Last night after dinner, I picked up three kids in Chatswood. Or I should say, young adults - one male and two females. The fella hopped in the front and chatted easily with his Mum on the phone, whilst the two girls quietly conversed in the back.
It soon became obvious these were no average Joes. Their talk was of music, thongs (on feet), television appearances and interviews. An air of understated confidence and excitement featured in their various conversations. Yet there was no bragging nor big-noting. Nearing their destination, I piped up, ‘Are you guys famous ?’. ‘No !’, they responded in unison. ‘Yes you are’, I insisted, ‘I know fame when I hear it !’...
And indeed they were. For they were Dan, Emelia and Casey of Australian Idol fame. Having never seen the show I had them give me some details. They were members of the final 12 contestants, whittled down from hundreds. This final group were all living together in a large house on the lower North Shore.
If I was a true gossip monger I could report on a minor controversy. Nothing malicious, just some harmless creative tension happening at the moment, which the producers seemed keen to exploit. Refusing to play that game, the affected party handled it admirably, insisting they were ‘over it already’ as it was no longer an issue to them. To report otherwise would be to misrepresent the situation. The intoxicating power of positive thinking.
Back in the City, my very next fare beautifully demonstrated this great quality. Alone, a young woman jumped in the front seat and proceeded to inquire of my night. Her genuine interest in my job and natural charm, was a surprise to this jaded cabbie. I told her I was feeling up, after my encounter with the young Aussie Idols. Unbelievably, she says, ‘Who were they ? I was on that show too !’. For she was Chloe, who had reached the final 30 before being voted off by the viewers.
I asked her what, to her mind, lost it for her. ‘It was the song - I chose a Norah Jones tune. Being relatively unknown, people couldn’t sing along with it. Plus there was a perception of me being a blonde bimbo’. Yes she was blonde, beautiful, but certainly not a bimbo. If bimbos are defined by personality and intellect by-passes, then Chloe easily escapes this demeaning stereotype. Despite losing out, on what some would regard the chance of a lifetime, she displayed a remarkable maturity, confidence and zest for life.
Maybe in front of cameras, at the mercy of lights, production and editing, a different person comes across. However, in my cab I had the advantage over viewers of seeing their relaxed and true selfs. All four of my passengers were lovely kids whom I suspect will continue to shine regardless of how they go on the show. They were just happy to be part of it. Good luck to them.
Note : Watch the videos of the songs Dan, Emelia and Casey performed to win thru to the finals.