Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Why I love American Idol: an embodiment of American values

I'm definitely what we'd call in Silicon Valley a "late adopter" to the whole American Idol thing. This is my first season ever watching any episode of the show. But I guess blogging about it several times and watching every single episode this season makes me a fan now. I blame Jill for the blogging part. Her hatred of Sanjaya prompted me to write my first blog about American Idol: Sanjaya makes me laugh.

Okay maybe blogging does not a fan make. But what makes me a fan is American Idol embodies some American cultural values (both good and bad)

* Absolute faith in the democratic process. The people decide who wins
* Glorification of entertainment and the entertainment industry
* Belief that individuals can make a difference not only by voting but in huge problems like poverty by voting and donating their money - Idol Gives Back
* Like the idea that "anyone can be president" (some restrictions apply), "anybody can be the Next American Idol(TM)" (some restrictions apply)
* Entertainment covering entertainment
* The belief that you can know someone's heart from watching them on tv, even though you have never met them.

And since I'm a fan, I know the show started in the UK, but it has really taken off here. I had shied away from American Idol for years, because I thought it was only about entertainment, and silly at that. And I still feel we get carefully packaged versions of these singers, but after all that's entertainment. It's the moral values that kept me coming back. And as an import from the UK myself, I think that makes me an American to believe that a show about entertainment can have morals.

The week Sanjaya stopped being entertaining and I stopped voting for him, he got voted off. Even my 5 year old daughter wouldn't watch him that week. I sorta miss Phil and his big blue soulful eyes, but he's not a good a singer as some of the others. And as for Chris, there's only so much Boy Band a girl can take.

I like the Final Four. I still want Melinda to win. She combines both a wonderful voice and a lot of heart and delivers it week after week. Plus my 2 year old son still screams like a groupie whenever he hears her sing. But Blake comes a close second. He makes every single song his own. Jordin has a great voice and great potential, but sometimes does seem young and misses in her performances. And LaKisha sometimes just blows me away with those pipes of hers, but other weeks, her heart doesn't seem to be in her songs.

No comments: