Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Guiltiest of the Guilty Pleasures

I blame my American Idol addiction on Max. I think he has only ever watched one episode, but I got totally hooked on the show when I was pregnant with him. My friend Alison had told me about Pop Idol in the UK and how popular it had become when we were on a trip in New York City a month or so before American Idol's first season. I thought it seemed a bit silly and a little too much like Star Search, and then didn't give it a second thought. Then, a few months later, stricken with incredibly bad morning sickness that lasted late into the night, I caught an episode. It just happened to be the episode where Kelly Clarkson sang Aretha Franklin's "Respect" for the first time, and I remembered thinking through the extreme nausea "Man, that girl can sing." Here's a little video to jog your memory:

I ended up watching the rest of the season, and that was it for me.

I kept my love of American Idol a secret for a long time. I just couldn't come out of the AI closet to my friends in fear they would mock me. In fact, I mocked myself on more than one occasion, but still, there I was, three days a week following the competition like my life depended on it. It got so bad in fact, that during one of the seasons Steve and I were back on a trip to New York City and while I was sitting on the plane I was horrified when I remembered I had forgotten to record it, and that we weren't going to see the results show. (I mean, come on, I was sad about missing the results show. That's when you know you have a problem).
So, once we arrived in the city and were taking a cab to our hotel I was still feeling a little distraught when we stopped at a light on Park Avenue and I turned and looked into the window of one of the amazing apartment buildings and I saw someone watching it in their posh living room. I was overjoyed for two reasons, 1) we were almost to our hotel and I could still catch the end of the show, and 2) I realized that everyone, even people on Park Avenue, watch this show, so it was time to stop being ashamed. We reached our hotel in time to see the last five minutes of the show (and the only part that matters anyway), and I finally felt free to cry from the window of our high rise hotel "I LOVE AMERICAN IDOL, AND I DON'T CARE WHO KNOWS IT." And then we went out to dinner.
Now that they milk the auditions for weeks and weeks before the actual competition starts, I lose a bit of patience with the whole American Idol process, but I find it a fine time to catch up on my blog, do tile research, and hang out with Steve, with a few amusing things to keep us laughing. But by the end of the season, I am going to be here, every Tuesday and Wednesday night, wasting hours of my life watching this thing, and being so glad when May rolls around and I have my life back again. Truly, this whole American Idol thing is a blessing and a curse.