Hochman: Is there such a thing as an overnight success?
Gladwell: No. And that’s my concern with a show like American Idol. It encourages the false belief that there’s a kind of magic, that you can be “discovered.” That may be the way television works, but it’s not the way the world works. Rising to the top of any field requires an enormous amount of dedication, focus, drive, talent, and 99 factors that they don’t show on television. It’s not simply about being picked. Which, by the way, is why very few of the anointed winners on American Idol have gone on to true success. Most have flamed out and gone away. That should tell us something.
Hat Tip to Peter Ireland