Hollywood Swingin’ Is Back!

So here I am 
In this Hollywood city
The city of the stars, movies, women and cars
Well I guess I
I guess I

I’ve been asked many times why Idol has created so much success for its contestants and The Voice so little. I have a long list of reasons why but one of the most significant of those is PROCESS. Idol’s process is something many successful Idolists, e.g. Adam Lambert, have pointed to as contributing to their post-Idol success. The most important part of that process is the boot camp nature of Hollywood Week, which is an intense, simulated experience of what it takes to become a successful recording and performing artist.

First, it shows you what you are up against. You are no longer a solitary dreamer but one of 169 other very talented dreamers that are now your competitors. And your first step in that competition is to perform in front of the other 168 and show them all why you deserve to go on to the next round over many of them. In the art side of music you make songs. In the business side of music you compete for a record deal; compete for support from the label; compete for a spot on a tour; compete for a spot on the radio, and so on – against countless others competing for the same things. Round One of Hollywood Week gives the Idolists a small taste of what it is going to be like to compete for the career they’ve dreamed about.

If you’re good enough to get through that first step, you get the “pleasure” of moving on to the next round – right away with no time for rest. Group Round is that next step. As Lionel Ritchie said, “Talent is great. Relationships are better. NO ONE makes it in this business alone. You got to come together.” I live for Group Round. Tears and stress and tiredness and hangriness and sleeplessness and cray-cray Mother Bear moms and wanna be divas and the uber-scary vocal coach who has no time for your incompetence and lets you know that.

Group Round tests your physical stamina and psychological perseverance. It tests your ability to work under pressure, especially time pressure. It tests your creativity and your ability to go outside your comfort zone. Finally, it also tests your ability and willingness to work collaboratively with others. While the latter is crucial, all of the others are necessary skills in the business, and by the business, I mean the industry.

The survivors of that round go on to the Solo Performance round of Hollywood Week, which we will see on Sunday. This will be your last chance to compete against the most successful of your peer group. You want to be a star? Then perform well under pressure. You get one shot to impress the judges and get one of those coveted Top 24 spots. One shot to show that you’re truly among the best of the best.

Hollywood Week is what has always set Idol apart. Hollywood Week is a big reason why so many Idolists have gone on to become successful artists. And I am here for all of it.

Oh, and some people sang tonight, too!! I’m just going to rattle off several noteworthy names in case we see some them again and I am quite sure we will: Alyssa, Caleb, Maddie, Johnny, Jurnee (a current favorite, subject to change, of course), Dominique, Kay Kay, Ada, Kaitlinn, Lee. And the five people in the group “God’s Diversity” who took Clean Bandit’s Rather Be right straight to church. Deacons, pass the offering plates.

See you next week. In the meantime, I hope you listen to some good music. I know I will.


[1] Hollywood Swinging by Kool and the Gang

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