Yes, that’s right. I’m talking about American Idol.
What I love about the show is that it gives ordinary people with great voices a shot at something bigger. Well, maybe the people who win aren’t exactly ordinary. But show biz is tough, and AI opens some doors to people who lack connections and hence access.
What I hate about the show is the way it trades in humiliation, from replaying videos of really bad singers insisting they are brilliant to Simon’s blistering dismissals to the way the show makes the weakest contestants sweat it out, week after week.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a fanatic. I watched faithfully the first year, fitfully the second year and hardly at all since then. Until now. Suddenly, I’m hooked. Maybe it’s because the overall professionalism of the contestants has shot up. Maybe it’s because the overall professionalism of the judges has shot up, mostly because the new judge, Kara DioGuardia, helps balance out the Simon Cowell / Paula Abdul weirdness. (What’s with those two anyway? Simon always critiques Paula’s critique before issuing his own. Snipe, snipe, snipe).
A no-brainer: Adam Lambert will win. He’s got voice, style, versatility, drive and originality. Plus, he’s ten years older than my personal pick for second place, sixteen-year-old Allison Iraheta, who has it all except the edge that comes from experience (and maybe good fashion sense). I’m guessing that Kris Allen will hang on for third place—and that he’s the one the judges will give a second chance to.