Friday, May 23, 2008

American Idol Is Like Crack

I was in college when American Idol started. I would hear people talk about some girl from Texas and some kid from Philly with crazy hair but never much cared. Come finale night I thought, hey why not, I’ll give this little show a chance. I remember watching the finale and loving Kelly Clarkson but like so many others, wondering what the hell was the deal with this Justin character???

Come season Two I watched from day one and that’s when the obsession began. The moment I saw that geek from North Carolina sing “Always and Forever” I was hooked! And don’t judge me, yes I love Clay Aiken and no there is nothing wrong with that. My friend Janine and I were both obsessed (I’m not the only one) and would gather together every Tuesday night to watch in awe. It was clearly the highlight of the week. Sadly, come finale night, as I was sitting in the Continental Airlines Arena watching my Devils lose a playoff game, I got a phone call informing me that Ruben had somehow beaten out my Clay to become the second ever American Idol. Don’t even get me started. It still hurts to this day.

As the seasons progressed, despite there not being a contestant anywhere near as fabulous as Clay, I continued to watch religiously. There were quite a few points that I would insist I would never watch again like when Jennifer Hudson got the boot. Alas, I continued because the power of Idol is just too strong. I try to leave but it draws you back in every time.

The American Idol storm just kept on picking up speed spitting out winner after winner with quite a few failures along the way. Come season 6 I had the privilege of working the NJ/NY auditions. I had to take “vacation” time from my real job to be at the arena at 5:00am but nothing was stopping me. Day one was the sign in. Thousands of Idol wannabes running to the tables ready for their audition ticket and wristband. Day two was the cattle call audition where I was bombarded with crazies all thinking THEY were the next American Idol and not taking rejection very well at all. The following days were the mock judge auditions where the lucky few to make it to the next round audition for 3 producers acting as the judges. It was kinda disappointing because not too many people seemed strange UNTIL I watched them on TV in the audition room. Wow. Truly special people. Despite my newly gained knowledge of the manipulation of reality tv, this first-hand experience only renewed my love for this American Idol.

We conclude with this past season, season 7! Not since Clay Aiken have I enjoyed a contestant as much as David Cook. Oh my! Those looks, that confidence, that hair, that sensitivity, that guitar, and of course that voice. I like to think he was singing to me each week! I have no reason to think otherwise. Every week I was waiting for him to get the boot like Chris Daughtry – way before his time – but thankfully it never came to pass. Finale night was oh so stressful for me. I never get that. Why are these kids not nervous and I am peeing my pants at home ready to throw a hissy when MY contestant doesn’t win. Well this year, expecting the worst, I stood on my feet ready to run away when they announced Archie’s name so I wouldn’t have to watch him in celebration. Much to my relief and excitement, it was David Cook’s name that was called. Screams ensued followed by celebrations of dance.

So another Idol year has come and gone and the addiction grows stronger and stronger. I’ve tried to give it up but the force of Idol won’t allow it. The need for it each week gets stronger and stronger.

While I wait for January when we get a new crop of wannabes, I will relive all the Idol glory on YouTube. Thank goodness for YouTube!

For all you other Idol addicts out there – it’s been a good ride. Now who’s gonna buy me my tour tickets? I’m serious!

Call me.

****I just realized I never gave any Simon love in this whole AI blog entry! What would Idol be without Simon Cowell?-----NOTHING! Simon is like a refreshing voice of honesty always saying what I am thinking but no one else has the guts to say. I love it!

Enough said.

Jill E.

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