If someone had asked me, even last year, if I'd ever take the time to sit through an entire episode of Fox's 'American Idol' I would have responded with a resounding "NO!" Musically, I thought the show was a convolution of what "good American music" is supposed to be---not what it really is.
While Randy Jackson always seemed to base his judging primarily on content, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell were always judging an artist's potential on wardrobe choice and sex appeal. And considering that Abdul's greatest musical feat was performing with an animated cat and Cowell's was running his record business into the ground, I thought 'American Idol' was simply the biggest crock on earth.
The voting system always bothered me too: for a two hour time period anybody in the US can vote for as many contestants as they want for as many times as they want. Translatation: eleven-year-old girls who have nothing better to do on a Wednesday night can hover around the telephone and vote for Clay Aiken hundreds of times. The system just doesn't seem fair.
It was only a few weeks ago that I got reeled into watching an 'American Idol' episode (don't ask me why), and I must say that my feelings toward the competition's judging still stands. However, I was stunned to discover that among all the caberet singers and dorky choir boys stood out one contestant who wasn't afraid to rock.
Last week Chris Daughtry, a North Carolina native, performed a spectacular rendition of Fuel's 'Hemorrhage (In My Hands).' Keeping in mind that that he was the final contestant for the night, who followed a line of subpar Sinatra and Garth Brooks imitators, it blew me away that Daughtry not only sang a song foreign to the American Idol scene, but received rave evaluations from all three of the judges.
Last night I was blown away again by Daughtry when he sang his personalized version of 'Broken' by Seether/Amy Lee. Unfortunately, it wasn't as great of a performance as his Fuel vocalization, but the fact that he took the risk to sing the song on national TV to an audience used to voting for Kelly Clarkson and Ruben Studdard shows that Daughtry is unafraid to follow his heart and soul.
Because of this, I believe that Daughtry is one of the most genuine musicians on the show. Combined with his work ethic, I also think that he is the best chance rock and roll has at winning the entire competition.
With tonight's selection show, let's hope my prediction is correct.