Sorry Charlie … Really!

Published March 9, 2013 by Maryanne

Sorry CharlieAmerican Idol hopeful feeling hopeless, Charlie Askew

(Photo swiped via Google search)

Two weeks ago Charlie Askew was on top of the world. The crowd went wild after his amazing performance of Elton John’s “Rocket Man.”

Check it out: Charlie Askew: ROCKET MAN

Charlie had it all, the looks, the talent and the charisma. I was so sure he’d go a lot longer than his 7:01 minutes of fame.


Then he blew it. Not intentionally. My take is he’s still young and he didn’t quite get it. He nailed it and simply failed to keep up the momentum. His version ofย  “Mama” by Genesis didn’t do his talent justice. It wasn’t bad, but just not his best. He also changed his style, seeming to go for something a little less innocent, less subdued, and it just didn’t work in his favor, certainly not in the eyes of judge Nicki Minaj who felt she “lost” her “little boy.” Seems Minaj (and Charlie’s fans) were resonating with his “awkward turtle” (his words) look, sweet eyes peering behind gorgeous locks of hair; and over-sized clothes. It all added to his charm.

Here’s Charlie’s weaker performance: Charlie Askew Performs “Mama”

What really killed it for Charlie was his reaction to the judge’s criticism, which was scary. He was obviously very troubled as he didn’t seem to handle the rejection very well and my heart bled for him — truly. I thought he was going to have a nervous breakdown right on the spot. I felt shocked and scared for him. And of course, sad because I knew deep down he wasn’t going to make it to one of the Top 10.

Which brings me to the question is American Idol exploiting young people? I mean, in the early stages, when talent is chosen some of these contestants go on as fools, knowing they are fools and laugh about it. Others seem so clueless about their talent (or lack of) get pissed off at the judges and mouth off to the cameras. Some take the critiques with class and learn from them, which of course is the most positive reaction. I’ve learned from my writing career that it’s best to thank an editor for his critique and learn from it and that’s what I always do. But these young people don’t always know to do that. They are not taught, which is sad. Learning to accept criticism should be a class in grade school. Criticism doesn’t mean you’re not good. It’s just a creative suggestion to help you. And in some cases, it’s not even the right suggestion, just the right suggestion for what a client, or a judge or a potential boss is seeking.

My suggestion to American Idol is to be a little more strict in the screening process. In addition to making sure a young man or lady has some talent, maybe a quick psychological study to show that he/she is ready for this.

Even on America’s Next Top Model, Tyra Banks and judges weed out the ones who they feel are not ready for the industry, no matter how many great photos they take.

While Charlie Askew was my favorite this year, I have to be honest and say that while I felt bad to see him go, I was secretly relieved because I didn’t want to see this poor kid unravel any further. That would truly be a train wreck and I mean that in the most sincere way possible. Just imagine, if Charlie hit superstar status prematurely, one bad CD review and he might go Kurt Cobain on us.

My biggest wish for Charlie is that he get his bearings together and comes back — bigger and better than ever!

Advice to Charlie, if you’re reading:

1. Grow a thicker skin. I know it’s not easy, but once you have that break-through you will move mountains! Little me has been there too — insecure, hurt by comments of others, using the critique of others to measure my worth — that can all change with some hard work and self realization. Baby steps are indeed steps and you WILL get there. We believe in you, Charlie!

2. Don’t take it all so seriously. You ARE talented! Just believe in yourself and don’t ever give up! This was just ONE contest. You’re young. There will be many more. It’s a whole big world out there. American Idol is not the end all!

3. Don’t ever hide that beautiful hair again! I think your fans would agree with me. No more ponytails, okay?

8 comments on “Sorry Charlie … Really!

  • OMG! I felt so bad for him! That was horrible. I was hoping he’d shake the nervousness and do well. It seemed like they built him up so high the week before and were so harsh after “mama”…Poor kid. They did rip on him pretty bad. I know secure adults who would probably crumble under the same circumstances. I completely agree that a “thick skin” is required. But everything about him screamed “be gentle with me”. I almost asked what you thought about it. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Can’t believe they didn’t rip on Zoanette’s outfits/hair/earrings…I agree about screening too.

    • Yeah, he wasn’t as bad as they said he was, but then again I’m not a musician. I’ll be watching with my husband, who is a professional musician, and he’ll be like “he’s off key” or “she’s off key” and it will sound fine to me.

      Charlie was definitely a gentle soul. Like a little hamster or something ๐Ÿ™‚

      Zoanette’s outfits were insane — and not in a good way. But she grew on me, seemed like a sweet person. I loved her new hairdo when she went darker. She had big beautiful eyes too.

      • Hahaha…a little hamster. You are too funny. I thought Z was a riot. She has some talent too. I just meant she had a really crazy style and probably could have handled being picked on. Oh I agree about her darker hair. That was a shock.

      • Yes, Zoanette was the life of the party. That’s why I wanted her to stay. She was a hoot. I love people that are so over the top like that. She was always acting like her BINGO number just got called or something ๐Ÿ™‚

        She picked good songs too.

  • It was like Charlie was trying to be somebody he wasn’t and Nicki called him down for it and told him to get rid of the ponytail and earrings and wear a regular shirt. Charlie seemed to be so consumed with sending a message, that he didn’t sing the song well. We still don’t know who came in No.6 among the boys in the voting, so he could be back or maybe not, since I doubt if he got enough sympathy votes to finish ahead of Nick Boddington, who I hope will be No.6.

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