There will be many stories to tell of my experiences with American Idol, including taking that behind the scenes tour and spending a day a midst all the hub-bub of taping Hollywood week. These experiences did something deeper than just the fun of meeting Harry Connick JR, and brushing shoulders with JLO and Keith Urban.
It moved me in deeper ways. One word: CARE! American Idol cares about it’s viewers. American Idol cares about what they are presenting in a show that was designed around family TV entertainment. That family element was lost in the past few seasons, and in that they also lost a huge viewership. But today, American Idol is coming back into the hearts of families. It does not start with the contestants. It starts with the three people seated in these chairs (pictured above). These judges are moms and dads first. To hear the interactions, first hand, during the taping brought me a new hope for American Idol. Yes, American Idol chose me to hang out with them for two days. Yes, it was an all expenses paid trip. Yes, they wined and dined me. Yes, they gave me some gifts. However, there is one thing you can NEVER buy in Elizabeth Traub and that is lip service. I have walked away from some very big deals in my career, because I could not speak to a brand or product if I full-heartedly could not get behind it. Basically I am saying you can’t pay me enough to falsify a brand. My integrity and honor trump the fan fare of a celebrity, a brand, or product. Plus I make a lousy liar.
So there I was at American Idol and sat back, watching a team of people ask questions from a room full of women, myself included, wanting to know what we the viewers are wanting. I will write more to this later. For now, these three seats are the decision makers for the dreams and futures of some of America’s most talented young people. Yet in talking and learning more of their hearts, I believe American Idol is going to change the scope of music, tv and entertainment this next season in ways we have yet to see.