Yet another season of American Idol begins this week on FOX.  It’s been the most watched show for the past several years.  But why?  Why do we love this show so much?  Here’s my take on it.

  1. Stories inspire us — we love to follow the stories of real people … the rags to riches story where the nobody becomes a celebrity inspires us to think that maybe we can make it too–maybe we can reach our childhood dreams if someone else can.
  2. Music moves us — quality music combined with vocal talent grabs a hold of us and has the ability to take us to different places in our past and different places we long to be in the future.  It stirs in us emotions that correspond to experiences we’ve had or long to have.
  3. Community connects us — I’m sure that many viewers of this show actually feel as if they know the contestants and the judges.   They begin to root for their favorite, anticipate the judges’ responses, and even become a judge themselves in the comfort of their own lazy boy chair.  In all this they feel connected especially with others in their workplace as they rant and rave about who will get voted off and who will win it all.

I’m sure there are many other reasons (some more superficial than others) why we love American Idol.  What’s your take on this?  Would you add any to the list?  And what does this tell you about our culture and how we can make bridges into our culture?

(By the way … I do like to watch AI, but would rather skip the first few weeks and get right to the competition!)

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