I always bristle at the term "reality television." For some reason, that phrase reminds me of the non-scripted shows that I DON'T like (such as any dating "contest"). By nature, I am a fan of well-written comedies or dramas, with good acting and clever dialogue. By reputation, I like to cling to snobby literary choices. ;) However, it would be totally hypocritical of me to write off all reality tv, since there are a few shows that I do follow. No, that is misleading. There are a handful of shows that I really LIKE. I admit it! Amazing Race has churned out some fabulous seasons that I have watched and loved. Last summer I referred to (and surely I will post again) about probably my favorite reality show: So You Think You Can Dance. And ever since I accidentally caught the first episode of the first season of American Idol, I've been unable to truly stay aloof.
There have been seasons that I watch more than others, especially if I don't have any real favorites, but this season, in my humble opinion, had the best top 5 vocalists of any past year. I thought all 5 were really talented and deserving of being in that group. Speaking of #5, I totally loved Matt Giraud's voice and style--remember him? Now, there's always talk on and off the show about whether or not this is a truly a "singing contest" or a popularity contest. Don't kid yourself! It's very much both. But, hello?! So is the music industry. I don't spend my money on the artists who I think are the most talented. (If that were the case, I'd have a lot more Andrea Bocelli and not a single Britney Spears song on my iTunes.) I spend my money on songs that I ENJOY. We all purchase music that sounds good to our tastes. The artist's public personae certainly plays into our choices, but I don't think we'd buy something we didn't like just because so-and-so seems like a nice person.
So, in watching and voting for AI, I was pleasantly surprised for Kris' win. Simply because his performances were more to my taste. I think most of us agree that Adam was more vocally talented, but I didn't vote for him (and yes, I actually picked up my phone and voted 3 times on Tuesday night) because I was totally not into his style. Plus, I've always had a soft spot for guys with guitars. I have been mucho impressed with both the finalists and how gracious they have been. Kris has been a good winner and Adam's been a good loser. However, with all the attention, press and natuaral ability that kid has, I think loser is an outrageous contradition.
While I'm sure some people include their perceptions of the contestant's off-stage life in their voting decisions, I honestly don't think I did. However, it didn't bother me to find this video on facebook the day after the winner was announced.
Did you watch AI this year? What did you think?