Who Am I?

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A nobody; a nitwit; a pilot; a motorcyclist; a raconteur; a lover...of life - who loves to laugh, who tries to not take myself (or anything) too seriously...just a normal guy who knows his place in the universe by being in touch with my spiritual side. What more is there?

14 May 2008

American Idol

So a month or so ago we were in the helicopter, flying up to a board meeting in a town about an hour away. It was me, the Boss and an officer of the company who is slightly older than the both of us. The conversation turned to American Idol. It soon became clear that they were big fans. I thought to myself, "This is pretty bizarre." I kind of stayed out of it at first, not wishing to admit that I've been watching it this year too. But eventually I sheepishly joined in, and we three pontificated for the rest of the flight about the merits of each contestant and who should stay and who should go. General consensus: "Dreadlock Boy" (Jason Castro) inexplicably lasted far longer than any of us thought he would. (In fact, he would go on to be one of the final four!)

At first it struck me as odd that we three fifty-something year-old guys were discussing a silly t.v. show. But then again, I thought back to some similar previous shows, beginning with the long-running Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour which came to television from radio in the late 1940's and incredibly stayed on the air all the way through 1970. And Star Search beginning in 1983 and running until 1995. We like seeing raw talent develop into stars, I suppose.

American Idol has been on the air since 2002. I always thought it was mildly interesting although mostly lame. With a few notable exceptions (Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and Jordin Sparks, of course), the contestants never really seemed all that talented. After season two or three I stopped watching altogether.

But the show is much better this year for some reason; the level of talent has been awesome. Having said that, from the beginning the guys did seem stronger than the girls. However, each of the "top twelve" kids has been very, very good in their own way. While it's usually been easy to see in advance who was going to win, this year it was not so obvious. As the contestants were eliminated one by one, it left a stronger and stronger group. Of the final six, there was no real walk-away-with-it-all winner - excluding the young Archuleta, who has that Paul McCartney/Donny Osmond/Nick Carter/Jesse McCartney thing going for him.

Anyway, this week it was down to two guys and a girl: the Davids, Cook and Archuleta; and Syesha Mercado. Among my friends, speculation ran wild as to who would be eliminated.

I was never a fan of Syesha's. In fact, I thought she should have been eliminated weeks ago. But strangely, she got better and better - so much so that I became a big fan and was actually rooting for her to win.

Sad to say, Syesha was eliminated last night, making it a fight between the guys. In a way, it doesn't matter which of the Davids win. They'll both go on to become recording artists, as will Syesha and yes, even Dreadlock Boy. They all deserve it - as do many of the other contestants this year.

David Cook is probably the most-talented of any contestant of any season. He's awesome, and in a perfect world he should win.

But despite his narrow range and odd voice, the giggly David Archuleta will win, primarily because of who's doing the voting. It has nothing to do with talent or musical ability. It has to everything do with the teenage girls who think he's dreamy. And they're the ones who are voting, not old guys like me and my Boss and the Exec.

American Idol one of those "water cooler" shows and is unique in that it appeals to an extremely broad spectrum of society - everyone from young kids to grownups (at least, certain corporate heads and helicopter pilots). It is a tremendous thing in that regard. The sponsors are certainly getting their money's worth.


Redlefty said...

That's cool. Our family doesn't watch any TV, but I'm thinking that this might be a good first show for us to watch together.

Does another season start in the fall?

I'll admit I've watched several audition videos on YouTube and some of those kids are extremely talented!

Anonymous said...

The only time I sit down with family and friends to watch American Idol is during the tryouts. That's when some of the funny moments are caught. Afterwards it just kinda gets predictable especially with that Archuleta guy. Britain also has something similar. They featured this little girl named Connie Talbot. She sings Somewhere Over the Rainbow really well. Oh and then I saw a clip of this other little girl named Charice Pempengco. She was featured on Oprah a couple days ago but her most viral video is the one when she was invited to a Korean TV show called Star King. She brought down the house!

Anyway I love music. Anytime you see and hear good performances no matter where they come from is always good for the soul.

Anonymous said...

Have you ever seen Paul Potts on Britain's Got Talent?

If not, go to youtube and check out, "Paul sings Nessun Dorma high quality video/sound".


Guanaja Sharon said...

OK. I'm going to go out on a limb here. I think America is over infatuated with this program. I mean, yes, there is some great talent but all you ever hear on the news is "American Idol" this and "American Idol" that, like it was the most important aspect of American life, which is sad in a way. Now, I don't disavow that the talent is good but, hey, why should these people be in the forefront of today's society....it is like back when I was younger and Hollywood stars were the people to watch. This obsession with actors/singers/performers is too much for me and I, for one, am glad I don't have T.V. and don't become obsessed with what poor singer won't make it this week.
Call me grumpy I guess.

Bob said...

For once I think America got it right; I think David Cook was far and away the most talented. He should be one that goes on to have great success and not one that fades away like Taylor Hicks. Speaking of Hicks, the most talented Idol ever was on that season and that was Chris Daughtry. He has shown it, too, by being the best sellling of all previous contestants. And he came in fourth. Another also-ran that I really liked was Josh Graycin from Season 2. He has a pure country voice and has enjoyed some modest success in Nashville.