Are you a fan? I am and have been since the show debuted.
I do tire of the audition process because it's always the same. I feel badly for the contestants whose feelings are hurt, but I hope that people who want a career in entertainment will realize how difficult television is and learn a good lesson. I want them to disern long and hard before they take the step to audition. As I have said before, I wish parents would be more truthful with their kids in the first place. On the other hand, the families of many of the contestants are on hand to support their daughter, son, cousin, friend and this is always good to see.
So it is manipulation and exploitation on the part of American Idol - its deemed "good" television and this makes it profitable for Fox. At this stage of the game, from the final 25 on, no contestant goes into the process without knowing they could be made fun of, painfully, or launch a career.
Having said this, I am still a fan of American Idol because I love to see these artists do well; what an occasion to celebrate how God has blessed them and us. The final three, David Archuleta, David Cook and Syesha Mercado, are all good, but my vote goes for David Cook. Though he is the favored, and has a fine voice, I think David A. might need to mature (life-experience) as an artist and that Syesha is so outstanding that she will have a career no matter what. Her rendition of "A Change is Gonna Come" was genuine and beautiful.
I also want to say that I voted for Chris Daughtry (and the only one in our community who did) and always said he was the best of that season, and look how well he is doing. And I am not a fan of rock. David Cook, like Daughtry, sounds wonderful, rock or not.
Finally, I love Brook White - what a talented young woman and my community (the other three fans!) really like Carly Smithson.
In the scheme of things, does American Idol matter? It matters tosome people, and it entertains millions. It provides a way for us (nuns) to talk together about things that don't matter and things that do. The show helps us build community because we are communicating and reminded to respect the opinions of others.
When American Idol seems to wander from respect for the people on the show, judges, contestants, whoever, it can let us down. But when it upholds the dignity of the people and the arts, including the audience, it entertains, and uplifts us, and succeeds wildly.