Chad Writes Yet Another Open Letter to Lauren Alaina
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On Thursday, I published a blog called Chad Writes Yet Another Open Letter to Lauren Alaina! This particular blog was the third in a series I started in 2011. See, I was a HUGE Lauren Alaina fan during last year's edition of American Idol. I was convinced she had the chops to win, but she always seemed to struggle a little with the confidence she needed to belt out those huge notes that made us love her in the first place. I loved her voice, but it was so frustrating when she held back due to a lack of nerve. I felt like my friendly "online advice" would help inspire her to greatness.
Well, you know the story. Lauren ended up losing to Scotty McCreery in the finale, but, heck, she was a runner-up and snagged a country career out of it anyway. About a month or so later, Lauren made her debut at the Grand Ole Opry, walked out onto stage and just blasted her way through "Like My Mother Does." It was awesome and, I daresay, she completely outperformed the Idol champ, who was also there that night making his debut.
But, in my blog posted earlier this week, I shared some thoughts about an encounter I had with Lauren in a hotel lobby recently. I was bothered by certain behaviors that I found problematic. For instance, Lauren is 17-years-old and was in the lobby bar of that hotel each time I saw her. And, it appeared to me that no "adult" was keeping an eye on her. For me, that's a potentially sticky situation. A relatively young girl in a bar full of adult males who've been consuming alcohol?? Nancy Grace has taught us the drill, Peeps. There are people in this world who will forget she's seventeen and, ever worse, there are people in this world who wouldn't care. My friend Jaclyn and I were both commenting that someone needed to take Lauren under her wing and quick. This, and some other behaviors I witnessed, didn't sit well with me . . . at all . . . and I felt I needed to express this. Remember, I have a history of "open letters" to Lauren.
The initial round of folks who read my blog said things like "hilarious" and "brilliant" in reference to it. In fact, a former high school teacher of mine said this . . . "Great advice, Chad. I've liked her too from her first moments on Idol. I know your 'letter' is written with humor, but there is often a lot of truth hidden in humor. I hope she wakes up before it's too late."
Another friend, who is a leader in our community, wrote this . . . "Love it! There are lots of teen girls that could learn something in that letter!"
The initial feedback just proved that many folks agreed with my analysis of the situation and my advice on how to fix some perceived problems. So, naturally, I assumed that EVERYONE agreed with me and EVERYONE appreciated by over-the-top sense of humor and penchant for exaggerating for comic effect.
Voice: Yes. May I speak to Chad please?
Me: This is Chad.
Voice: Hello, Chad. This is the "clue" phone. You need to get one.
Seems my blog caused a little bit of a stir in the Lauren Alaina Nation. I basically got hammered by a barrage of hate mails from around the country, and, from some local listeners as well. Some of the things I said went over about as well as a bucket of KFC at a PETA board meeting. Okay, lesson learned, people. I shouldn't have used a reference about poodles at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. I get where you're coming from. But, you must know that crazy analogy was meant to prove a point . . . not render harm. Remember, I am TEAM LAUREN here. That's why I wrote the blog in the first place.
The response to this blog has been fascinating to me. What is particularly fascinating is how fevered the pitch can be and how my attempt to be the "good" guy made me, ultimately, seem the like the "bad" guy to some people. Now, those of you from other parts of the country have no frame of reference one way or the other. But the local folks do. I really am a "good" guy and my "open letter" was written to offer up good, friendly advice. Yes. I loaded that letter up with off-the-wall analogies and sarcasm. But, that's how I roll.
But the bottom line is this. Whether or not you like my tone, there are some things I am sure we ALL agree on. #1- A 17-year-old girl should not be hanging out in the bar of a hotel. In fact, Lauren, I will just address you. You should NOT be hanging out in the bar of a hotel. #2- I think we can all agree that Lauren, because of her success on Idol, has been thrust into a business that can make you or break you. That business, like it or not, has its share of piranha swimming around looking for prey. I said this in my initial blog and I still mean it. Lauren, the one thing you don't want to appear to be around a pool of carnivores . .. is bait. I know there are certain behaviors that come with being a 17-year-old girl. I get it. I have two 17-year-old nieces. But, in certain situations, especially in show business, you're going to have to think about what you do, where you do it, and who's watching.
I think those are points we ALL agree on. Yay? Nay? We've seen what bad decisions have done to Miley Cyrus. I mean, news broke about her this week with photos attached and it ain't pretty. And, here's the thing. Miley doesn't have your talent. All she seems to have these days is negative press. That's about the only thing keeping her "career" alive. Lauren, we want more for you.
Think about Britney Spears. She was thrust into the spotlight at an early age and she couldn't handle it . . . at all! She went crazy, had to go to rehab, shaved her head, and drove around Malibu with a baby in her lap. The result? Today, Britney is hardly known for her music. She's know for being a complete train wreck of Amtrak proportions. Lauren, we want more for you.
And, then there's Mindy McCready. I could go on for days about how she allegedly thwacked her mama upside the head with a Scrabble board, thought admitting to an affair with Roger Clemens was a good idea, used a fake prescription to buy OxyContin, and allegedly kidnapped her own child. But I won't. Just know this, Lauren. WE WANT MORE FOR YOU!!
And when I say "we," I mean ALL your fans. And, trust me. You have a crap load of them. And I know this from personal experience because they all bombarded my station's website to yell at me, call me "creeper" and tell I am a big, fat jerk! (And, by the way, whichever one of you said I look over forty . . . a pox on you!).
Lauren, the whole point of my third "open letter" to you was to urge you to try to enjoy BEING seventeen . . . in a business that isn't going to let you BE seventeen. Like Taylor Swift, you are going to have to find a way to maintain a good head on your shoulders and keep your eye on the prize. And, given those facts, I wrote my "open letter" to tell you that you, in a way, ARE going to have to grow up some. Make sure you grow up just enough to protect your innocence.
I think we can all agree on that advice, right?