Thoughts on American Idol: When do you give up on a dream?

Photo credit: My friend, Thomas Chen

I didn’t watch American Idol with much vigor or loyalty through the years, that is, until I started dating Alan (He’s one of those crazy involved viewers who actually votes.) Mostly, I used to watch the bad singers because they were entertaining and then my interest would wane. What always strikes me as puzzling about the bad singers are those who vow to not give up despite how suicidal their ballad just made everyone. Outside looking in, it’s obvious most of these performers should never sing again but the handful that vow never to quit? If they’re true to their word, they could waste even more years towards a craft that may never yield the desired results. May not even come close! We’re a society that teaches and encourages persistence. If first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again. Only quitters, quit! I’m sure you can think of a few more cliches. But when does it stop being inspiring and admirable and start being wasteful (of time and resources), sad, and pathetic?

What exactly defines a lost cause? Is it ever admirable to give in to reality and forfeit? There have been some great dreamers out there who’ve made our world a better place due to sheer persistence, but perhaps they’re a different breed? Maybe they’re Outliers? Is it ever time to realize a new dream and put your time and efforts towards something a little more attainable?

I’m quite stuck. Is it ever okay to throw in the towel on your dreams?

Watch this clip of the untalented before answering.