Soul Patrol on a Roll


The fifth (and arguably finest) season of "American Idol" wraps up tonight. Going into last night's final set of performances, Alabaman Joe Cocker-wannabe Taylor Hicks was the odds-on favorite to defeat Katharine McPhee, a so-so pop singer who happens to be hotter than a thousand dying suns. Post-show, Hicks was even more of a favorite—the betting site Tradesports puts the odds of a Hicks victory at better than 85%. Slate's Jody Rosen does a good job unpacking the success of the show in general and this year in particular. And there's a helpful Daily Kos diary reposting the front pages of Alabama newspapers. Red-staters have always won American Idol—the lack of connection from the music industry and the slow news of the contestants' home states probably doesn't hurt.

In 2003, Charles Paul Freund wrote on reality TV's impact in the Middle East.

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  1. I only watch song contests that feature jokey death metal bands dressed up as monsters.

  2. “I only watch song contests that feature jokey death metal bands dressed up as monsters.”

    Damn you elitist Europeans and your cosmopolitan intellectual ways!

  3. The heavily-edited auditions shows, which took up a good three weeks at the start of this season, actually showed a faux death metal/GWAR type singer trying out. He was probably doing it just to get this year’s William Hung award, but he even blew that by forgetting his lyrics. (I forget what song it was. I just remember this monsterized dude with an ax grunting “Um. LINE?”)

  4. I only watch song contests that feature jokey death metal bands dressed up as monsters.

    Good call. Eurovision ruled this year. The only thing that could have made it perfect would have been a nil points for France, but the bloody Maltese gave them ‘deux’.

    As Wogan would say ‘Ijits’.

  5. He was probably doing it just to get this year’s William Hung award

    I have a long-standing fantasy, predating Hung’s fame, of showing up at the American Idol tryouts dressed as the chimney sweep from Mary Poppins and singing “I’m Hennery the Eighth I Am” in a horrible pseudo-Cockney accent.

  6. Jesse Walker-I triple dog dare you.

  7. I have a fantasy to bring back Al Jolson.

  8. I have a fantasy related to Katherine McPhee and chocolate syrup.

  9. I concur Timothy, though unfortunately I now have disturbing images of Karen Finley in my head.

  10. I would have to be paid an enormous sum to watch.
    And Paula Abdul would have to take her shirt off.

  11. Any attraction I might have had to McPhee is shot by the fact that she bears a striking resemblance to my sister in-law.

  12. Click on the following link and download the windows media file:

    It’s a guy called Warren Wald singing ‘Eye of the Tiger’ on the first UK Idol and it’s so funny I almost prolapsed when I saw it.


  13. Warren Wald singing ‘Eye of the Tiger’

    Classic! Thx for the mid-day humor.

  14. While we’re on the subject, here’s the link to that jokey death metal Eurovision finalist, Lordi.

    Hard Rock Hallelujah

  15. “Hotter than a thousand dying suns…”

    Oh, that’s good. I’m filing the serial numbers off that expression as we type.

  16. As a Fox broadcaster, I’m happy that revenue for the finale of this soulless mediocrity-fest will more than make up for us not airing the Superbowl this year.
    Keep watching, comrades, baby needs new shoes!

  17. This is the first year I started watching the show past the auditions. It was moderately enjoyable for awhile, but one-too-many special nights (Elvis Week? Yuck.) ruined it for me. And there really ought to be a minimum age requirement for the audience. Say, 30.

  18. “Hotter than a thousand dying suns…”

    Yeah, baby. If she were a stripper, she’d already have the contents of my wallet plus the deed to my house.

  19. I don’t know why this show is so popular. I don’t know anyone who watches it.

  20. Thank you, Paul. Now I know I’m not the only one born without the reality-tv-show gene.

  21. McPhee should become a Vivd contract girl after she losses or spend the rest of her life singing at county fairs.

  22. The drawback of having an Alabamian in the finals every damn year is that I have to edit all of these damn nespaper stories about them! Enough! You people in the Blue States start picking up the slack!

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