June 16, 2007

Auditions, Snap Decisions and Simon Cowell

Earlier, I posted a video of author Malcolm Gladwell describing the dynamics of snap decisions in a music audition setting.

In his example, the trombone audition for the Munich Philharmonic was behind the screen, which made the conductor
Sergiu Celibidache a profoundly better decision maker by taking away 80% of, visual, information.

A vivid example of this practice is widely known to all followers of American Idol. The controversial
Simon Cowell is a master of accurate snap judgments.

Next time you watch Idol, note that many times Simon looks away from the contestant, as if not paying attention. Then, he states that if he were to listen to the contestant on the radio he would change the dial, or sometimes he praises the contestant.

In fact, by treating an audition as if listening to a performance on the radio helps Simon Cowell make a better decision on a contestant’s vocal skills.

Less is more.

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