Tag Archives: Trent Harmon

5 Friday Faves – Parental Pressures, Global Leadership Summit Highlights, Tim Ferriss, NCAA Championship Highlights, & American Idol Finale

Blog - Friday Faves

Friday, again. Hope you had a wonderful week or, at least, now maybe you can recover from it. These are my 5 favorite finds this week – very different from each other. Enjoy the rest of your day and sweet weekend.

1) Parental Pressures –  Bunmi Laditan is the author of The Honest Toddler: A Child’s Guide to Parenting. In a piece for Huffington Post, she declares “I’m done making my kids’ childhood magical.” I loved it because the pressure parents feel today to make their children’s lives magical is so unnecessary. The pressures from Pinterest and other social media seep into our family cultures and place undue expectations on us to escalate birthday parties, vacations, after-school activities to “better and better, more and more”.  To what end? Fortunately for me as a mom, our oldest was extraordinarly creative and led in our children all playing well together as children. They performed plays with little figures which they drew and cut out. When it was too hot for outside play, living in Cairo, Egypt, they roller-skated in apartment hallways . OK, so we did get to live in extraordinary places. They have gotten to experience 5 of the 11 Epcot Center countries without going to Disney World yet. So they have had an advantage in that. Magical, however, was never a goal of ours for their childhood. Like Laditan says, “Childhood is inherently magical” already.  So I say hats-off to you parents who give your children occasions for great whimsy and delight, and hats-off to you who can also keep it simple. Hands in the dirt. Fishing with grandpa. Learning a second language. P.S. Laditan’s article How to Put a Toddler to Bed in 100 Easy Steps is hysterical (even for that weary parent).Blog - Parenting in EgyptBlog - Christie, Nathan, & Daniel in Turkey

2) Global Leadership Summit Highlight – Best money we have spent for a conference in recent years. Bill Hybels brings together great leaders to speak on a wide range of topics suited for any of us in positions of authority/influence – on business, community, service, relationships, and the world. You can register right here for the 2016 summit. We attended at a satellite location less than 30 minutes from home.Blog - Global Leadership Summit - 2016Photo Credit: Willowcreek

Brian Dodd’s 150 Leadership Quotes from Bill Hybels from the Global Leadership Summit (2013-2015 Leadership Summits)

Also: Slideshare by Maruay Songtanin entitled The 100 Greatest Leadership Principles of All Time

3) Tim Ferriss on becoming an effective CEO – Well, Tim Ferriss didn’t write this one, although he teaches us tons of fascinating stuff through his Four Hour Work Week blog. This topic was covered by a guest on his blog – Chip Conley, author of Emotional Equations: Simple Truths for Creating Happiness + Success. Conley entered the hospitality industry in his 20’s and developed a strong ideology of valuing the intangible. He even became known as Chief Emotions Officer. [I can hear the eyes rolling.] Still, for those of you in leadership who are willing to learn something out of your comfort zone, learn from Chip Conley. Not necessarily about Buddhism or Maslow, but about employee engagement, work culture, and customer service.Blog - Child Conley - Emotional equationsPhoto Credit: True North Leadership

Leaders who don’t at least have processes in place to address such matters for their employees and customers have blinders on. Just sayin’. I wrote on another innovative and excellent hotelier, Horst Schulze, on a similar topic – world-class customer service.

TED Talk – Chip Conley on Measuring What Makes Life Worthwhile

How to Become an Effective CEO: Chief Emotions Officer

4) NCAA Championship Highlights – This year’s March Madness ended with basketball greatness with the game between Villanova and North Carolina. Both tremendous teams and a battle to the end for the NCAA Championship. Such an incredible game! Villanova pulled out the victory in the last seconds. Blog - NCAA Championship - Basketball - woodtvPhoto Credit: WoodTV

If you didn’t see the game or want to just replay the great moments of the game, here are the highlights:

5) American Idol Finale – American Idol is over and I will miss it. I wasn’t a forever fan, but this farewell season has been fascinating from first to finish. On the final show, there were two hours of past winners, contestants, and judges showcased with lots of Hollywood hoopla. Also, the winner of this, the final season was revealed. This year’s American Idol is La’Porsha…..nope. It is Trent. I was surprised, although he is a completely amazing singer. Maybe it wasn’t so surprising as the culture of American Idol is driven by the voting of social-media savvy young people (I’m thinking) – possibly more girls (again, a guess). Handsome Dalton Rapattoni‘s fans, after his elimination, may have rolled their votes over to handsome Trent Harmon. Or, as the mic picked up one of them saying to the other as they hugged after the announcement: “It was God’s will.” La’Porsha Renae had to be a bit disappointed not to win. She is magnificent, and the only place she is going is up in the music world. She and Trent both got record contracts, so good news!AMERICAN IDOL: Host Ryan Seacrest, Contestant La'Porsha Renae and Trent Harmon during the AMERICAN IDOL Finale airing Thursday, April 7 (8:00-10:06 PM ET Live/PT tape-delayed) on FOX. © 2016 FOX Broadcasting Co. Cr: Ray Mickshaw/FOX

Here’s a sample of La’Porsha’s gift. Don’t miss her, because she is a rising star, destined for wherever God and that voice will take her.

Then there’s Trent…also incredibly gifted and ready for the music industry. Don’t miss his interpretation of Sia‘s Chandelier.

lastly, here, quite poignantly is the announcement of the winner, the last song, and the last goodbye…for now.

Trent Harmon Wins Last American Idol Ever – TV Guide piece by Liam Mathews with Finale Highlights

‘American idol’ Names Harmon its Final Winner – Bill Keveney, USA Today

American Idol – Season 15 – This is Why I Watch

AMERICAN IDOL: Top 24: Top row: Jeneve Rose Mitchell, Shelbie Z, CJ Johnson, La'Porsha Renae, James VIII, Jenn Blosil, Stephany Negrete, Adam Lasher, Sonika Vaid, Kory Wheeler, MacKenzie Bourg, Olivia Rox, Tristan McIntosh   Middle row: Jordan Sasser, Trent Harmon   Bottom row: Jenna Renae, Amelia Eisenhauer, Gianna Isabella, Lee Jean, Avalon Young, Dalton Rapattoni, Emily Brooke, Thomas Stringfellow, Manny Torres. © 2016 FOX Broadcasting Co. Cr: Michael Becker / FOXPhoto Credit: StarPulse

This is my last week of watching reality TV. After 15 seasons, American Idol, with Ryan Seacrest as host, is going off the air. I’ve only watched a handful of those seasons, but somehow, while living overseas, I watched Kelly Clarkson win the competition on Season 1. She had an incredible voice and stage presence then, and has only gotten better.

Why do I still watch Idol when I can? OK, first there is the whole premise of the show – giving talented young people this wild opportunity to have stardom within their grasp. All the grooming, the coaching, the stretching of a reality show. I’m sure there is tons of stuff behind the scenes that I wouldn’t love…but it’s fascinating to watch these young performers deal with the pressures, make friends, and hone their craft.

Then there’s the panel of judges – Keith Urban, Harry Connick, Jr., and Jennifer Lopez. They’re gorgeous, brilliantly talented, and smart. It’s fun to watch them, except this year it was a tad painful. This was their last year on American Idol, and there was an emotional undercurrent that surfaced occasionally. Sometimes testy, but most of the time, sentimental and sweet. I will miss them.Blog - American Idol - hide.me - judgesPhoto Credit: Hide.Me

Although the show’s system of selecting finalists is through social media voting, I am sure the judges influence that voting. Just like the blogger for AmericanIdolNet, I started picking how the Top 10 ranked based on the judges’ comments and enthusiasm or lack thereof. Our picks were very similar. Blog - American Idol - americanidolnetPhoto Credit: AmericanIdolNet

From the Top 24 (image at top of post) through to the last, the eliminations have been painful. Really lovely, gifted young singers/musicians. They all will carve out some measure of success given their crazy talent and winsomeness.

This week is the finale week. Three evenings of American Idol – from a special retrospective on all 15 years of the show, to the final competition between the Top 3, to the finale (when the winner of American Idol 2016 is revealed and the show has its last huge last hurrah).

I will be watching all three.

The remaining finalists in contention are all great performers. If you haven’t been keeping up with Idol, let me tell you just a bit about them.

Dalton Rapattoni is a vocal coach in Texas. He gets hair cut and colored at his grandmother’s beauty salon. Dalton has these puppy-dog eyes, a shy smile, and such a voice! On the last episode, he was sure he was going to be cut (even had written with marker on his hands the expressions: “I’m OK” and “It’s alright”). He didn’t get cut. Less than a minute later, he had to compose himself and perform God Only Knows (BeachBoys). This kid has such heart! Here’s the video from that performance:

Trent Harmon works in his family’s restaurant (with produce straight from their Mississippi farm). He has a killer voice with a unique and appealing quality (range and vibrato). Sick with mono early in the competition and without his family with him, he has toughed it out right to the end with huge support from the judges…which he deserves. Listen to him sing….wow!

Then there is La’Porsha Renae. Also from Mississippi, this 22y/o single mom of an adorable daughter is a powerhouse singer. Unless some voting fluke happens, she will be the last American Idol. All three of these finalists are extraordinary, but La’Porsha is the one…I believe. Two of her songs are in the videos below. She cries at the end of both (which didn’t happen with other songs, just so you know) – the first time, I think she was overwhelmed by the support of the audience; the second time, because it was a powerful benediction to her short marriage to an abusive husband. She has so much class….and this voice…and the hair? Hers, too.

That’s all the words I have…except for wanting to close with the video of Kelly Clarkson singing her latest “Piece by Piece” on American Idol. I actually love this live version much more than her official video. She tells the story of her dad leaving her family when she was 6 y/o. He left and didn’t look back. Interwoven in this incredible song is also a salute to her husband and the father of her daughter…a man who showed her how good a father could be. It’s beautiful…

So that’s my summary on this show…and why I watch. It’s a good season to end on…

This Week on American Idol 2016 – Series Finale and Three-Night Event Schedule

‘American Idol’ Finale Week Kicks Off with a Look Back at All 15 Seasons