I admit it: I watch American Idol and I'll be watching tonight as the final results are revealed.
Yeah, I'm 44, I don't have teenagers, I'm well-educated, I listen to good music, I should pretend to somehow be above this trash. But I'm not. It's not that I care that much about it; I just think it's great entertainment.
Those who I've heard/read bashing Idol all have pretty hollow cases. They blame Idol for the downfall of everything from Rock 'n' Roll to civilization itself. And they're idiots. Rock's been dying a slow death, with small bouts of remission, since 1974 - well before any of the Idol contestants were born. Civilization's been on a decline for at least that long.
Idol did not invent Top 40 / Pop / Bubblegum / whatever label you want to put it (can we all agree to blame Don Kirschner for that last one?). Idol did not invent the amateur talent show (from Ted Mack in the early days of TV to Star Search, it's all been done before). Idol did not invent the prime-time reality game show that turns unknowns into overnight sensations.
All Idol has done is combine these elements into a well-produced show that had the good fortune to debut at the right moment to be a hit. Don't like it? Quit your whining and change the channel.
Yes, I know a lot of the other criticism, specifically how it leaves behind a lot of other musical genres and styles. I agree, and I would love to see other Idols hit the airwaves, from Soul Idol to Folk Idol to Rap Idol to Geezer Idol. Yeah, Geezer Idol. I want a show with a minimum participant age of at least 35 or 40.
But, I can hope for producers to create these other shows without wasting my time blogging or calling radio stations demanding the death of American Idol.
I've got a busy day to start on now, including a board meeting that will run till about 8:30 tonight. But when it's done with, I'll be rushing home to tune into the season finale and seeing whether Taylor or Kat is our new American Idol!
(BTW: Kat's hot and I definitely have the McPheever, but frankly, I'm rooting for Taylor).
Tags: American Idol, pop music, pop culture, television