From the beginning, I was an American Idol fan. That's because from the beginning, the show put its mouth where its money was and actually plucked a bona fide singing star out from among the hoi polloi.
In spite of all the subsequent hype and the hoopla – the gossip over Paula Abdul's mental capacity, the barbs aimed at Simon's Big Blue Meanie demeanor – each season the show manages to bring an unknown talent or two to light. The fact that a huge contingent of teenyboppers most likely control the outcome is beside the point. Besides, those teenyboppers put an unlikely Taylor Hicks through a couple years back, and although he has since proved himself rather dim, that was surely unprecedented, given the other fresh faced cuties in the competition. And you don't have to win Idol to become a star, either, as the multi-talented Jennifer Hudson has proven.
Still, my favorite remains the very first Idol ever. In my humble opinion, Kelly Clarkson has one of the most nimble voices in pop music today. To the point where anyone else attempting to do one of her songs can only fail miserably, as one of the contestants did on last night's Idol. It's really hard to beat this: