Friday, April 8, 2011

American Idol Facebook fanbase

While searching for the actual vote tally, I checked out the FOX network's website for American Idol. From the Contestants page, I clicked through to each one's Facebook page. Here are the fanbase results as of 4:00am EDT (USA) for the remaining 8 contestants:

8. Haley Reinhart                 9,133
7. Jacob Lusk                       9,900
6. Stefano Langone             12,063
5. Lauren Alaina                 14,409*
4. Paul McDonald               17,034
3. Casey Abrams                 22,708
2. James Durbin                  25,131
1. Scotty McCreery          54,230
(* Lauren Alaina has multiple pages dedicated to her. Only the fan count on the contestants' pages linked to the official FOX site are used for comparison.)

There could be a trend here?

American Idol: show some respect!

I can't believe I have been sucked into the pop culture craze of Fox Television's "American Idol!" It's true, my home state has a Top 8 contender, but I usually don't take much notice of reality TV or game shows. My friends, however, are avid fans!

In this week's elimination, Pia Toscano was sent home. She didn't win this week's popularity contest... for whatever the reason(s). That is sad for Pia, because she is a gorgeous, talented young woman, and I believe she could have gone farther in the competition. In the end, though, someone had to get the least votes. Someone HAD to be at the bottom. Ryan Seacrest never fails each week to tell us which three contestants received the lowest number of votes (without actually telling us the number of votes received, which I find irritating, because I am a "numbers person").

Okay, so Pia got the short stick this week, and Stefano Langone is "safe." The crowd boo-ed loudly when the results were given. I agree, Pia sings well! What message does that convey to Stefano? He and Pia are standing waiting on the verdict, and he is "safe," and the crowd boos? Wow! I am glad I am not Stefano!

Forget Pia for a moment (sorry, sweetie)! There was a 50/50 shot here and the crowd vehemently cried out against the result. Do you think Stefano's release would have prompted a similar response? I wonder. I wonder what was going through his mind as he listened to the boos as he walked to greet his friends at the "safe couch?" Wow!

People, listen up! If it matters to you, then vote for your favorite. You don't have a favorite? Vote for the one(s) you think performed the best, and vote more than once! My friend and I stayed on the phone the whole two hours voting over and over for our favorites. Someone will come in last. With millions of votes nationwide, there is a greater chance a meteor will fall through your roof than there be a tie for the bottom of the heap on American Idol next week (8 contestants remaining).

Vote, and be considerate of the "runner up." Showing disappointment for Pia's leaving was expected, but you hurt Stefano in the process. Be considerate. Think about the other people involved and show some respect!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Why don't you participate?

I don't understand something: why won't people speak up? In particular, why don't students speak up in class? Oh, I understand the fear of giving an incorrect response in front of your snickering peers. Really, I do. You want to be certain of your answer so you aren't embarrassed. Sure!

I challenge you for a moment. Think of the instructor or speaker who has just asked for class participation and NO ONE responds. Not even with a wrong answer. The speaker wonders if anyone is listening or cares about the subject they are passionately trying to convey! It is interesting to me that small children are eager to share their thoughts and ideas when prompted, yet as we age, and are ridiculed by our peers, we become silent and passive learners; we are afraid of each other. Not much better, is the situation when one student voices an idea and others jump on the bandwagon with the pressure removed for them to formulate an idea of their own.

Now think of your classmates... the snickering ones, in particular... those who do not share thoughts and ideas, even the incorrect ones, with the class. You see, even an incorrect response to an open question is a teaching moment. If you offer an answer that is not 'spot on,' at least two things happen:
(1) A silent student supposed the same wrong response and would have gone home not knowing the right information if you had kept silent, and
(2) now the speaker (teacher) will correct you out loud, thereby teaching the whole group how to arrive at the correct answer. I would bet you are likely to remember the right answer when you are publicly corrected!

This is learning. We learn by making mistakes and finding out why our answer was not optimal, then fixing it. It is advantageous to make a mistake in the presence of a mentor or instructor (someone who can show us how to avoid the same mistake in the future). So, SPEAK UP EVEN IF YOU ARE UNSURE! Those who ridicule you are, IMHO, relieved that you spoke up with the wrong answer, because possibly they thought it, too, but were afraid of being wrong. Make the effort. Your instructors will appreciate your participation and attempt at showing interest in the subject matter.