Love it or hate it, American Idol has made an indelible mark on pop culture. It is eerie to see it’s resemblance to our industry. What began as a low budget high risk endeavor, became a phenomenon that brought generations of people together. The show provided people an opportunity in a cut-throat business.
As this iconic show now draws to a close, it’s interesting to see how the success of American Idol closely resembles that of those in our business. Catering has little barrier to entry. One can begin by running a business out of their home. Make the right impression on the right “judges” at the right time and you get your first big break. Some toil for years to learn their craft waiting to be discovered. Others are young “phenoms” whose timing is impeccable and get a crash course in real life lessons.
The success of the show is rooted in relationships. The success of the contestants was built on their ability to connect with their “customers” who voted for them to return each week. Sometimes the pubic had good judgment and other times, those voted off used the experience to create their own opportunities. The historic ratings were always a result of the talent and their stories. When the attention strayed from the talent and their relationship with the public and to the judges the show’s success faltered.
Kelly Clarkston showed this year that those with talent, who work hard, remain passionate and continue to connect with their “customers” avoid becoming flash in the pans. Those who showed emotions and challenged the status quo while respecting those who came before won favor of the judges and fans.
History will remember American Idol for the moments it created over 15 years. Those snippets of time where you forgot everything. Those windows of time when time stops. Whether it was something new, fresh and innovative or a song that evoked memories of days gone by the show provided an opportunity to get lost in a moment. Much like many of the events we cater.