While I’m usually a pretty regular American Idol viewer, I don’t normally get into the swing of things until the auditions are over and I can start obsessively punching redial to get a vote through for my favorite contestants.
Sure, I catch an audition episode here and there, but I can only handle watching so many poor souls set themselves up for such abuse and degradation before I’m overwhelmed by the need to just give someone a hug and vow never to watch the show again.
So, that’s why I’m just now touching on this. I missed the Louisville, Kentucky audition at which one failed auditionee, Mark Mudd, bid the judges a pretty innocent farewell – well, pretty innocent by some standards, though not quite innocent enough for Paula Abdul:
“You don’t say that to people, ‘Be careful,'” Abdul scolded.
Well, yes, Paula honey, here in Appalachia, we do. We say it a lot. To everyone. I’ve already said it twice today and it’s not even noon.
I don’t know who was quick to point out Abdul’s mistake, but fortunately the AI crew issued a public apology, though it seems to just be for viewers who were offended. I would have focused more on Mr. Mudd, but, that’s just me. Maybe they did at some point and I just haven’t seen it. Too, the apology seemed to be intent on getting some personal defense in: “We had not heard that phrase from any other contestants during the day […].” To me, that just means he deserves a nice “thank you,” too.
Of course, given everything Abdul’s been through regarding potentially dangerous fans, we can’t really blame her for being on edge, can we? I don’t think so. Paranoia probably runs pretty deep after an 18-year run of dealing with a stalking fan tragically ends in suicide. Combine that with unfamiliarity with the regional phrases and you’ve got a pretty honest mistake.
Last month I posted some resources for dealing with stalkers. Reading through those resources helps put into perspective a victim’s response to being stalked. Anxiety, stress, depression, self-blame, anger – these are all natural responses to being the victim of a stalker and it’s no surprise that any of them kicked into gear when Paula Abdul heard a stranger tell her to “be careful.”
Let’s hope that Abdul finds the tools she needs to work through those responses. It can’t be pleasant feeling that on-edge all the time.