Does it matter if you win American Idol? These days it doesn't seem like fame means the same thing. Gil Kaufman posted an interesting article over on mtv.com that explores how much emphasis we put on winning Idol, yet those that retain power usually aren't the winners. Chris Daughtry put that band together and released a self-titled debut that has sold more than 2 million copies, "easily eclipsing some guy named Taylor Hicks, who won "Idol" last year and has sold a very respectable, if more modest, 700,000." The definition of fame has changed ladies and gents. This a common occurrence these days not just in idol but also when exploring the lot of popular tv shows currently populating the tube.
Remember the first survivor and that character Richard? It was all about winning the game. How about the Bachelor? These days seems like everyone on reality TV is single and there to mingle. MTV has launched countless reality shows, many such as the inferno are reality-drama-competitions. These shows merely involve c-level actors recycled from previous shows based on consumer awareness and likability. Heard of dancing with the stars? Who is competing? Oh thats right celebrity A and celebrity B, each eclipsed by the other's story. While TV execs seem to think this is a boon for ratings, its merely diluting the fame of the celebrities. Commodity shows like this are changing the state of fame.
While advertisers are swearing that its about great connections and more meaningful relationships, i think a reverse situation is brewing amongst the role of celebrity and even status. Status used to attained through an over-glorification of achievement, ala movie stars to hockey players. All paid ridiculous salaries for tough work but no more so deserving than joe from atlanta. The rise of the internet has ushered control to consumers, who often aren't pulled necessarily by the historical shallows of fame.
Fame is now attainable by all. You don't have to do anything, just something unusual or sticky. Fame is about putting yourself out there (connections) and by being recognized (character). Its not necessarily what you do anymore but how you set yourself apart in a way thats memorable. So now the speed and path of the message are bigger than the message itself.
Any other thoughts on the changing status of fame in today's wired world?
[ed. note. -more thoughts to come, this is a bit half baked at the moment]