I’ve been watching American Idol for decades.  The format is addictive.  Young people audition before a panel of three “stars” of the music industry, and after multiple elimination rounds, an American Idol is chosen by the voting television viewers.  This is the best soap opera on tv.  Each contestant has a back story, often Shakespearean in its human tragedy.  This season we watched a pretty young exotic dancer with a small child plead for a chance to compete and an opportunity to change her life.  We watched a young man serenade his disabled father.  I stood in the middle of my living room floor and cried with a young woman who had survived an eating disorder.  One of the contestants had witnessed a mass shooting.  Several of the contestants had never been out of their small hometown, flown on a plane, even sung for an audience.  Every story is compelling.  I generally stand between my speakers, crank up the volume, and hold my breath.  This season’s judges were Katy Perry, Lionel Ritchie and Luke Bryan and there were times when you could see their emotional fatigue.  Nevertheless, they never once failed in their warmth and compassion.  It is absolutely impossible to watch this show and not get caught up in cheering for the underdog or hoping that some struggling young artist achieves a success that would not have been possible without this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

This year my favorite is Colin Stough. Come on, how cute is this guy? He was an air conditioning repairman before he entered this competition, a small town regular kid in old jeans, boots and a cowboy hat. Did I mention those incredible blue eyes and that smile? Omg. And he was great last week. VOTE FOR COLIN !!!

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