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Posted @ 12:17 am with 0 comments, Filed under: News

When you are a fan of both American Idol and playing the card game poker, you can’t help but see certain similarities between the two. I think it’s the unpredictable nature of the two that made me consider it in the first place, because in the way that no one could have predicted for certain that David Cook would have won American Idol, you can’t predict the winner of a poker game either.

Other similarities I noticed recently are:

There’s always an odds on favourite

People will always try to predict the winner, based on the probability of their defeat or victory. In both American Idol and poker this can be an issue, because there’s a very good chance a player or contestant’s performance won’t live up to the expectations of the general public. Sometimes the pressure alone is enough to defeat the odds on favourite. On average though, it is more likely the top dog Texas Hold’em star will win than an American Idol contestant, because in a game of poker you are relying entirely on your own skill and nerve. Even if they are playing the game on American Idol viewers have too much say in the fate of the singer for there to be a guarantee the chosen singer will win. I’m sure it’s the same in singing competitions in the UK or France as well.

You’re in the spotlight

Whether you are competing in American Idol, or participating in a poker tournament, you are being put in the spotlight. It feels on both occasions like you are up on a pedestal, especially if you are the odds on favourite to win. For example, let’s imagine we have a poker player called Henri Blanchet, who is always the odds on favourite to win every tournament he enters, he’ll be in the spotlight more so than every other player in the Paris casino. Every player has the spotlight for a few moments when they consider and make their moves though. In American Idol, you have that three minute slot to shine.

You have to act a certain way

As much as we like to think the contestants on American Idol are genuinely being themselves on the show, the likelihood is they are portraying an agreeable version of themselves to camera. We all change our behaviour when we feel like we’re being watched, and this self consciousness transfers to the personalities we see on the screen. I have no doubt that even the reality stars on French television are not always themselves, it isn’t just a US phenomenon. It’s the same when a person plays poker. You’re portraying the version of yourself which you want other people to see, not necessarily the real you. For example, you might be acting like you’re more confident than you are, or you create a character around yourself to seem more formidable at the table.

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