Color me stunned. Despite a full workday of industry gossip and insider guessing, I was certain Chris Daughtry would make it to the Final Three of American Idol. But unless my TV's on the fritz, a nation of fickle viewers just cast off him into exile. Well, not exile. Everyone who's heard Chris' chainsaw-soaked-in-whiskey voice agrees he will soon make powerful recordings. In fact, not being coronated America's latest pop sensation may very well help him in the rocker credibility department. But I was hoping the unassuming service rep who melted my microphone with his soaring pipes last summer would win the whole damn cheesy thing. I guess now he'll just have to settle for being a globally-known rock star. Not a bad fall-back plan certainly, but I'd be lying if I said the unexpected joy of this year's AI season didn't just come to a screeching, unceremonious halt.
No doubt I'll soon see Chris in person and become the gazillionth person to tell him how badly he was robbed. That sucks! Since he first sang for Shannon Smith and my lens in downtown Greensboro, I've greatly enjoyed covering his meteoric rise from caterwauling everyman to thunder-tongued Rock God in training. The same goes for his wife Deanna, a lovely lady whose infectious nature makes you want to invite her to your next backyard bar-be-cue. Let's review, shall we? Chris will NOT be the next American Idol. He will NOT be returning to Greensboro in two days for a whirlwind hometown tour. He will NOT be forced to take part in yet another dorky Ford commercial. He WILL go on to make more money and receive more acclaim than a thousand TV cameramen. And his almost ordained ascent will forever remind your humble lenslinger that storybook endings rarely happen as scheduled.
Oh yeah...Go Elliot!