And the Winner Is – American Idol!

Tonight, the blog will be my feeble attempt to describe the indescribable. Where do the words come from to capture what this last show (for now) of American Idol was like to experience? As I wrote on Facebook, “I am fangirling so hard that I need the commercial breaks to catch my breath.”

Why was that? And by “that” I mean, the same fangirling that millions of other Americans were doing tonight. The reason I came up with was that we knew the objects of our affections.

Take another historically great show like M*A*S*H. We loved Hawkeye. But somebody else – Alan Alda – was playing Hawkeye. We loved Radar. But somebody else – Gary Burghoff – was playing Radar. We loved Klinger. But somebody else – Jamie Farr – was playing Klinger.

On Idol, we loved the characters but the actual people were those characters. Tonight, we relived 15 years of our attachments not to characters but to real people playing the real role of trying to become the hero/heroine of a real rags-to-riches story. We relived the story of the girl living in her car (Kelly Clarkson); and the farm girl from Oklahoma (Carrie Underwood); the cruise ship singer (Jennifer Hudson); and the road warrior bar singer (Taylor Hicks).

Some didn’t go on to fame and glory but they were our stars nonetheless – Tamyra Gray and Jessica Sanchez and Pia (Diva Major) Toscano and Allison Iraheta and so on.

Tonight’s last show (for now) of American Idol was like opening the family scrapbook and reliving all those special family memories. It was a genius move to bring back the Supreme Potentate of the Evil Genius Producers Nigel Lythgoe and allowing him to put his genius at producing dance shows to work. The Idol team needs to get the Emmy it has unjustifiably never won for their excellent work at putting on this show that never lagged behind the beat, never missed a note and stayed in the pocket.

The show was so good that it made the revelation of The Final Idol Forever (for now) anticlimactic. I felt sorry for Trent even though he got the last (for now) winner’s moment. Idol’s history of moments is so great, it felt like his was a deleted scene on the DVD of a great movie.

Of course I am disappointed that La’P – THE GREATEST SINGER IN IDOL HISTORY – didn’t win. But I cannot be outraged. What made us love Idol was that we got to choose our favorite characters and vote to keep them on the show every week. What other successful TV show allowed the viewers to vote off the stars of the show?! The love of music is subjective no matter how often that frustrates us music snobs who desperately try to tell you who’s good and who’s bad. And when you get two great singers like La’P and Trent with very different styles, there is no wrong answer. It simply comes down to personal taste.

But now the real battle begins. How will Trent do in the real world? Nick Fradiani, the last winner who should have been Jax, has yet to release his album. I can’t help but think that there are some issues because the winner should have been Jax. My feeling is that La’P is more commercial sounding than Trent but that’s now Scott Borchetta’s problem to figure out how to sell him. Hopefully he’ll do better than he’s managed so far with Nick.

As for La’P, I am hoping that there is a place in the business – and by the business I mean the industry – for her, too. She is an AMAZING singer but this is such a difficult business to break into. Consider all the talent we saw tonight and how the vast majority of them don’t have record deals. Jessica Sanchez? Are you kidding me?

So where does Idol Musings go from here? In the immediate future, it will go nowhere. There are many things I still have on my mind related to Idol especially in terms of keeping up with Idolists from this and past years. And perhaps some essays here and there where I wax profoundly on the state of the reality music business.

And there’s this whole thing of why Ryan said, “Goodbye – for now.” Ah yes, your friendly neighborhood muser has some information and things to say on that subject.

But for now, this is it my friends.

For now . . .

Explore posts in the same categories: Mindless Rant or Intelligent Commentary, Results

One Comment on “And the Winner Is – American Idol!”

  1. Jenny Says:

    I clearly spend too much time with a toddler because at the end of your blog, I seriously whined in my head, “More”. (Hey it’s Drew’s highest compliment only for such things like Elmo and waffles.)

    As Idol has ended, I remember both the Idol great moments but also my personal Idol moments…meeting you at the leadership ice breaker dinner where Jane (I’m pretty sure it was) called random things and people had to go to front of the room if they applied. I remember the truly meaningful to me series of emails with your mom who I never met but felt like I knew. I remember the ongoing jokes with Karla about the contestants she liked. I think of the familiar names I see on your Idol Facebook posts; people I don’t know but who I’m interested in what they have to say… I figure that they like you so they at least have good taste. 🙂

    It makes me sad to see Idol end but it’s more about what Idol has meant than the actual show of the last few years. When Nick and Trent are the last two winners, the show has clearly lost something. BUT when Jax and La’P are the last two runner ups, it also shows the show did have some magic.

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