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Why are the careers of male Idol contestants so easily destroyed?

October 18, 2008

One poster made a particularly excellent comment regarding my last post. I followed up with a particularly lengthy one myself. Some people may not want to surf through the comments threads so I thought I would make these easy reading to anyone that bothers reading my silly little blog — especially because they address a lot of the stuff that’s been debated here over the past month.

Enjoy.

From Lil Lulu:

If no one minds, I’d like to rerail this derailed thread, because I think the topic of stalking is actually really important. I believe that fans of the Idols are more prone to this than fans of musicians, actors, etc. who didn’t get their fame by appearing in our living rooms week after week.

I’m really bothered that these women, old enough to know better, would, under any stretch of the imagination, think it’s okay to go to Jason’s church. That. Is. Stalking. All stalking is bad, though, admittedly, some is worse. But, if you are so devoid of any sense of boundaries that you’d actually go into a church to scout out the object of your idolatry, then I have no faith that you won’t, someday, take it one step further.

Look2thesky, so as not to be accused of ignoring you, I’m appalled that you’d actually use the tired old, “If it brings them to God, then it’s all good” argument. That’s passive-aggressive crap – with all due respect, of course. You don’t encourage people to do something that is wrong (and stalking is wrong) and potentially harmful to others (stalking.) That’s not how you bring people to God.

For those who truly don’t know, here’s some guidelines:

What’s NOT stalking:

a. attending a concert
b. attending a sanctioned Meet & Greet
c. attending a sanctioned after party
d. you happen to run into them in public by accident (in line at the airport, for example) and acknowledge that you are a fan of their work, and would they mind giving you an autograph if it’s not too much trouble. After you get the autograph, you leave them the fuck alone.

What IS stalking:

a. Hanging out in a hotel lobby, casino, airport, mall because you know there’s a chance your “beloved” might happen to pass through
b. Going to their neighborhood
c. Sitting in a restaurant or bar for hours because you know there’s a chance your beloved might show up
d. Going to their hometown because you know you might just run into them on the street
e. Going to their church.

Seriously, people. Just leave these kids alone! Buy their CD. Attend their concerts. But, quit with the obsessive desire to get to know and be a part of their lives. In other words, respect Jason’s privacy. Actually, that would probably be the one gift Jason would truly appreciate.

Very insightful. I think this sums up the reasons why so much of Castro’s fan behavior is completely wrong, while helping lead into a larger discussion of why the majority of Idol fandoms tend to ignore boundaries and engage in a bunch of other dreadful behavior which does nothing but hurt the object of their complete and utter devotion when it comes to earning any amount of industry crediblity and respect.

I posted this comment as a response to Lil Lulu’s insightful words. I wanted to repost it as a blog entry. This isn’t about me patting myself on the back. Not at all. But I think it sums up a lot of the discussion regarding overzealous fandoms and why they end up doing little good when all is said and done.

Lil Lulu, Thank you. You rock.

Yes, this thread did get derailed.

Stalking is a serious issue and especially with Idol, fans do not seem to understand their boundaries. They think, because these people were seemingly turned into celebrities right before their very eyes and they become so invested with them from week to week, voting, finding other fans and “squeeing” with them via online message boards, et al, that they have some sort of “rights” to them.

If you think about the amount of contestants who have achieved respectability in the industry after the show is over, have you ever wondered why many of the females have faired much better? None of the men have even come close to experiencing the kind of careers enjoyed by Kelly Clarkson, Farmbot (I’ve never been a fan), Jennifer Hudson, and even that inept moron Pickler. Jordin Sparks’ releases from her first album have been successful. They’re on the radio all the time. The only male contestant who has even come close to this is Chris Daughtry. One person, who has kind of come close, but has still only released one album. (He will also be appearing on CSI in November, I read earlier this week.)

Wonder why the males don’t achieve the kind of success the females do? Maybe its their overbearing fanbases. Everyone knows who Clay Aiken is because of the CLAYMATES, sure his denials of being gay helped solidify the regular appearance in gossip blogs and the ilk, but this became something people talked about because, in part, of his fanbase and how many of these (mostly) older women just loved him and would defend him against any gay rumors. It was all quite amusing, wasn’t it?

With all the infighting, stalking, gift giving, et al, the women who follow these YOUNG men around and tell all the “hatahs” to frak off, they’re doing nothing but completely derailing the careers of these kids they claim to care so much about. They alienate other fans and drive them away, and their behavior at shows or other public events make it difficult for any recording exec to take these people seriously. You think these people have no idea what kind of fans come with these Idol contestants after 7 seasons. Ha.

It’s always difficult to escape the Idol stigma. Frankly, it’s a top-rated show, but it’s cheesy reality TV that RARELY, if ever, offers anything new in terms of music. Contestants are performing other artists’ songs. On a cheesy reality television program which is essentially karaoke with a full band.

Its hard for executives to take them seriously after they appear on the show…do you think it helps when there are middle-aged women acting like teenagers and buying them expensive gifts, following them from city to city and trying to demand their attention at each meet & greet?

No amount of independent “street teaming”, merchandise or constant MySpace plays (This does NOTHING anymore because the amount of software available making it possible for musicians to increase their play numbers — common knowledge…don’t you think an abnormal amount of MySpace plays would also make people suspect the number as being completely bogus and not indicative of someone’s actual popularity? It’s MySpace, for chrissake!) is going to turn Castro or Cook or Archie or Johns or anyone else into an solid international music star. Not when their “fans” continue this sort of behavior.

It just might be something to think about if you’re planning on heading to his church with the hopes of running into him during one of the services. Because I would bet oh, $1100, perhaps that all the Castro fans out there who claim they just want to see the church, they’re going to show up for the 9:30 service. And the Castro family will not be there. So they will also stay for the 11:30 service in order to see them. I’m sure their reasoning will be something like, oh we just enjoyed the pastor’s sermon SOOO much that we had to stay for the second service in order to really embrace the lord’s word.

I’ll even wager extra money someone snaps a few covert photos.

And that sort of behavior is just wrong.

In case you were wondering, Mama Castro seems just tickled that her son’s fans will attend Sunday services, she’s even told their pastor. Granted, the Lake Point Church seats 5000 (Because the only way you can get close to Christ is with 4999 other people and a THX sound system), so many fans are saying, even if you were just going to see the Castros, chances are you won’t anyway.

Sorry. Don’t buy it. If you’re going to stalk some dude and his family at any sized venue, you’re going to be seeking him out and constantly scanning the area. Oh. And the dude has a full-head of DREADS. Brother and future AI contestant Michael had a Flock of Seagulls-inspired haircut doused in Manic Panic. Safe to say they certainly are not going to blend into the crowd at an Evangelical church in the suburbs of Dallas, Texas.

Another poster, Mcbama, made also lends credence to a lot of the above discussion:

To me, a fan builds up the celebrity and encourages fans. Why would someone who claims to be a fan spend so much time and effort tearing down the rest of the fan base who doesn’t do things the way they think they shoud. Your words here speak volumes about your general attitude and I see them as a problem for the fan base in general. I posted here a few days ago about getting back to the subject and was totally ignored. Is that because I’m a younger fan and the older ones want to get rid of me like you claim is happening on other sites? There is so much talk about what happened in the past and what you think is going to happen in the future. The past can’t be changed and the future is uncertain to everyone. Those of you who think you know what will happen at the church or the radio play when the CD is released are guessing at best and it seems you are hoping things go bad so you can say “I told you so.” Sometimes you have to forgive and forget. How about hoping for the best for Jason and his fans? Working together? Supporting each other? If you are as concerned about his future, why don’t you stop the criticizing and see what positive things you can do? WHAT is that all about? This behavior is just as bad and shameful as what you seem to be blaming others for and you need to take the responsibility for it. Please open your eyes and see what you are doing to the fan base. Try to help it, not tear it down. Jason deserves that.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Paloma permalink
    October 23, 2008 10:35 pm

    You are so ridiculous! The Castro’s have never been about fame and money. They just happen to be a very open hospitable latin family. A bit naive, perhaps. And as for them putting restrictions on who attends their church, well that would be ridiculous, it’s a public place. And how do you even know they will be there! They are not stupid! They have church services on different days, times and even online!

  2. omg permalink
    October 21, 2008 2:41 pm

    whats u[

  3. Liz permalink
    October 20, 2008 2:06 pm

    I’ll contribute. I’m an Archie fan, and I’m aware you can’t stand him. Well, I like him. I think he’s a nice kid and has a great voice. I read your harsh racaps about him through the season, but unlike other fans, I understand that you are just one person, and you are entitled to your own opinion. And i still like your blog, so I read your posts.

    Anyway, I never go on fan sites anymore. They’re pretty much all nuts, and it has been very frustrating trying to talk sense into them. The idol fandom thing is very fascinating to me. I mean, it seems like everyone is crazy. I read a recap where a middle-aged lady kissed Archie’s neck because “she couldn’t help it”, and nobody called her out. There’s been a bunch of people who traveled across the country to meet him like four times, and of course, there’s the morons who not only give gifts to David, but also his evil stage dad, Jeff.

    The stalking is ridiculous. I don’t understand why they have to meet him. I mean, I’ve been a fan of tons of musicians before, and I’ve gone to concerts. Not once have I thought, “I have to get an autograph, a picture, a hug, and a 5 minute conversation.” Watching them perform and listening to the CD is good for me. These fans are so demanding and overbearing- they can really put alot of pressure on their idol. I mean, look at Clay- his fans were a major reason why he took so long to come out of the closet. I’m pretty sure Clay hates his “fans” at this point- he doesn’t even defend them anymore.

    When I was still on the archie fan sites, I tried telling them that instead of stalking him across the country, hating on cook, and fighting off gay rumors, they should actually try to help his career. And by helping him, I mean vote for his video on vh1 and mtv. Stream his songs on AOL. Request and vote for his songs on the radio stations. If they’re going to obsess over him, they should at least try to be productive, and not act like crazy stalkers who scare all the new fans away. Of course, I was totally ignored.

    As for Castro, they just need to leave him alone. When he gets a record deal, and starts releasing singles they can try to help him. I just don’t see how stalking Castro helps his career. It’s painfully obvious that they just want to get into his pants.

  4. MrPink permalink
    October 19, 2008 5:07 pm

    Boy, you can practically hear the sound of crickets chirping down here in the comments!

    That’s what usually happens when reasonable arguments are presented. Nicely put, topidol (and the other posters who contributed).

  5. HAA HAA permalink
    October 18, 2008 8:37 pm

    Fame and money, that’s all they want

  6. Lana permalink
    October 18, 2008 2:36 pm

    What is so disturbing to me is that Mrs. Castro is encouraging this behavior. I don’t think she realizes how unsafe this is for Jason and how this could be a potential problem in the future.There are some real nuts out there and there should be some boundaries set. With the family encouraging this, where will people draw the line? Next thing you know,they will be showing up at the Castro’s doorstep. What will Betsey do then, invite them all in for tea? This really concerns me because it is putting Jason in an uncomfortable position. I’ll never forget what happened to that singer Selena. Her family was way too trusting of that “fan” and look what happened.His family needs to set some boundaries NOW and stop being so chummy with these strangers. It’s not safe.I am starting to get the impression that Jason’s family is more into the fame then he is. 😦

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