December 18, 2017

The X Factor Parents

x factorMy kids think it’s funny when I cry from something on TV that moves me. Call me a sap, but it’s already happened on The X Factor a few times. Even though there have only been a few episodes so far, the tear-jerking moments have come from watching the families that come to root on their loved ones.

I burst into silly, happy crying when 18-year-old Melanie Amaro from Florida sang “Listen” by Beyonce. Take a look

When the judges first asked her if she was any good and she humbly replied, “I’ll let you determine that,” and then soared throughout the song all I could think of was a young Whitney Houston. Melanie’s little sister was practically exploding with pride, calling her sister her “role model” afterwards. I just love these parts of the show!

Then this week there was the 30-year-old “burrito slinger” who belted out “At Last” like a showbiz veteran, and his mom could hardly contain her support and excitement.

In the moments before contestants like these sing, I silently hope they will be as good as their families say they will be. I even gave my kids a talk about how we are all supposed to share our gifts God gives us with others.

There have also been those moments of suspense when a contestant’s parents are there and the back-stories make us think they’ll “wow” us. The blonde boy who compared himself to Justin Bieber only to have Simon tell him he actually looks like Barbie’s boyfriend, Ken, broke my heart. He began his routine with dancing that made people laugh and sang a self-titled song that made him the butt of jokes. I had to look away when the judges criticized him!

I saw the light of this bright-eyed boy’s dream extinguished when I looked at him and the judges tore him down- I also kept sympathizing with his mother, who waited faithfully backstage.

Whenever I watch The X Factor and see performers who are not good singers by any standard, but are aired for ratings, it makes me think of their parents and what they might lovingly say in those quiet moments between parent and child.

Should we ever step in to tell our children lovingly they aren’t talented enough at something, even if we know for sure they aren’t? Or should we stand back and watch others ridicule them?

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