Who else loves American Idol? I just have to say that I can't believe the show is over after fifteen years.
American Idol was a show that my mom and I loved watching together, because we love singing and music (and competition). Sometimes my dad would watch with us, but he would get frustrated with us when we discussed each performance while the show was still on. Sometimes my brother would watch with us, but he spent the length of the show watching my mom for a reaction to see whether or not he was supposed to like the performance (he couldn't tell if anyone was good or not when he was younger). But most of the time, it was just me and my mom.
After the sixth season of the show, when Jordin Sparks won, I wanted to go see the Idols on tour. We drove a few hours up to Albany and caught one of the shows, and it was incredible to see people who I was so used to seeing on television. My parents even bought me this huge poster of everyone that made the top ten, and we stood around forever after the show so I could meet everyone and get autographs. It was such a cool experience, and I had that poster hanging on my bedroom wall until I left for college about five years later.
When I left for college, American Idol was one of the shows that I made a point to be in the dorm room to watch each week. I would be typing online to my mom as each performer sang, and we would continue to have our discussions about the show even though we were watching 45 minutes away from each other.
Then season twelve came on, and there was so much nonsense happening with the judges that I just decided it wasn't worth the hassle of trying to watch it anymore. I just couldn't fit in the television time as things started getting busier in my sophomore year of college, so I let the show go. I didn't watch for the rest of college, and it was heartbreaking because I really did miss watching it. Whenever I happened to be home and my mom was putting it on, I would remember the good ole days of us watching together, and I'd sit and enjoy the performances, but I wasn't connected with the stories of each contestant so it wasn't the same.
Finally, I heard that the show was coming to an end. I wasn't in college anymore, and my mom had been telling me how awesome the newer group of judges had been over the past few seasons. So I said, "Why not?" and I started to watch it from the first episode. Boy, was I glad that I did.
It was so great to watch the show again and reconnect with the feelings that I used to have when watching. I remember when I was younger, wishing that I would hurry up and be sixteen so I could audition for the show. Then I finally turned sixteen (more focused on teaching than singing by then) and was annoyed that the audition age had been lowered to fifteen after I had become old enough. There were so many flashbacks shown throughout the season that brought back memories. My mom remembered when she would stay up late voting because I had asked her to vote for specific people and she didn't want to disappoint me. I remembered competitions in school with friends (and some people I didn't like so much) to see whose favorite contestant would win... I liked Katherine McPhee better, but Taylor Hicks had to win because we shared a name. There were so many contestants who I loved (some that annoyed me) and so many amazing careers and songs that came out of the show.
Tonight, it all came to an end as the very last episode was broadcast. It was bittersweet. I loved both of the contestants in the top two (won't spoil it in case you haven't watched to see the winner yet), so I was going to be pleased with the outcome no matter what. It was an incredible finale and incredible end to a huge part of my childhood. I can't believe that fifteen years have passed since the show started. I went from seven-year-old kid who only had one permanent brother, to a twenty-two-year-old young woman who is the oldest of six, all over the course of the show's run. It's been a great fifteen years.
Thanks for the memories, American Idol!
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