- Giving the people what they want
- Hicks: Forfeiting all authenticity by singing nothing but cover songs
- Emphasizing a notion by describing aspects of Hollywood and Broadway
- The modern theatre and judgeding its success in satisfying the audience's habits
In its first season, American Idol garnered the attention of 22.77 million viewers on the finale night. The last season?the show's fifth?36.38 million people tuned in to witness Taylor Hicks take home the ultimate title of American Idol (Wikepedia.com). Hicks, a stocky, gray-haired thirty-year old from Birmingham, Alabama could not have possibly foreseen the astronomical result of his performances. In his first audition, Simon Cowell, the judge with a notoriously stern British accent and attitude, voted against Taylor's advancement in the competition because he saw an overall lack of talent and commerciality. So how did a struggling Vegas lounge act win the votes and hearts of America?
[...] it is the American voters that narrow the group down to the top twelve contestants. In The Salon of 1859, Boudelaire insists, ?This generation, in fact, both artists and public, has so little faith in painting that it spends its time in seeking to disguise it, to wrap it up in sugar pills like an unpleasant medicine; and what sugar? (Boudelaire 150). In this manner, the American public chooses contestants that the production team can mold into sugary-sweet versions of successful artists in the real world?the first sign of imitation. [...]
[...] In stark contrast on American Idol, the performers are not singing to change the world, but instead contestants like Carrie Underwood from a red-neck upbringing, sing to change their status in a world obsessed with fame. No matter how talented the singer, selfish motivations always lurk beneath the surface of the song. So, if Boudelaire's theory of the public and artist's stupidity comprising a cause and effect relationship, then the what prevents the audience, in return, from being equally selfish in the viewing experience? [...]