One of the worst kept secrets of my life is that I am an American Idol enthusiast.
I was immediately drawn to the show’s concept. A singing competition that is determined by the people. At the turn of the 21st century, it was an innovative and interactive method that I had never witnessed before on television.
Although, I didn’t catch on in Season 1, the year Kelly Clarkson won. It was afterward when I heard her resulting single that I was first introduced to the show.
I tuned in for Season 2, and from then on, I was hooked.
Everything about the show entertained me. From the auditions in the beginning featuring both the talented and the terrible vocalists; the acerbic wit and deadpan delivery of Simon Cowell; the smoothly loquacious emceeing of Ryan Seacrest; and most of all, the performances.
What American Idol can always stand by is the fact that it truly takes every day joes — people that, months ago, were working in a Starbucks or driving a tractor — and transforms them into household names.
And that is what I believe the show is truly about — transformation. Yes, the performances were always fun, but what made it truly special was seeing these people grow before our eyes. Over the course of a season, we got to know more about each contestant, learn their personalities, and pick our own favorites.
They were just like us. Except they could sing a lot better.
We felt their euphoria when they received word they were moving on to the next week, and their heartbreak when they were eliminated. That held true all the way to the season finale when each winner was announced.
Besides Kelly Clarkson, the show has discovered the likes of Carrie Underwood, Adam Lambert, Chris Daughtry, Jennifer Hudson, Jordin Sparks, Philip Philips, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino, and of course, William Hung.
Did it started to tail off in popularity after Simon Cowell left following Season 9? Has it lost it lost its luster in recent years? Has it even been outdone by another reality singing competition in The Voice? Sure.
Amateur singers do have other outlets to have their voice heard in today’s digital age. But even YouTube doesn’t provide the type of exposure, on a national network at primetime, that Idol does. And without it, young vocalists will undoubtedly be losing one method to break their way into the musical scene.
But as they say, all good things must come to an end.
I grew up with the show. I was 13 when I started to watch American Idol. I thought I’d grow out of it. But I didn’t. Even in college, I still watched. And at 29 years old, I’m still watching right now, as the final episode comes to an end.
In fact, I am 29 years old today. The end of American Idol comes on my birthday. Is that some type of sign? One of those instances where the universe seems to be sending you a humorous message?
Who knows. Probably not. But it does make it a little more memorable for me.
But most of all, I’m just upset I’ll never get to audition.
Oh well. I guess I’ll just have to start my own YouTube channel. If it’s received as well as this blog then, well…
I’ll just stick to blogging. Peace Idol.