How to be a Pro
I’m not ashamed to admit I watch American Idol. Frankly, I came to the show after the glory years, but it’s mindless entertainment that Nancy and I enjoy watching.
I particularly enjoyed the few years I saw Simon Cowell as judge because even though he could be mean, at least he was fairly honest in his appraisals. Contrast that with the Steven Tylers of the world who seemed to thing everyone was a STAR.
The show has taken a turn for the better, though, with the addition of Harry Connick, Jr. He’s the definition of a pro and while I can’t say I’m a fan of his music or movies (I really haven’t listened or watched enough to form an opinion), he brings so many things to the table, it’s hard not to admire the guy.
What do I like?
1. He’s self-deprecating. Look, the guy is a star. Maybe not in the J-Lo orbit, but definitely a star. Yet he never acts that way. In fact, he acts like the kind of guy you’d want to share a beer with. Unlike judges on other shows, it’s not about him.
2. He’s honest. If he likes you, he says so. If not, he says that too. He’s not there to get you to like HIM, but rather to give honest feedback. Right there, that puts him above any other judge on TV.
3. He knows his craft. I get the sense from a lot of singers that they’ve never actually studied music. Or music history. They don’t know different genres, techniques, or have the ability to differentiate talent from glitz. Connick is different, though: you can tell he’s studied music even outside his niche. He wants contestants not just to be good entertainers, but good singers. There’s a difference that I’m not sure most judges grasp.
Now, there are other aspects of being a pro, I can’t judge. I don’t know if Connick works hard, gets along with his fellow judges, or secretly has a big ego.
I can only judge on what I see, and in that light, I wish there were more Harry Connick’s in entertainment, politics, sports, and well, everything.