Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Americana Idol

If I needed any further evidence that American Idol is a music reality phenomenon, I got it tonight.

My 84 year old Aunt Nancy in Middlebury, Connecticut is watching this season. I called her up earlier this evening and she told me she'd rushed to finish the dinner dishes before the show came on. (Good thing I called before 8 p.m.) Pretty much everyone in Middlebury, except for my uncle, is watching. Katie Stevens, one of the top 20 girls, is a 16 or 17 year old high school student from the town. This is BIG news in a relatively small community. Maybe even the biggest news since the Revolutionary War when French General Rochambeau and his troops established a camp in the Breakneck Hill section on their march to the final campaign at Yorktown, VA.

"There's another story in the papers about her every week!" Aunt N. informed me. The local firehouse holds weekly get togethers, complete with popcorn. The high school not only holds Idol watching parties but also reminds students to bring their cell phones so that they can text in their votes for Katie.

My aunt doesn't have a computer or I swear I'd have asked her to write this blog post. In her straightforward, salt-of-the-earth way, she delivered some great no-nonsense critiques. "Those judges weren't very nice to her last week, telling her she's singing a song too old. What was she supposed to do? Sing some baby tune? I thought she sounded good. What do those judges know!"

You tell 'em, Auntie!

That said, Aunt N. didn't like all of the music choices made by contestants. "Ohh noo, Mary. Some of those songs. I never even heard of them before. They just weren't very good." I can relate. I've been listening to mostly country music and classic rock for the last 20 years. I've never heard of a lot of the songs either.

I think she's rooting for everyone because she didn't actually criticize a contestant -- just the songs and the judges. I have to admit I have a soft spot myself for young Katie. I think she has a powerful voice and real talent. Besides, family lives in Middlebury. I want her to stay in the competition for a long time. Even if I didn't personally like the girl, I want the chance to call my aunt every couple of weeks and get her opinion.

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