Sunday, December 25, 2005

The Return of American Idol

Were it not for my professional relationship with the FOX juggernaut, I probably wouldn't hold much of an opinion on American Idol. But as it is, I'm constantly exposed to the machinations of the globe's most successful talent show. Clay, Fantasia, Randy, Simon, Paula and Ryan ... I've shared air with them all and for the most part come away less than repulsed. Of course the last AI function covered in these hallowed web-pages was the five day Greensboro Audition, a precursor to the upcoming season. During that delirious stretch of late October, I was struck by how the celebrity judges and executive producers raved about the local talent lined up outside the hotel doors. 'Pillow-talk,' I said to myself - but once I removed my lens of cynicism, I had to admit some of the gathered masses had the kind of soaring vocal talent that simply couldn't be denied. (To be fair, there was also a large contingency of people whose lack of singing ability was outmatched only be their delusions of certain stardom, but that was just proof I was indeed on the set of 'American Idol'.)

Now, with the season premiere less than a month away, Idol promos are dotting the programming landscape. Imagine my surprise and delight when I caught a few yesterday during the Panthers' heartbreaking loss to Dallas. Three separate times I spotted Greensboro citizens belting out the requisite show-tunes, some astonishingly good, others delightfully bad. Most promising, one extended cut featured a local guy I met (named Chris ... something) who could very easily Go. All. The. Way. So, should you clear your January calendar as not to miss a single frame of this highly manufactured pablum? My bosses sure would dig it, but I'll be happy if you quietly abide my coverage of said phenomenon - as, like it or not, this promises to be a very 'Greensboro-centric' season of American Idol. Remember where you heard it first...

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