The other night I was watching American Idol and I wondered why I was so compelled by it and actually gave it some deep thought. Yes, I probably think too much and have way too much time on my hands, but I think I’ve figured it out and now I must wax philosophical about American Idol.
We all love a success story. We love to see a regular Joe or Jane, who is just like us, excel to new and unexpected heights. American Idol has been a rocket that has transported ordinary and talented people to the stars. It’s beautiful to witness. One day somebody is working at a paint store or they’re a single mom and a few months later, they are a superstar known by the world.
While we enjoy the bad performances at the beginning of the season and then the talent presented, it’s not just that. American Idol gives us hope. It captures the American Dream that now seems to be falling away in light of all the economic, job market and other problems that plague us lately.
According to Wikipedia, current runner-up for American Idol, Crystal Bowersox is a diabetic en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crystal_Bowersox. She is also a single mom and has struggled for many years to make it as a musician, including playing in train stations and performing at church. Wikipedia also says that Lee DeWyze en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_DeWyze, her musical adversary, was a paint salesman with a passion for music.
It’s wonderful to see the exuberant reactions of friends and family members of the contestants during positive moments in the competition and poignant to see their love and support during less positive moments.
I remember one touching moment when a young contestant, who was homeless and lived in his car, was sent home. His name was Josiah Leming and although extremely talented, he didn’t make it to the top. According to WBKO.com www.wbko.com/news/headlines/16184817.html, after Leming’s stint to stardom, fans got together and donated a car, clothing and other items to him. Since being on American Idol, he has been able to actually make money from his music.
Early in the season during auditions, you can also watch the totally untalented make fools of themselves on television, which is always good for a laugh. You also see a lot of strange and interesting characters.
Who can forget the serious young man in the suit, who sang his odd rendition of “Let My People Go”; the older break-dancing gentlemen, who brilliantly rapped, “Pants on the Ground”; and the happy man in the white suit and feathers who had everyone around the world singing, “You are my Brother”?
American Idol lets us lives vicariously through the successful contestants and laugh at the silly ones. Hey, if you can’t reach for the stars, at least you can watch them ascend into the universe where fame and fortune may await.