O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. Psalm 95:1-3 (KJV)
There’s a lot of buzz going on in my circle of friends about American Idol these days. One of tonight’s performers is friends with a girl in our church and has sung in our worship services. I used to be hooked on American Idol. Six years ago while I was on bed rest for a broken vertebrae in my neck, Simon, Randy and Paula became my friends as I lay there with nothing to do but watch TV. Over the years, I gradually weaned myself away from American Idol, and now, only tune in close to the grand finale. One of the reasons I stay away is because of the judge’s hurtful comments to people who are totally convinced that they can sing. It hits too close to home for me. When I was growing up, I took piano and then, flute lessons. I played hand bells and sang in church choirs and ensembles. I also performed solos in church. In that tight knit community, I was a star, and I relished the attention and praise my musical abilities earned. Though still in high school, I took voice lessons from an instructor at our local community college which earned me college credits and elevated my standing in my own mind and that of my peers. I entered vocal competitions and went to state where I sang Italian arias and portions of Handel’s Messiah. I was hot stuff. Until I went to college. There, thankfully, I had already determined my career path in history and figured singing would just be a hobby. My college roommate was a vocal performance major and therefore had an instant group of friends who befriended me as well. They encouraged me to try out for the university choir. Away from my secure environment and familiar accompanist, I totally bombed the audition. While the selection committee did not treat me like Simon Cowell and smiled pleasantly, I knew I had failed and felt humiliated. I did not make the choir, but the story turned out alright because I threw myself into other campus activities that were more suited to my talents and needs and ended up winning many accolades far from the music building. But, still it stung and if I allowed it to, would still sting today. So, that is why I cringe when these people who have been loved and admired in their own little world think that they can make it all the way to Hollywood. The bright lights reveal more than musical abilities but insecurities and fears and a life built on dreams. That said, I would ask you to vote for one of those dreamers tonight. His name Is Ricky Braddy. He has not been featured on any of their video clips or stories, but he is from North Carolina, lives in Nashville and has a beautiful voice. Tonight, please dial his number as many times as you can and help a really nice guy make it on to the next level.