When I was a sophomore in high school, I was in an "Introduction to Acting Class". In our very first week, we practiced with some improve. My classmate, Mollie, stood on our little stage and talked about American Idol. Specifically, she shared that her cat would hear the theme music to American Idol and run to the TV. She then shared that her cat seemed particularly fond of Kelly Clarkson.
But in all seriousness, as I sat and listened to Mollie tell her story, I felt a sense of relief. Someone else watched American Idol. I had been following it all season, and Kelly was my favorite too. Even if Mollie was just sharing a story about her cat, I didn't feel so alone in my admiration for the show and for Kelly.
I think that's the biggest gift American Idol has given me- the feeling that I am not alone. Over the years, I've had many moments like that one I had in my Intro to Acting class. It happened when I hear Melinda Doolittle sing, when I met Sam and realized that she, too had a love for American Idol. It happened when I found the Backups through a google search, it happened when Sam and I met Brenna outside a venue. It happened when we kept crossing paths with Julie and Kristen and Desi and everyone else. It's happened when I've met some of the contestants, when I've heard their original music or when I'm in a packed concert venue.
More often than not, I am made fun of for liking this show so much. "But no one has really DONE anything...besides Kelly or Carrie"...people say.
The people who say that are wrong. The people who have been on that show, whether they were 10th place or a winner, have done something. Maybe they aren't superstars, but most of them are doing just what they love to do: they are making music and performing live shows. Had it not been for American Idol, they may not be able to do that.
But perhaps more importantly, they are touching lives. They are making people like me feel not so alone. If you ask me, that's far more impressive than creating hits or winning awards.
I've loved American Idol for 15 years. Aside from my family, and two life long friends, that's the longest I've ever loved anything or anyone. This week, we are saying goodbye as it ends it's final season. I am not just saying goodbye to a cheesy reality tv show. I am embracing 15 years of memories, friendship, blessings...and music. And yes, I know that the memories will live on. I just can't believe the platform that started it all for me is going to disappear.
I am sad, but I am extremely grateful that Idol has brought me so many friends that I can continue to share memories with. To my "Idol Pals", (you know who you are), thank you for embracing me, and for being part of my story...but mostly, thank you for helping me feel that I am not alone.