java_fiend (Week 33) He spent a season watching. Then a season where he stuck his toes in the water. Finally, he came to play - and play he did! He wrote his ass off, made a ton of new friends, throwing himself head first into the Idol experience every step of the way.
He came out with everything he originally said he wanted to do - including not winning, because he wanted to play again. The unexpected bonus of the season? Getting the girl.
Every season has a beloved under dog hero-type, and Season 6 embraced java_fiend in that role http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amanda_Kimmel
It's interesting, to me at least, that someone so very much tied to political commentary would emerge as one of the "fiction guys" in the last few weeks of the season http://www.myspace.com/officialamandakimmel , http://heroesvsvillains.survivor.com/heroes-vs-villains-cast/amanda-kimmel , or even http://www.buddytv.com/articles/survivor/profile/amanda-kimmel.aspx
Gopher Hunter, that could understand. It seems to be one of his biggest hobbies.
But "fiction guy"? That was a surprise to see him go in that direction.
Obviously it was something he loved, wanted to get back into, and in the end turned out to excel at - but when it started I was curious to see just how serious of an effort this was going to be, or if he was going to slide back into his comfort level.
That wasn't all he did though. He also managed to pull back that layer he was hinting at last season, and actually talk about himself - which I personally think is where his strength is truly revealed. http://images.search.yahoo.com/images/view?back=http%3A%2F%2Fimages.search.yahoo.com%2Fsearch%2Fimages%3Fp%3Damanda%2Bkimmel%26ei%3DUTF-8%26fr%3Dyff35-sfp%26fr2%3Dtab-web&w=475&h=500&imgurl=farm3.static.flickr.com%2F2282%2F1659092979_21ccf31553.jpg&rurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.flickr.com%2Fphotos%2Fscottitude%2F1659092979%2F&size=122k&name=Amanda+Kimmel+sw...&p=amanda+kimmel&oid=6bb60ec390f40d38&fr2=tab-web&fusr=Scottitude&lic=3&no=6&tt=2006&sigr=11j8bk4da&sigi=11m5b2n66&sigb=12ujr2hvo
Actually, no, the more I go back and read, the more convinced I become that his personal entries are just that much more powerful. I like the fiction. But the non-fiction is what hits you between the eyes. It's where his words and the conversational rhythm of his voice draw you in.
He's already read his own work - and plenty of people talk about how much they enjoy his writing, and what a great guy he is - the one thing he doesn't have is more pictures of Amanda Kimmel. Now he does!!
http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=9311469638&ref=search , http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Amanda-Kimmel/162820644100?ref=search
But if you really want to go back and read his stuff - and you really DO - you can check it out at
or http://java-fiend.livejournal.com/tag/lj%20idol%20season%205 for the 2 entries from last season! In case you're wondering - they totally count.
drjeff (Week 22) - The doctor is in! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTPzTG1Lx60
How does it feel being the "sex symbol" of the season? I thought that was an interesting development, although it made sense given how many female contestants there are, that sooner or later there would be a guy to come around with a camera to capture their hearts. :)
Obviously that charm has a double edge to it though, since it also meant that you ended up with a large following - large following = big friends list and the eternal questions that go along with it, and the "ethical use". Some people are going to look at it and get resentful, and attempt to make you feel guilty, and others are going to shrug it off with "people know him through his writing - that's why they became his friends in the first place". It's one of those questions that only you are going to be able to answer for yourself about where the lines of "pimping yourself" are - and where you feel comfortable. But it's also one that every person you encounter is likely to have an opinion on, that they are all too willing to share.
The transition from the self conscious meta of your first entry http://drjeff.livejournal.com/1956298.html to your stint last week as fourzoa's champion http://drjeff.livejournal.com/2062491.html - Early on, it's difficult for people to not be self conscious with figuring things out. You did a good job of managing to make it an entry about the process - but throwing enough other things in there so that it wasn't the *only* thing it was about. So it worked on more than one level. Which is something you also used in your Champion entry, but, for me, the difference in skill level was huge. I noticed in one of your comments to the latter piece that you mentioned that you had been doing the "equivalent of skimming", and I think that there's a lot of truth there.
There's a hint here and there, but just glimpses. Which, don't get me wrong, there are quite a few people who don't know where to pull back - and like they say, a hint of skin is sexier than walking around naked. It's true with language as well. So being able to have that restraint is good. But I think maybe unbuttoning one more emotional button in your work would be far better for you.
http://drjeff.livejournal.com/1967560.html was something you said was easy to write - and I can definitely see that, it was easy because it was something that filled your heart, so getting the words down, and keeping the narrative tight came naturally.
The same is truth for http://drjeff.livejournal.com/2013417.html and http://drjeff.livejournal.com/2020510.html although obviously for much different reasons.
You are really good at getting the laugh http://drjeff.livejournal.com/1974134.html , http://drjeff.livejournal.com/2033662.html(and being able to laugh at yourself http://drjeff.livejournal.com/1977950.html and really any entry about your wild past) but seeing that Champion entry really did change my perspectives on the rest of your entries.
You probably wish that I had wrote this goodbye sooner! Because then it would have been completely glowing about this fun figure who came into our lives and just kicked some butt in his writing, especially when it came to life lessons http://drjeff.livejournal.com/1991319.html or http://drjeff.livejournal.com/2003623.html
Now I look back and go "man, the technique is there - and now that I see what he can do with it". . . after all, we already know that you can do a brilliant job writing about nothing http://drjeff.livejournal.com/1991319.html and weaving in the tender, personal moments comes easily http://drjeff.livejournal.com/2007432.html .
Your name was one of those bandied about early on as a possible winner, and there are definitely elements there that made me think there was a good chance of that happening. I think you are definitely a front runner for a Season 7. If there was any doubt before, if that Champion entry is indicative of where you are headed with your writing, it's gone now.
Part 1: http://community.livejournal.com/therealljidol/330062.html
Part 2: http://community.livejournal.com/therealljidol/347182.html
Part 3: http://community.livejournal.com/therealljidol/348753.html
Part 4: http://community.livejournal.com/therealljidol/351336.html
Part 5: http://community.livejournal.com/therealljidol/355319.html
Part 6: http://community.livejournal.com/therealljidol/357155.html
Part 7: http://community.livejournal.com/therealljidol/358961.html
Part 8: http://community.livejournal.com/therealljidol/361618.html
Part 9: http://community.livejournal.com/therealljidol/363128.html
Part 10: http://community.livejournal.com/therealljidol/363838.html
Part 11: http://community.livejournal.com/therealljidol/366595.html