But I have a favorite that I have no reservations about sharing this week, and that is the TV show, American Idol.
Is this going to go over the heads of my Australian friends, or do you know what I'm talking about (I hope)? The Cliff's Notes story behind the show is that it's a talent competition for singers. It's the stuff of legends, if you prefer the grandiose. Some of the legends launched from the American Idol platform have been Kelly Clarkson, Clay Aiken, and Carrie Underwood, to name a few.
I've watched every season since the beginning (we're on Season 10 now). In the past couple years, though, I have skipped the auditions and not started watching until the field was narrowed down to the final 12 contestants. That's where it gets good, in my opinion.
I'm not so interested in who the final winner will be, and I don't call in to vote. I just like hearing new voices and watching the contestants develop as the weeks go by and they try their pipes at different genres of music. Often they're visited by superstars in the music industry who give helpful advice and encouragement. It's fun to see what their impressions are, both the contestants of the big name star, and vice-versa.
I've only ever bought one CD of an American Idol contestant, and that was Elliot Yamin in 2007. I've always been a sucker for blue-eyed (or any color) soul, and he had it in spades. (Check the link at the end of this post for a sample.) He didn't win the big prize, but it didn't matter. He built a fan base and had doors opened for him just for being on the show, and that's what it's all about, in my opinion.
Other past favorites who didn't win but have gone on to do well: Jennifer Hudson and Wisconsin homeboy Danny Gokey, to name just a couple.
The auditions that took place in Milwaukee last fall were televised last night. My husband had gotten a tip from our hairdresser (a reliable source, right?) that she'd heard through a client that someone we might know got through to the next round at the Milwaukee auditions. Unfortunately, I didn't see anyone I recognized, so that was apparently a bum steer. But did anyone see the guy at the end (Chris Medina) with the fiancee whom he was two months away from marrying when she got in an accident and suffered a traumatic brain injury? She's now in a wheelchair and he's her caretaker, still very much in love. He sang well, got through to the next round in Hollywood, and then the judges wanted to meet the girlfriend, so they wheeled her in. Whereupon, I bawled my eyes out.
Oh, here, I found a youtube:
The judges are an interesting group this year. In addition to Randy Jackson, who's been there since the beginning, we have Jennifer Lopez, and Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, whose lack of a filter cracks me up. He's going to give the unvarnished truth, that's for sure!
Yep, it's looking like another highly entertaining season of American Idol—one of my favorite things!