Why I Love American Idol Part 1: The Breakthrough Point
and why this matters for SparkPeople members
Last Wednesday I took my wife to see the American Idols Live concert. This prompted me to finally write a blog that I've wanted to write for awhile talking about why I love American Idol. As I wrote this, I decided this was so much fun that I'm going to make it a 4-part series with each blog focusing on one contestant.
I've been watching American Idol with my wife since Season 2 Go Ruben! At first, I thought the show was just silly fun/entertainment. But, then I started realizing that American Idol is very applicable to SparkPeople.
"How?" You ask.
The part I like most is that American Idol for the most part (except for some of the silly auditions) is the real deal. The contestants get a real shot to change the course of their lives compressed into a short amount of time.
This is exactly what SparkPeople is about minus the "made for TV" need to compress everything into a very short time period: the challenge of continuing to take positive steps in all areas of life that will lead to a breakthrough that then helps you reach more goals than you may have ever imagined. For example, I'll never forget how one SparkPeople member talked about reaching her goal of becoming a major published author after using SparkPeople. She said, "I never even imagined my life could be like this before SparkPeople."
In our book The Spark ( book.sparkpeople.com/order-now.asp ) we call these Breakthrough Points. We talk about the progression from an Aha Moment (when you first realize something and say "aha!") to a WooHoo Moment (when you take some positive action and want to celebrate) to a Breakthrough Point (when you string together enough positive small steps that lead to something that could truly change your life).
After this realization, one of my favorite parts of watching American Idol became seeing which contestants understood this opportunity and really worked hard each week to make improvements that could lead to breakthroughs. Sometimes early favorites would fade. Other times people who weren't early favorites would end up winning.
I also have to give the show itself great credit this year. After being the #1 show on TV for 9 years, the show still managed to make a brilliant strategic decision this year to have the contestants work with major music producers each week to help mold them into real performers. Brilliant. That type of decision motivates me to continue improving SparkPeople all the time because there are always ways you can improve even when you're already good at something.
This season was clearly the best overall group of any year so the bar was even higher for contestants this year. One of my favorite examples ever of a contestant reaching a Breakthrough Point is Haley Reinhart and she's who I'll focus on with Part 1 of this blog series. Apologies in advance for some of the questionable language in the videos from judge Steven Tyler!
Here is Haley's audition if you'd like to watch:
Early in the season, Haley was in the bottom 3 a few times. She even seemed to have a negative attitude during the results shows and almost seemed resigned that she'd leave the show soon. For some reason she was having trouble putting everything together.
Then, something magic happened and she had a breakthrough. After several performances that landed her in the bottom three, one week she suddenly had a performance that made everyone say, "Whoa that was incredible."
It would be really interesting to know just what happened that led to this Breakthrough Point. Options could include:
1. A natural progression where enough practice and momentum finally naturally led to a Breakthrough Point
2. Haley could have really challenged herself to turn things around and reach her potential realizing that this was such an opportunity for her
3. Someone else family, friends, someone connected to the show including one of the guest stars could have challenged her to reach her potential
4. Some combination of these variables.
Below is the video of the performance. Notice what Jimmy says challenging her in the practice was that the spark? Haley if you ever read this give us a shout and let us know and we'll interview you!
Whatever it was, it was clear that the two minutes of this performance likely changed Haley's life forever. She went on to do several amazing performances including arguably one of the best performances ever on the show with her Led Zeppelin song where her real Dad played guitar how cool is that?
Here is that performance. Another trait from Haley that we can all follow is determination. She got turned away last year when trying out for American Idol and notice the determination in this video when she falls down and then fights through that:
There is a chance that none of this would have happened if she hadn't had that breakthrough. This is something we should all keep in mind as we work hard to reach our goals. There might be a Breakthrough Point just around the corner. So we should keep pushing ourselves and be open to outside motivation to reach this breakthrough.
Here's another favorite from this season the Haley and Casey duet (they did this live at the concert):
Haley's live performance at the concert this week was stunning. Even my wife who wasn't her fan at first said Haley had the best performances of the girls at the show. I honestly think she's one of the best singers I've ever seen in person.
I'm not being biased with this because I actually was rooting for James Durbin and Scotty McCreery just as much Lauren too. Seems like all four have a chance to be real superstars and maybe even others.
The point of all of this is to challenge everyone reading this. YOU can reach Breakthrough Points in your life just like anyone on TV. TV is fine in moderation just like almost everything else. But the key is to really live your own life and reach your potential so you can have your own amazing experiences. Those experiences can include your career, being the best parent possible, or anything else. We all have the chance to be a star in our own lives.
I know it can be frustrating to put in the work every day to build that positive momentum, but it really can be worth it and lead to you reaching more goals than you might realize in all areas of your life.
Even better: we get to support and motivate each other along the way in the SP community.
Stay tuned! I'll focus on at least 3 other contestants from this year in this series to see what we can learn from them.
What are you doing to reach a Breakthrough Point in your life?
PS By popular demand, here is a video of her performances at the concert (this isn't our city, but close). She did Benny and the Jets and House of the Rising Sun.