March 3rd, 2015

idol 9

Green Room - Week 40 - Day 1

Happy Birthday Season 9!

One year ago today, the Sign Up sheet for this season went up, and people came out of the woodwork to take part in what was scheduled to be our final season.

That link also includes the first Green Room, and given the responses I've seen to the elimination last night I think another listen to "Stay Positive" is in order. :)

I wasn't sure what to respond to today, so I'll try to respond to everything that I can remember. If someone brought up something that I missed, remind me. :)

This is now officially LJ Idol's Longest Season!

So pat yourself on the back for surviving it this long. You are well passed the usual "breaking points", and it's interesting (from the outside) to see how different people are handling it. Of course, people have also said that I've gone easier on this season than I ever have. I'll disagree - when it comes to topics I think these have been the roughest. But people have themselves to blame for those! :) Other than that though, I'll "cop to it". I've gone pretty easy on this season, and that was in the original design. Honestly - I'm not sure how many people would still be standing at this point if I hadn't. :)

Anyway - questions:

- "Was there a problem with any of my votes?" If there WASN'T, I emailed you last night. I sent out 3 emails, all bcc'd so only I knew who received them and who didn't.

- Are contestants asking folks to create accounts? To the best of my knowledge - no.

- Are people creating accounts to vote? No. Perhaps I didn't state it clearly last night. While there *were* a couple "new accounts" that had been created in the last couple of months, all but perhaps 2 of them were "verified". (I know who they belonged to, because the person contacted me to let me know "Hey, I don't want to use my facebook, can I make a LJ account to vote?")

- Did those 2 unverified accounts changed the results? No. They did not.

- What was the problem then? People voting from multiple accounts. Writing journals and other social media accounts. Often these had similar names, or had direct links from one account to the other. Clearly this wasn't the work of any super genius, or series of them. With 4/7 contestant vote totals being impacted by them, it's also not exactly "coordinated" either. Unless those behind the coordination can't make up their minds. ;)

- Increase in voters. Always happens at the end of a season. People who may have been around at the beginning tune back in. The "buzz" of folks talking about means more people poke their heads in. I actually saw a quite a few names that I haven't seen in quite some time this week. So you must be doing something right!

- Single votes. This has been a big topic over the last couple of seasons. It's one of those things where I see what they are trying to say, but there is a disconnect. Because at this point in the season: Yes. There are now 6 people left. 6. (there were previously 7), if there AREN'T a lot of single votes, that's more of a mystery.
For some reason people talk a lot about that, and not about if someone were to vote for the same three people every week. To me, it's the same thing.

- Alliances. Continuing from the end of that last section, people always talk about alliances. The vast majority of times "alliances" are groups of friends who support each other. Most times it's "We will vote for each other! Let's go all the way!!" There are times when this bound between people, who talk all the time, turns into "I don't like so-and-so".

- Have there been alliances this season? Of course there are. Any time you get people together, some are going to bound more than others. Any time you get people who come in already knowing each other/already having strong feelings one way or the other? Like I said "friends supporting each other". Most times you could question them point blank and they wouldn't recognize that you are calling them an alliance, because they don't see it that way. Other times, of course, people are fully aware of it. I *think* most of the ones this season have splintered. (based on the voting at least, people have definitely gone their own way with their own preferences) After all - it's one thing *to say* "I want to go to the end with you, because I think you're the best!" to a friend and it's another thing entirely to actually want to do it! :D

- Is someone out to get you eliminated? Yes. ME. I am also out to get you off my lawn.

- At the end of the day, is it still about the writing? People always seem to ask this question. I think it's for the same reason some balk at "going out there in the publishing world/academic writing because "there are so many other factors", that they lose site of what you are actually doing, and just need confirmation that what they are doing is actually good.

Yes. The answer is 100% yes. Your experience is entirely your own. You are putting your work out there every single week. This is your journey, and I hope you are able to get what you want out of it.

- Is this season the "most dramatic ever"?/have "more problems"? "more people 'playing the game'? I saw several people posting last night - who have been involved in the past, but not in the season - *laughing* at what people think is "Idol drama" these days. :) If we're being completely honest, *I* get a chuckle or two as well. :)

It's still frustrating when it happens - and Cynthia had to convince me to come to bed last night rather than answer emails. (and yes, I *did* say "You're right. This is where I am loved". So I'm no stranger to dramatic statements. :D)

- Does fanfic = Idol death? That point was raised and refuted by someone else. I'll say "Not always". In the Top 10 though? I can think of 1 case in 9 seasons and 2 mini-seasons where it wasn't though.

- "Idol no longer being fun past a certain point" There are some days when I really wonder if people remember they are in a competition. ;) The deeper you get into it, the fewer the options are - and the more pressure. I compare it to forming diamonds.

Supporting each other is awesome. I definitely encourage it. It not only is good for the competition itself, it's good *for you*. You should be doing more of it.

But yeah, I would be really surprised if there were people in the Top 6 who were *entirely* "I just want everyone to do well". They probably wouldn't have survived a year without thinking, on some level, that they had a real shot at winning this.

- Spreadsheets. Some people like to compile data. Some of it is accurate. Some is "accurate enough". Heck, I've seen some over the years that has been absolutely bollocks. Other people have said it eloquently, but I'll just add: they are numbers. They can give you a general idea - but they don't tell an actual story. Heck, I see the actual names attached to those numbers, which gives me a better idea of what is happening. But even that isn't complete. I think that's important to always remember.

- People promoting themselves? I've said it before, and I'll say it again - it's fine. But I do want to see more people promoting the competition itself, because there's a lot of great writing and saying "Go Vote for ME!" isn't actually helping you as much as it would if you gave them options and they *still* picked you!

- Changing votes? Yes. You can edit your votes up until the poll closes. Just make sure to re-check the boxes of everyone you want to support.

- Burn-out? It's a real thing. Even with me being easy on you. It's a problem for writers. It's a wall people either find a way around, or they run right into it.

- I'm cutting and pasting an actual comment because I kind of love it: "Now I wonder if Gary fed the idea of conspiracies into Season 2 through a third party and just let them percolate over time, knowing that Idol players will kick their own hippie selves if given just enough free time. :-)" This says it all to me. Idol players can, and will, find ways to be their own worse enemies. You can really summarize everything else above with it.

Expand it out to writers. To creative people. Or just "people".

Folks end up standing in their own way, and if you give them rope while they are standing there - they will find a use for it.

A big part of Idol - and being successful in writing - is seeing past all of the distractions, and managing to focus through to your goal. There are bells and whistles. There are side streets begging you to take a little time, to sit and map them out. But ultimately, these are traps. I tell you early on that they are there, and people wander into them every single time.

Your New Topic? Right here:

How much longer? I'd guarantee that we would be finished this March, but if I did, you would somehow arrange for every single week to be some huge run-off that stretched things out. :D Most likely just to mock me. (there's *my* conspiracy theory!!)

We have 6 people left, so it's coming soon. Just remember, the next time you go "OMG - how much longer???", that there will be a point when you will be asking "OMG - when is the next season starting????" :)