Volume 97, Issue 2
Thursday, May 29, 2003

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A day in the life of an Idol

The Lone Star
Dallas Curow
Photo Editor

The introduction of reality music shows such as Popstars and American Idol has presented North American audiences with the opportunity to chase dreams of fame.

When auditions arrive in Canadian cities, superstar hopefuls flock to find out if they have what it takes to make the cut. The Canadian Idol phenomenon drew ten thousand people to Toronto alone on Monday.

The chosen few, who producers believe possess "star potential," continue on to compete for a chance at international fame. This concept is a dream come true for hardcore Christina, Justin or even Avril wannabes. On the other hand, it creates a moral dilemma for other genres of aspiring musicians.

Singers who have classical training, or just a strong aversion to the pop industry, may see this as "selling out." At the same time, they may see it as a foot in the door of the music industry.

To set the scene: lining up for hours, surrounded by girls in pleather and guys doused in cologne. Behind you, off-key renditions of Britney songs strain through the air. To your left, a girl is sobbing "I want this sooooooo bad!" into a reporter's microphone.

Inevitably, by mid-afternoon, makeup starts to melt off faces and coifed hair begins wilting. All the contestants eye each other suspiciously. A spandex-clad stylist comes at you, oozing hair gel in your direction.

You eat a bagged lunch and you wait. And wait some more. Just when you want to pack up your musical aspirations, there is the moment of redemption. While waiting in the large theatre, surrounded by five hundred others, you hear people warming up their voices. Soon the sound spreads and everyone is doing it.

Together, you jokingly sing everything from Elvis to Neil Diamond. Before long, the tense atmosphere begins to dissipate, and everyone remembers why they came in the first place. You all love music. Period.

Some people choose to risk it and go to the audition, while others stay at home and laugh at people when the show airs. The concept of packaging a band may be distasteful, but contestants are not motivated by a slim chance at fame as they are by a genuine love for performing. With Canadian Idol, the country will choose a winner they feel possesses talent and charisma. As a musician, I respect anyone willing to take a chance. May the best contestant win.

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