Compiled by: Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Denra Halperin Poneman
ISBN: 13: 978-0-7573-0645-7:
Now in its seventh year, American Idol is the number one television show attracting each week millions of viewers. And every year there are thousands of hopefuls vying for a chance at stardom. Who are these performers?
Chicken Soup for the American Idol Soul, which is the number one best-selling non-fiction series in publishing history, has teamed up with American Idol to satisfy our curiosity.
As mentioned in Paula Abdul’s Foreword of Chicken Soup for the American Idol Soul “there is more to the marriage than just merging of two great twenty-first century tours de force. The stories in Chicken Soup books are all about overcoming odds and going through adversity while staying true to yourself.” These are the stories that are reflected in Chicken Soup for the American Idol Soul that will give us a better idea of just whom the show attracts and in many cases the adversity and obstacles the participants had to overcome in order to stand before the judges.
Divided into eight sections, the book focuses on different themes all involving in one way or another a participant, a behind-the-scenes player or a fan. The themes deal with topics as the dream coming true, the power of those we love, stories of overcoming obstacles, stories of idols touched by others, stories of fans touched by idols, stories of staying true to yourself, and friends who have helped idols.
Among the household names we read about are Melinda Doolittle, Kimberly Locke, Blake Lewis, Carrie Underwood, Ruben Studdard, Clay Aitken, Jordin Sparks, Jim Verraros, Chris Sligh, Phil Stacey, John Stevens, Ace Young, Mandisa, Vonzell Solomon and many more. Each one recounting where they came from, how it felt to be chosen, and then to realize a dream of becoming a top ten Idol.
An entire section is devoted to a look behind-the-scenes crew where we are introduced to such players as makeup artist, Mezhgan Hussainy, vocal coach and arranger Debra Byrd, stage manager Debra Williams, director Bruce Gowers, hairsylist Dean Banowetz, music director Rickey Minor and several others.
Although I found many of the stories interesting, I did find at times that there was a great deal of repetition and a lack of substance leaving the reader with the sense of ennui one might expect reading boring biographies of some well-known personalities.
It is nice to hear about how some of the participants overcame various hurdles, however, the cursory treatments leave out in most instances what happened to them after they were disqualified? And how about the judges, there was “nada.” It would have been interesting to find out more about Simon, Randy and Paula and perhaps even some of their trade secrets?
The above review was contributed by: The Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures.com, Norm Goldman, B.A. LL.L, Retired Title Attorney: Norm is also a travel writer and together with his artist wife, Lily, the couple meld Norm's words with Lily's art. To check out their travel site click on Sketchandtravel.comClick here to view Norm’s Reviews & Interviews.
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