I started watching 'American Idol' mid-way through the first season. Thought "Wow, that is a LOT of Coca-Cola logos all over the place all the time." and "This is dorky." and "That Brian Dunkelman guy and his 'I'm so much BETTER than this dorkiness' dorkiness is annoying. At least that Ryan Seacrest acts like he's psyched to have a job." Meh about the singers and their drama. Liked the damaged goods stripper mom about to get damaged-er Nikki McKibbin. Thought the boo-ing of Simon Cowell stupid - golly, he was the only one with constructive advice! Blah blah.
Even during the first season, I pegged that the whole process GUARANTEED I would never, ever end up buying a recording by a finalist, or even a contestant. All of the headcases, the interesting people, the oddballs, were weeded out. They are the only ones who make decent music.
Though, yes, clearly Clay Aiken looks like he's into some dark, dark shit.
Yet, I kept watching.
It had watercooler value, providing good baseline conversations with people while out 'n' about. Weekly fascination with guessing at Paula Abdul's biochemical state. Would she be slurry? Would she make shamanistic proclamations only fully apprehended weeks, months, generations hence?
And Simon Cowell. Sage observations on 'Idol'. In his professional life: purveyor of crap. He masterminded the "No, really, is this shit serious?" opera boy band Il Divo. It is impossible to look at a photo of Il Divo and not laugh. I double-dog dare you.
If given some quiet, I can name all of the 'American Idol' champs. But I still have never, ever purchased a related recording. Not even William Hung's "She Bangs". If I hold to that for another 60 years, please note that in my obituary.
Paula "left", replaced by a semi-dessicated groovy (but totally type-A) music industry chick who kept leaning over to the camera when she SHOULD NEVER LEAN FORWARD TO THE CAMERA unless she's wearing something up to her neck. She had a funny moment with Bikini Chick, but otherwise, I'm glad to not have to look at her or listen to her again. Ah, I'm pretending to not know the woman's name. I totally know her name. It's Kara DioGuardi.
This year, I watched all the auditions and the whittling down. Then the last five weeks I've deleted unwatched 'American Idol' episodes off the DVR. And that's, okay. Is it because any enterprise where Randy Jackson is considered the aesthetic anchor is doomed? Mebbe.
In farewell, I post two emblematic moments that stick in my head years after they happened on 'American idol'. Katherine McPhee's yellow dress. Kevin Couvais (aka "Chicken Little") and his goofy shuffle across the stage to "Part Time Lover".
Goodbye, 'American Idol'. I wish you and your cross-promotions and product placements well. Seacrest, out.