Barry was on American Idol this past Tuesday night (2-3-2009). Before I go on, as a personal explanation, I am not at all a fan of AI. During the early seasons of the show, I was attending classes at night. The only AI I saw were the ones Barry appeared on as a mentor. My husband loved the show. Two years ago I watched a whole season. That was my first and last season. I was not impressed.
Since Barry was a guest, I watched again on Tuesday night. There wasn’t much to see. If you blinked, you missed Barry. His appearance had not been mentioned in any on air commercials or TV listings. Only the fan club hyped the appearance to the fans. I have read a lot on the Internet about people’s thoughts about Barry’s latest AI sighting. Fans were disappointed at the brevity of the Barry’s screen time. I thought the appearance totally represented what Barry Manilow felt was important- sharing his knowledge and experience with the younger generation.
Barry got a ton of reports in the press regarding his AI appearance as part of the Idol boot camp. One writer brought up a very interesting point; by Barry being on AI this early in the season he is not likely to be back on as a mentor later on. That means he did not sing on the show. Barry gave up the opportunity to increase the sales of his 1980 cover CD by promoting it on a very popular TV show. That demonstrates, to me, where Barry priories lay. He wanted to help the constants, not promote his own interests.
Now who knows? Maybe a deal was worked out for Barry to re-appear on AI later on in the season and he will sing, mentor, promote, or whatever. Just this time being on Idol wasn’t about the star Barry Manilow but about Mr. Manilow, the person, sharing a piece of himself. That brief appearance on AI was a glimpse into a generous man’s soul.
Note: Access Hollywood had a brief snippet on Wednesday (2-4-2009) of Barry on AI.
They also have an extended interview with Barry on their website.