Olympics vs. American Idol: Two Roads, One Real Destination?

Last post, I mentioned I hadn’t watched the Olympics, and why.

Well, last night, I did. For about five minutes. A woman named Heather Robinson skated her way past a Japanese woman–kinda like a 1,000 meter dash for skates, I guess.

When I tuned in, the announcers were mentioning something about Heather’s suit, how she changed a thing about it.

Again, I had no idea, really. It didn’t make a lot of sense to me. It did look like the ladies were wearing wet-suits on the ice, though.

After I watched the Olympics, I watched most of the results show for American Idol–just like I did Wednesday night.

Now, it’s not football, but a singing competition I do understand.

There are a lot of differences between the Olympics and American Idol.

Length of time. American Idol’s in its 13th season (maybe they went to Roman numerals because that’s too scary)?

On the other hand, the Olympics were started by the Greeks thousands of years ago. Even though the Olympics is every four years, that’s still hundreds of times (not counting the summer vs. winter games angle).

Diversity of events. The Olympics has different types of skating, snowboarding, skiing, and so on.

American Idol is about one thing–people opening their mouths and having music come out (still amazing, by the way). But as far as a diverse offering of events, the Olympics wins that deal.

Location. The Olympics is hosted in a different country nearly every time–in the U.S. we hosted one in Atlanta, and one in Salt Lake City. There’s one going on in Russia right now, of course.

American Idol has contestants from the United States. And has only been hosted in the United States.

Backstory. The Olympics does feature the stories of certain contestants from time to time with past performances, their history in their sport, and so on.

But not to the extent Idol does. Through two results shows, most of each contestant’s performances, starting with where they auditioned, was replayed to help folks catch up.

I know they didn’t show everything for every contestant, but I think the stories of the contestants play a bigger role, and get people more emotionally involved, as far as Idol is concerned.

But are the Olympics Games and American Idol really that different?

I don’t think so.

Both are basically reality (real-time) competitions–people doing a certain thing to compete for a certain place, or spot, whether for a spot in American Idol’s top Hollywood 30, or a medal to honor their country.

Both groups have to compete to be on Idol, or in the Olympics–by the thousands, or tens of thousands. There’s a big similarity.

And both are judged–either by an Olympic panel, or, in the case of Idol, three recording artists, and later by America at large. And for you Idol watchers, there’s still one spot up in the air–the voting’s already started. First time for everything.

My point here is both shows are competitions to be the best, or to achieve a certain desired result. 

In American Idol, there’s only room for one at the top. But there’s a twist. A lot of times, people who actually didn’t win the show go on to have great careers, like Chris Daughtry, Adam Lambert, and others.

In the Olympics, there are lots of competitions for medals–but only three medals per event. Still more chances to win than Idol, even with the other folks who have won contracts outside of the show.

And all this has plenty to do with both fiction writers and email copywriters.

Both fiction writers and copywriters go through similar things, but with a slight twist.

Both types of writers go through training, like studying successful books and stories, getting a mentor, taking courses.

And through a bit of competition–submitting to magazines, prospecting for clients, fielding rejection letters/emails–“It’s not a good fit for us,” “We don’t need writing help at the moment.”

But there’s one huge advantage writers have that Idol contestants and Olympic athletes don’t.

Imagine all the magazines, ebooks, poems, emails–every word you’ve ever read. Someone wrote all of it.


Could one person write all that? Or a team of 100 people?


There’s almost endless opportunity out there for writers–with the Web, ebooks, and so on. Which doesn’t include self-publishing, info products, putting up your own stories on Amazon, and so on.

That’s the advantage–a giant hole no one person can fill. Sometimes you can be paid for improving writing that already exists.

But there’s work involved, believe me. Every day of your life. And sometimes it ain’t easy, you won’t want to, and you’d rather stay in bed–on days when you’re not sick.

And you have to be good–to have the fundamentals down-pat of whatever type or medium of writing you choose. Which takes some time (or a lot of time).

But you’re on the path to results when you type in front of a keyboard, or put ink on paper. Whatever that result is, whether a magazine publication, Amazon sales, sales for a client’s product, or even your own books or products, that’s your spot. Or your medal.

And after you’ve gotten that first one, just like the Olympics or a successful performance on Idol, you have to do it again. Next year, next month, next week.

See? You don’t have to be a singer or an athlete to benefit from reality TV.

Long post, I know. But if you learned something, would you mind dropping me a line below in the comments?

Have an awesome weekend, everyone.

Until next time,



About Ty Mall

Thanks for stopping by. I've almost always been interested in writing, among other things. Along with discovering pop culture, I've uncovered a lot about the craft over the past 10 years. And whether you're a fiction writer or email copywriter, I'm here to pass on what I've found out. And have a ton of fun in the process.
This entry was posted in Creativity, Inspiration, Motivation, Fiction and Copy Decodes, Movies and TV and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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