My best friend, Patty, and I are "American Idol" junkies.
We, along with millions of other "Idol" fanatics, tuned in Tuesday to watch the show launch its sixth season.
The premiere of "American Idol" is, for us, like the kickoff, halftime show and finale of the Super Bowl all wrapped into one, but without the great commercials.
Since Patty lives in Sauk Rapids and I'm here in Brainerd, we can't always physically get together to watch the show, so we watch it together while on the phone. Yes, it's long distance, but it's the price we pay for "Idol."
Like I said, we're junkies.
We got to talking the other day about why we love the show so much. I was sure I couldn't name 10 things, but before I knew it, I had created a top 10 list that would make David Letterman jealous.
Drum roll please. Let the countdown begin ...
If you watch
What: "American Idol" Season 6
When: 7 p.m. Tuesdays
10. My vote counts. I, along with millions of others, can let my fingers do the talking. After watching a performance show, I can call toll-free as often as I'd like and vote for my favorite contestant. Then I let my fingers do the crossing in hopes my favorite makes it through another week!
9. The contestant interviews. We love to hear the paths some of them take to get to where they are. Some are in bands who play small-time gigs hoping to catch a break, while other contestants are still in high school. Some were persuaded to try out because they like to sing karaoke. The show highlights a broad range of people.
8. Ryan Seacrest, the host. Besides the fact he's easy on the eyes, Ryan has a good rapport with everyone he meets. He's funny but also can be very understanding when a rejected contestant is upset. I also love that he doesn't hesitate to put judge Simon Cowell in his place.
7. That brings me to the judges. I feel the three of them balance each other nicely.
Paula Abdul always has something nice to say - not necessarily about the singing - but she's nice. Sometimes she tells the person she likes their outfit. Or sometimes it's their dance moves. But she is very considerate.
Randy Jackson gives the right kind of constructive criticism (even though it drives me crazy when he calls everyone "dawg" or "man" whether they're male or female. But he states what's wrong and how it could be fixed.
Finally, Simon Cowell is brutally honest. In my opinion, sometimes he's too brutal.
6. For comic relief, the vocally challenged contestants provide the most entertaining exit interviews. These poor souls stay up for hours or maybe days waiting in line to sing for someone, just to be told they aren't going to Hollywood. Remember, people, just because Grandma thinks you can sing doesn't mean you can.
5. The transformation into an Idol. For example, Clay Aiken, first runner-up from the 2003 season, definitely had his own look going for him. He had gel-spiked red hair (sort of) with small round glasses, and his shirt seemed to be missing a pocket protector. But gee whiz, give him a trip to Hollywood, and he becomes a toned-down Barry Manilow. He lost the glasses, colored and cut the hair and added shoulder pads. Voila! Instant Idol!
4. Two days worth of shows back to back. Who wouldn't love that?
3. The singing. The good singing. I love to sing but have stage fright so I live vicariously through those who have the guts to audition for shows like "American Idol."
2. The music. For a person like me with eclectic tastes in music, "Idol" provides just that. It's interesting to see what a 16-year-old contestant will sing versus a 25-year-old contestant. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't, but it's still great music.
And the number one reason why we love "American Idol" ...
1. The water-cooler talk. I like nothing more than to come to work after the first night of "Idol" and see what the buzz is all about. Do my friends/co-workers like who I like? Or did they hear something I didn't? Did they call and vote once, twice or 25 times for their favorite "Idol" wannabe?
DeLYNN HOWARD, staff writer, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5850.
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