Could it be? This is the very first season that I have watched American Idol. Obsessively. With the same obsession that I watched the very first season of Survivor, or that season of the Real World where everyone got naked and drunk in Hawaii. I have not been disappointed, b/c the man who caught my eye as unique has made it all the way to the TOP TWO. If you wonder why I never caught on to the Idol craze before now, it is b/c I thought the competition sought to crown a perfect little pop-princess-diva, or a sexy-sultry-rocker - thereby creating another packaged commercial bore that would assault the airwaves with mediocrity. I came to this show with a healthy dose of skepticism, to say the least.
As a classically-trained musician who is also married to a musician and counts another musician as a best friend, you can imagine that I am a harsh Idol critic. Early in the competition, the only one I was really cheering for was Simon. But Taylor Hicks? Different. Real. What made me root for him? Not so much what I heard from his lips, but what was emanating from his soul. Music lives inside him. Whether or not he is the most talented singer in the competition is surely up for debate, but I don't think you could find anyone who breathes music more. And to be honest, I'm surprised that he made it this far.
Is it possible that America is also tired of the package that the music industry tries to sell us? That America is ready for someone who is a little rough around the edges, but truly FEELS music, deep inside? Can they stomach the moves of a man possessed by his muse? Let's hope. For Taylor Hicks, tonight, goes up against his antithesis. A girl who has been groomed for this her entire life - who spends more time trying to seduce the camera than remembering lyrics. She's already got the gay vote, which tells you she's ready for Broadway. I am not a Katharine-hater, but she's what I hate about Idol.
I hope it happens, and that America votes for an underdog. I hope Taylor sings well tonight, and doesn't ruin his chances with a bad performance. I will be voting for the soul of music tonight, b/c that's what only a true musician can feel.