14 February 2007

American Idle

It's Season Six of American Idol. That's astounding to me. Where was I before? While the show is endlessly copied and parodied, each season seems to get "better" than the last. It's all highly subjective of course, since it can be argued that Kelly Clarkson will be the biggest star to ever emerge from the show.

If you saw the Grammys, two Idol alumni -- Carrie Underwood and Jennifer Hudson -- took over the stage and were legit stars. Hudson has been Oscar-nominated for her role in Dreamgirls and Underwood won a Grammy on Sunday night (for Best Female Country Vocal Performance).

Kelly Clarkson won two Gramophone Awards in 2006; previous Idol winners Fantasia Barrino and Ruben Studdard were both nominated in 2004. That's a lot of Grammy nominations for past participants of American Idol. Astute Grammy viewers will also note that the audience-selected girl who sang with Justin Timberlake, Robyn Troup, also tried out for this season's American Idol -- but was cut on last night's episode.

The American Idol train just keeps on chugging along, gaining steam and getting bigger each and every year. I admittedly watched most of last season and was stunned that Taylor Hicks won over the far more talented (and bewitching) Katharine McPhee. The show just sucks you in man. Having it on as background noise eventually leads to a total inability to do anything else; I couldn't help it. I even attended an American Idol concert in San Jose a few months ago. These people can sing! You did good America. Golf claps all around.

It's like I hate the show, but I love the show. Maybe not love, but tenderly tolerate. It's a phenomenon I'd rather not be a part of, but since it's around me all the time, I have to pay attention to who makes the cut each week and then put in my two cents about whether or not they deserved it. I'm still stunned that this is Season Six. Will this thing ever stop? How long can America want to keep picking Idols? American Idol Twenty? Thirty?

I've decided that for women, American Idol is the cultural equivalent of the Super Bowl.