Once I became aware and gave it some thought, I strongly believed the entire concept of American Idol was flawed and not worthy of anyone’s time or effort including both the fans and participants.
The idea that anyone can tell another person who their ‘idols’ are, or should be, I find ludicrous and insulting. To think that entertainment idols only exist in the context of singers is extremely narrow minded.
There was a band out touring with Hank Williams Jr. earlier this year who rose to fame the old way. I recall when they played high school dances in the area I grew up. They were mostly school buddies who formed and practiced, changing their name and look over a period of years until a group identity emerged and they were “discovered” by someone in the music business who would help them grow beyond a bar band whose reputation was local/regional.
Every city/state/region has one or more of these success stories of hometown heroes who achieved the big time. One crucial difference between any of them and the so-called talent that American Idol presents is the behavior of the fans. Our home-grown musical idols would have never succeeded if it wasn’t for the effort of their fans to get up off their asses, go to the local talent show, dance, bar or where ever else they could see them play live, buy the ticket, drive to the venue, watch, listen and appreciate. What does the producers of American Idol expect of its audience? Umm, well, sit around and watch TV, occasionally placing a phone call. In short, what effort, I’m talking about REAL time and effort do the fans play in the process? None than I can observe. For that reason American Idol doesn’t deserve our attention. It is somewhat comforting to know that these so-called fans are getting exactly the “idols” they deserve.
How many American Idol winners or runner-ups will be remembered 50 years from now as being among the very best in their fields in terms of talent, sales and impact on their profession?
By the way, that “hometown” band I mentioned earlier? Up until their big break they used an old house close to my hometown of Green Cove Springs, FL to practice. And I remember when they played high school dances. You may have heard of them – Lynyrd Skynyrd.