Most of you know my story: about how I came to call myself “Hello Gorgeous” because that’s what I said to my TV set when I first laid eyes on a young David (think he was 16 at the time of his Hollywood round).
I think some of you may also know the rest of the context for that story: about how I was an absolute wreck that week, overwrought in anxiety because, later that week, I had to get a breast biopsy to rule out cancer.
Listlessly channel-surfing, I forgot American Idol was on – even though I had sworn not to watch that season because I was so mad the year before that my favorite contestant, Melinda Doolittle, had placed third.
And then, there was David (sigh), so adorable, so sweet, so sincere. And that was even before he opened up his mouth to sing “Heaven.”
And for that moment, I was so soothed by those vocals, so taken up with this kid and the velvety Voice, it lifted me out of my despair.
After that, there was no turning back! :)
Things turned out fine with the biopsy, and today – having gone through another wait-and-see diagnosis, in which my follow-up mammogram came back with a clean bill of health – I can now breath a sigh of relief. *Whew*
And, of course, forever linking David to my anxieties over my preventative breast health care, I was moved to listen to the Voice today. And specifically the Voice crooning “Heaven.”
Whatever new music David works on, I just know that there is no surpassing his tremendous gift for being a “Soother.” He’s definitely got the charm.
I sometimes wonder, had I not been going through such a health concern when I was introduced to him, would I still be here, a devoted fan of David? Would he have hit me so hard the way he did, like a ton of bricks?
That Voice keeps me here, and it keeps me wanting more. But mostly, it keeps me calm.
Whether or not such gifts are rewarded with fame and commercial success, as long as we’ve got access to it – no matter what life struggles and joys we’re going through – that would be enough for me.
It’s amazing how things work out. I remember how I was soooooo not in a celebratory mood when David lost to Cook (as the above pic reminds me), but I also still held out hope that these Idol contestants would have successful careers, parlaying something out of their exposure on American Idol.
Who would have ever predicted that – six years from that moment – David would be recovering his music career after a two-year stint on a religious mission and that Michael Johns would no longer walk this earth at the young age of 35?
Unpredictable realities. But in a way, American Idol has always been unpredictable. Had it not been for Kelly Clarkson’s successful music career, I think this show would have wrapped up after a few seasons – even before David had a chance to audition for Season 7.
Alas, Kelly made a name for herself, as did Clay Aiken as Season 2’s runner-up, as did Fantasia and Jennifer Hudson, who finished 7th during her season.
But, when you really think about it: how regularly has Idol churned out stars? Out of 13 seasons, only two of the winners became household names – Kelly and Carrie Underwood – while two others have been fairly successful with a steady career – Phillip Phillips and Fantasia.
The rest (including finalists) are doing their thing but very much below the radar. So, when you really think about it, American Idol is not really the star-maker it’s been marketing themselves to be, when the vast majority are not in the mainstream of the pop world.
What they can all say, I’m sure, is that their time on Idol opened up doors and opportunities to do albums, Broadway shows, TV shows, etc.
But that’s about it, I think. The few who became vastly popular lucked out like any other artist/entertainer who DIDN’T have a stint on reality TV.
At the end of the day, reality shows – Idol, The Voice, Dancing with the Stars, etc. – are just entertainment vehicles with enough mileage to promise the brass ring to thousands who’re willing to grasp for it. Some get a chance to spend weeks on TV and some just disappear into the ether.
We held out hope when we saw genuine talent (like David) appear on our TV sets, but then had to make serious adjustments when we confronted the real struggles of making a career in the entertainment industry.
No wonder I’ve lost interest in Idol. After 13 seasons, it’s inevitable. Besides, there isn’t a vast supply of “super stars” that could be churned out assembly-line style, as thirteen seasons of a talent competition suggests. There are a few who’ve got it, and even those few have to find the perfect alignment of luck, talent, and purposeful management to really shoot off into the stratosphere.
Still, it warmed my heart to know that, whatever was promised the Season 7 contestants, they kept doing what they loved – making music and doing entertainment – and sustaining themselves off of that love.
Perhaps that ought to be the goal, especially when longevity (in life or in music) is not promised.
This is really such sad news to hear this weekend! Michael Johns was only 35 when he died! :(
Apart from American Idol Season 7 giving us David Archuleta, it also gave us one of the most talented Top 10 group on Idol EVER!
I will always have these memories… Keeping Michael Johns’ family and friends (including his Idol ones like David and Cook) in my thoughts and prayers.
So, it looks like American Idol is not going anywhere since it got renewed for another season.
But this season really felt quite lackluster.
Still, wouldn’t it be cool if David Archuleta made a “surprise” appearance at this week’s finale? Or should he keep his distance?
What say you, Soul Davidians? Take my latest poll! :)
This week on American Idol, contestant Jena tried out an Elvis Presley song; all it did was make me nostalgic for David’s own rendering:
In other news, it seems like Soul Davidians really really want old-school social media – AKA a “Vlog” – more than anything else. Who’ll get the word out to him? :P