Attn: American Idols: The Five Temptations of Overnight Fame

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Life is wonderful thing.

You’ve seen every episode of Entourage so you know how show business works. You’re Vincent Chase with a microphone.

You’ve participated in every interview on MTV from your bedroom for as long as you can remember, and you’ve won the previous eight seasons of American Idol in a landslide from that place in your head that puts you in the same category as Britney, Christina, and Justin.

And now your hand hurts from signing your name on photos of you. Two months ago, you were rocking your friends’ world on Rock Band. Now you’re signing autographs backstage to people who know your name, where you were born and what you’re favorite food is. However, now that you’re on American Idol, you must watch out for the temptations that can’t be learnt from the safe side of a television screen.

1. Drugs (not necessarily recreational)
Sleeping four hours a night for weeks on end will catch up with you. A little pill will bring you up every morning. And a little pill will bring you back down at night. Drawing deep into the competition, you need to be on your game at the right moment and these little pills may help … but they will not be your friends for much longer.

2. Human Entertainment
You will be tempted to sleep with minor celebrities, models, producers, and fellow contestants who “know what it’s like to be in your shoes.” The unglamorous girl or boy back home who works on Saturdays at the Dairy Queen or bowling alley will never climb over the top of you to appear in the spotlight with you.

3. Fame
You’ve accumulated over 2000 friends on Facebook within three hours, and every day there is another fan page on the internet dedicated to you. Fame is posing for photos with fans at the mall. Fame is also talking to security experts who used to work for the President.

4. Fans
America may love you but they love American Idol more. Plan for when you don’t have the muscle of America’s most watched television to thrust your talents front and center.

5. Believe everything you hear, read and feel
You are living in a vortex that has eaten stronger people than you. Even Scooby Doo and his gang of teenage cartoons cannot figure out how fame became so insanely disassociated from actual achievement—but what do you care, you’re benefitting. Reality shows do bite, and often quite pleasurably … but in the end, what may feel right now is often wrong given what’s best for your long-term financial, artistic, and psychological health.

The Producer has just tapped you on the shoulder. It’s time to sign your last autograph and jump into yet another limo. You have been preparing for overnight fame your entire life and now that you’ve seen what temptations lay before you, it is only now a matter of turning your fifteen minutes into something much, much more.



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