Truth is, big American talent show can be addicting

"Always tell the truth. That way, you don't have to remember what you said."

- Mark Twain

I am a liar.

There. I've said it. Now, let's move on, shall we?

I said aloud after getting all caught up in "American Idol" during the Taylor Hicks' rule that I'd not watch the popular reality show again.

Truly, that was my intent.

But I missed all the auditions last season and one night while channel surfing, I innocently landed on "Idol."

I figured I'd watch a few minutes and press on. Instead, I watched with wide-eyed incredulity at the number of folks operating quite joyfully under the delusion they possessed musical ability.

I called a friend who's been an "Idol" watcher since first it began.

"This is a joke, right?" I asked him. "I mean, surely, these people know they can't sing a single note."

"Don't call me Shirley," he said with a chuckle. "And I think it's just their way of getting their few minutes of fame."

If they began the audition process with one whit of self-confidence, it certainly was destroyed by the time the judges finished with them. But it's for the best, I believe. Now these folks can spend time searching for their true talents and give up on the singing.

My plan was to stop watching as soon as the audition phase ended. But I had to find out who would stay in Hollywood and who would be sent packing before they could even see Disneyland.

I'd tune out as soon as the top 12 contestants were chosen, I told myself.

Well, that, too, was a lie.

If it's any consolation, I tried to stop. I changed the channel, but just as I am lured by the smell of popcorn, I was lured right back to "Idol."

So, now I've given up. I confess to being addicted to all the hoopla that is "American Idol."

And for what it's worth, here are a few of one addict's thoughts on this season:

- Even if that little crying girl from Riverside, Calif., was a plant last Tuesday night, it sure made for a fun evening of entertainment. I had huge crushes on Bobby Sherman and Davy Jones back in the day, but I never wept.

- I feel certain all three judges rue that day they invited Sanjaya Malakar to Hollywood. Yes, he's cute in that bubblegum, teeny-bopper sort of way. And, yes, he can, as my little grandmother used to say, carry a tune in a bucket. But he's not a powerful vocalist, and he needs to go home. Soon.

- Taylor Hicks was my early pick last season and I never really had any second, third, fourth, etc. favorites. This season there are quite a few really good singers among the initial 12. However, I'd like to go out on a limb and predict a winner: Melinda Doolittle.

That said, I wouldn't be too disappointed if any of the others win. Unless, of course, it's Sanjaya.

If he wins, I'll never watch the show again.


Leslie Criss is the Daily Journal's features and special sections editor. Contact her at or 678-1584.

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