Over the past several years, I have avoided the American Idol craze. I freely confess that I’m a fuddy-duddy when it comes to what I think qualifies as “talented” and “gifted”. In my humble opinion, many of those “winners” were there only because they could sing the loudest, longest, strongest, etc. It didn’t necessarily translate to what I enjoy listening to – plus the fact that they never include instrumentalists of any kind! My daughters, on the other hand, have all become so obsessed with Idol that it almost became a joke on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings to see whose fingers were the fastest at text-messaging their votes into the Idol counting system.
I have also long known that Brits as well as Europeans cherish and honor talent, continuing to remember and acknowledge talented artists long after Americans have forgotten their existence, and truly recognizing musical talent in ordinary individuals, not just someone with a hyped existence as a “celebrity”. While we have a “talent-of-the-month” or week or day here in the States, folks on the other side of the “big pond” are more apt to think long-term, and they don’t exalt one form of talent over all others. (Which “American Idol” does, in my opinion). They recognize and enjoy talents in all kinds of shapes, forms, and fashions, and tonight I saw very clear evidence of this on Youtube.com.
Posted below is the quarterfinal vocal offering of one Paul Potts, an English mobile-phone salesman (cellphone salesman), who simply enjoys singing. According to Paul, his voice is his best friend and, many times as a child, made the days at school much easier to bear after being picked on because he was *different*. It’s amusing to watch the changes in the judges’ faces as they listen to this man with the magnificent voice and the heart of a lion – he simply loves to create music, to do what he was “born to do”. The audience went *nuts*! Many were in tears, listening to him. All I can say is “BRAVO, PAUL!”
And, just so you won’t be left wondering, he *did* make it to the finals which will be decided this Sunday! Go, Paul!