May 26, 2005

Colby Cosh will be happy

that pretty Carrie won "American Idol." He really doesn't like the Blood Sweat and Tears-loving Bo.

I defer to my wife's judgment on all matters vocal. My wife picked Carrie out as the likely winner a couple of months ago. She thinks these finalists might have been the weakest pair of singers out of all four years, but that it was still a good season. It was a lot closer than last year, when Fantasia, a sort of black Judy Garland with a great voice and absolute emotional transparency, ran away from the field.

One of the great things about "American Idol" is that you don't have to possess Madonna-like drive, assertiveness, and ruthlessness to do well, as you normally do in the music business. Natural talent will get you a lot farther on "American Idol" than in the real world of music, where whom you'll sleep with plays a big role. (Nobody much cared that judge Paula Abdul was exposed as sleeping with a male contestant a couple of years ago, but it would presumably destroy the show if one of the two male judges was caught in a scandal. A lot of judge Simon Cowell's appeal is that he'll tell pretty but talentless girls to get out of the business for their own good, which is not what powerful men in the music industry are known for always doing when confronted with hot babes desperate for a break.) For example, the first year's winner Kelly Clarkson had gone out to LA for a year, but had totally failed to get anywhere, so she went home discouraged to Texas. But she still had near-Whitney Houston / Mariah Carey quality pipes, so she triumphed on the show.

And the show will provide a lot of help in improving your presentation, as they did with Clay Aiken a couple of years ago, who started out looking pathetic (but sounding good) and ended up almost winning as the second coming of Barry Manilow.

"American Idol" is one of those rare healthy TV fads, like "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" was six years ago, although "Idol" looks set to last longer.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

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