I guess by now many of you have either read on the internet, or heard through the grapevine, that Phillip Phillips is the official winner of this season of American Idol (AI). This means that Jessica Sanchez, the new poster girl for Pinoy Pride, came in second.
First off, let us congratulate Jessica Sanchez. Even just being in the finals, she is already considered a winner. That enormous singing voice, that raw power, that is what made the judges’, and apparently a lot of other people’s, jaw drop. More than once. On the other hand, what ultimately may have led to her loss, and her near elimination a few weeks back, was that she wasn’t connecting with the audience, nor did they feel that they could agree with her song selection.
A friend of mine brought up a very good point: Phillip Philips was more likely to win, primarily because he had never been in the bottom three at any one time. Apparently, the audience liked his style of presenting himself; his goof ball style was a hit with many female fans.
Even if Jessica did not win, the judges, and a lot of other established artists in the States have already recognized her powerful voice and technical prowess. She is already guaranteed a recording career; successful or not, only time will tell.
But enough about the contestants. What should this turn of events mean for the Filipino? I can summarize it in two words: absolutely nothing. Given the Pinoy’s rather pathetic learning curve, what do we expect the country to learn from this? Again, I can summarize it in two words: absolutely nothing.
I see on both my Twitter feeds and FB posts that there are still a few who are trying to distract themselves from the reality of the loss by saying things like “Jessica is now the new world idol”. Or something to the effect of “Jessica Sanchez is more popular in the world; Phillip Phillips is popular only in the US.” Hello? As if Jessica’s loss is the end of the world! There’s a reason it’s called American Idol; because the Americans decide.
There was even a segment on TV Patrol, according to a post in the Facebook GRP community, that showed a Fil-Am being interviewed and asking for a recount of votes. From there I also got a link to TV5’s report, and a ridiculous write-up from that petty, gossiping hen party tabloid sheet called Rappler.com.
In the TV5 article, the reportage is not the highlight; scroll down to the comments section, and you will find that some of them cried “SABOTAGE”. The Rappler write-up, on the other hand, is yet another example of the Pinoy tendency to focus on the irrelevant, droll, and lilliputian (petty) things. Charge of the idiot brigade, redux.
And once again, this brandishing of “Pinoy Pride”, this attachment of the entire Pinoy people to the individual success of someone who has some semblance of Filipino blood: Pinoys lose in RL (real life), and until they stop doing it, they will consistently lose.
Let me try to say it as simple as I can for any stupid morons left who have not accepted the result yet: grow up, get a life, and get over it.
Jessica Sanchez did not show what Pinoys are capable of, she showed what Jessica Sanchez is capable of. Whether Pinoys offered prayers or whatever or performed the flying voter dance through Skype, none of it would have mattered. She is thankful for any support coming from us, but it was not us who nurtured that talent to that extent. If she had been born and stayed here, the chances are high that she would have been just another has-been or cog in the wheels of big media’s talent pool. Whatever singing prowess she has wouldn’t have been given time of day, perhaps because she’s not a mestiza. As one of my friends has said, here in the Philippines, she looks so plain.
She did not lose because Americans are racist against Pinoys. She lost simply because America connected with Phillips more. That simple. All that talk about votes being rigged, sabotage, etc., Pinoys have never been able to take rejection gracefully. Hell, we Pinoys aren’t even graceful winners; we are the type of people who will never let others hear the end of it, and we pass it off as “credentials”.
If we Filipinos want to gain inspiration from Jessica’s incredible run, and to apply it to our lives, the way to do so is simple. Stop making “idol” time and “idle” time, and put more emphasis on “i do” time. Find out what it is what you want to do in life, and pursue it. Seek out people who encourage you to be all that you can be. Don’t settle for anything less than the best. If you find that conforming doesn’t suit you, don’t.
Additional lesson to learn: Jessica’s performance showed that there are cases where talent alone is not enough. You need to find a way for people to buy into you as well. This is the essence of connection with your target audience. It is summarized by the corny slogan I used to hear when I was younger: “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” This is reality; there is no denying, nor saying that “oh, things should be otherwise.” We either learn to deal with it, or face a tremendous stumbling block to our development both as individuals, and as a nation.
Friendly word of warning: the showbiz arena seems glamorous from the outside, but believe me, there is plenty of hardship, rejection, back-stabbing, and pain underneath all that glamor, and all that spotlight. Unless, of course, you’re a half-breed mestizo/a. I am saying this because there are some people whom I know and have met who believe that showbiz is their sure-fire ticket out of poverty.
Is it worth it? It is a hit or miss business. It is a profession entirely subject to the ever-changing and fickle whims of their audience. Showbiz is only for the most dedicated; yet it is not what our country needs to grow out of the pothole that it currently occupies.
Our nation needs more of the kind of people who are willing to engage in the dirty work of nation building. We need people who will form the basis of intellectual capital that the Philippines has been starving for ever since time immemorial. But that doesn’t mean we advocate that Jessica Sanchez change her profession into something else. No. She’s chosen her path; the best we can do is wish her luck in it. What we can do, is to start thinking for ourselves, and, as I mentioned above, draw inspiration from the many people out there who are living their dreams.
And please, let us once and for all put an end to this silly and moronic concept of false “Pinoy Pride”.
[Photo courtesy PopTower.com.]
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