. But we'd never know that if we didn't know that both of his parents are hearing impaired. Simon calls it the sympathy vote. Whatever works. Try some practice tragedies on strangers and see if you get anyone to well-up. Note: If you don’t actually have a good story, like Jim did, find a tragedy that can't be researched, like your pet ferret died in a fire at the hall of records.
Cry on Cue
Used during a particularly touching song, tears are effective at making Paula cry – and others as well. Remember that pinching a nasal hair or using sweet oil produces very realistic tears if you are unable to otherwise fake ‘em on the spot.
Avoid Your Final Show
If you find out you are getting the boot that night, faint before the show. That way you avoid the embarrassment of having to sing while everybody knows you lost.
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