Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Who's Going to Win American Idol? Probably Not The Winner
America has found a cause that can bring it's citizens together to protest in outrage. Howard Beach's own Pia Toscano was (most people will tell you) prematurely ousted from the list of contestants on this season of American Idol. Sobbing pre-teen girls met Pia outside of her recent taping of Regis and Kelly, and millions of concerned people everywhere lamented the horrible misjudgment of the American people. I wouldn't feel too bad for Toscano, though, if history has taught us anything, then she's well on her way to superstardom. The actual winner of the competition has had a historically less successful career than the runners up. Critics might complain that this reveals the flaw in the Idol system, but I would argue that this is what makes the show work so well. The winner at the end of the season is secondary to the playing out of the contest. Isn't that what we teach our kids to value?
Take a look at the previous Idol winners and you'll see a list of "ehh, they're not that great" to "who the hell is that" names (those Lee Dewyze and Kris Allen albums are really burning up the charts, huh?). The contestants who fell short, however, consist of gigantic stars like Daughtry and Jennifer Hudson as well as train wrecks like Sanjaya who captured the public interest more out of morbid curiosity than real talent. What does it all mean? Mostly that it's a lot easier to phone in a vote for someone than buy their album, but also that it's hard to judge someone's star power in a few weeks. Whoever wins the show is really not important. People watch to see if so-and-so can improve over their previous week's performance, or how they fare in whatever theme the producer's thought up. To top it all off, America loves an underdog, and nothing can build up a fan base like the idea that your favorite singer got a raw deal.
So, don't feel too bad for Pia Toscano or whoever else is voted off the show in the next few weeks. It'll probably be the best thing that could happen to them.