In Defense of Astro
I tell you, I have so much respect for David for holding onto his dignity when he was all of 17 on American Idol.
So, Astro pretty much dug his own grave by showing some “attitude” tonight on the X-Factor, and despite his enormous talent at rapping, he took it personally that he was in the bottom 2. This is going to cost him, which is too bad because he’s talented enough to go far (but rap is not mainstream enough – at least not on a reality TV show – to rally a huge TV fanbase).
Yeah, that was not cool what he did. Yeah, he shouldn’t have been honest in saying he “didn’t feel like performing for folks who put him in the bottom 2.” I mean, yeah, that’s not a graceful way of acting on TV (sometimes, the Brooklyn kid is “too Brooklyn” in his “keeping it real” posture). And I saw when he was trying to pull an “it’s cool, hip-hop made it this far” pose that he wasn’t sincere.
So, L.A. Reid and Simon Cowell raked him over the coals for his ‘tude, and he still tried to act all tough and “too cool” for the show, and then he broke down and cried. And that’s when my initial “what a brat!” reaction immediately melted, and I had to remind myself: he’s still only a kid. Rejection is still rejection, and if you don’t have the maturity, you just feel like an entire nation put you in the “bottom two” and that has to suck (which, IMO, wasn’t warranted, but what you gonna do? Keep ya’ dignity either way, child!).
When the other 14 year olds on the show – Rachel Crow and Drew – started tearing up and quivering before they were declared safe, I tell you, I was starting to judge the wisdom of having kids on so young. I was so sure Stacey Francis would be a basket case leaving, but I think even she had to toughen up when realizing that the 14 year old kid next to her hasn’t processed yet what it’s like to get one’s talent rejected. Even poor Drew, who said she’d never gotten negative criticism in her life, almost couldn’t handle the “constructive criticism” she got last week.
What can I say? I’m not subscribing to the “Astro is a brat” memo anymore. At the end of the day, these kids have more maturing to do, and I’m willing to cut them some slack. This is not easy; I just don’t want these kids leaving these types of shows having to rebuild their self esteems. Sheesh!