Wednesday, May 24, 2006

A Win For the "Soul Patrol"

America, meet your new Idol.... Well, that's if the majority of 63.4 million votes are to be believed.

It's official -- American Idol has surpassed Catholicism as the US' dominant religion.

As many of you (hopefully) saw, at the top of the hour 28 year-old Alabama native Taylor Hicks -- aka "Gray Charles," Commandant of the "Soul Patrol," etc. -- won the annual competition which has become TV's behemoth.

Held in the room built to host the Academy Awards, the Idol finale seems to have overtaken even the Oscars themselves.

Populist triumph or harbinger of the Apocalypse? You decide.

I'll admit -- I sent a text message vote in (...or two... or ten) for Kat McPhee, seeing her as the heir apparent to Kelly Clarkson, who, as veteran readers know, is my flavor.

Oh well, seems that consummating the McPheever wasn't her destiny. And has anyone figured out how it is that, after Clarkson, the best-remembered AI contestant is William Hung?

(Speaking of which, a quick story. A good friend of the family, a priest of Vietnamese descent, once came to a clan function. From across the room, one of my aunts could be overheard screaming, "Oh my God! Oh, my God! It's William Hung!" -- our friend wasn't wearing clerics.... She ran over and asked the good Father to sing "She Bangs." Thankfully, being a good sport is one of his many qualities..... But I digress.)

Just so you all know, props are out there to anyone who's able to work -- or already has worked -- Idol into the context of a homily. Talk about a surefire way to get people's attention and lead them to something even bigger than an overproduced, fleeting reality extravaganza.

If the Idol idea hasn't crossed the minds of our preachers, take a swing at it. Chances are, it'll pay off.

(SVILUPPO: This post was originally run shortly after 10pm Eastern. Shortly thereafter, however, I received an e.mail from a not-too-happy reader in California who let me know that I ruined the finale for him, as its airing on the West Coast had not yet begun. As he put it: "I hope Philly gets ten feet of snow tonight just for you!!!!" My sincerest apologies....)

Reuters/Chris Pizzello