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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Lee DeWyze' success explained

Great stuff from the Los Angeles Times' Idol Tracker:
How did Lee overtake Crystal to become the favorite to win? Psychology Today blogger Scott Barry Kaufman calls Lee's "inevitable" victory "pretty darn textbook."

"I don't think he consciously planned out every last detail, but one couldn't have planned out the path to an 'American Idol' win any better," writes Kaufman, explaining that the gruff-voiced contestant with the sweet smile and the growing confidence "has perfectly struck the delicate balance between showing off his talents and appearing relatable to the masses."

He explains: "This is not an easy balance for 'Idol' contestants to strike. 'Uniqueness-seeking' behaviors that can increase social status and 'similarity-seeking' behaviors that can increase affiliation are drives that are deeply encoded in our DNA due to the potential evolutionary advantages for each style. While people vary in their drive for each behavior, 'American Idol' contestants are a rare breed because they are extremely high on both drives -- they want to both stand out a lot and relate to a lot of people. The balancing act of these two drives is key to winning 'Idol' -- stand out too much, too soon, and you risk sacrificing your relatability. Relate too much, too soon, and your talent starts to look average."

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