“American Idol”: cancelled, but never forgotten

Audition of season one winner Kelly Clarkson

The hit television show “American Idol” is coming to a close after 15 seasons, according to an article in Variety magazine. Surprisingly many people via social media outlets are expressing thoughts that the show is past its prime, and should be put out to pasture. The producers want to see the show end on a “celebratory note” rather than be kicked out of the ring, holding onto the ropes with bloody fingers.

I will be a little sad to see it go. I think the show is a phenomenon! It has definitely fired up the dreams and hopes of many young hopefuls. Kids lined up for regional auditions and drove, or had their parents drive them, sometimes 12 hours or more for a chance to grab the elusive brass ring. I remember watching from the edge of my seat as a few contestants over the years admitted that they had called in sick, or even quit their jobs.

I would almost hold my breath rooting for them to make it. The courage and determination to risk it all on an audition lasting a few moments? The common sense (after all bills have to be paid) in me did many a battle with the part of me that admired the daring that they’d shown.  You only live once and it was exhilarating to see these teens and adults experiencing life to the fullest.

The article lists some of the “American Idol” alumni whose stardom shot into the stratosphere. Kelly Clarkson was the very first winner in 2002. She is still going strong, having won two Grammys in 2014:  Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Pop Solo Performance.  And she’s not the only one continuing to make great music. And it’s all the more endearing to see their success because we feel like we were on this ride with them from the beginning of the first nervous sweaty moments, to their evolutions to full out rock stars. Remember these gems?

  • Chris Daughtry
  • Ruben Studdard
  • Fantasia Barrino
  • Carrie Underwood
  • Jennifer Hudson

I’ve enjoyed all of the judges, but my favorite group was the first panel which consisted of Simon Cowell (the judge you loved to hate), Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul. Their original chemistry was great. Even their little spats made you chuckle. But in the end they usually got it right, and picked the best talent to progress to the next round. There are whispers that the finale might feature visits from some of the past judges and performers from the show. That’s going to be a night to remember and, God willing, I plan to be right there watching. Make sure you’re logged into Facebook and Twitter if you watch it so we can chat amongst ourselves as we snack on popcorn and watch the end of a golden era.  🙂


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