American Idol: Two-Hit Wonder?
January 16th, 2003
In the first performance of her single “A Moment Like This,” Kelly Clarkson, the bubbly small-town Texan belted quite aptly, "Some people wait a lifetime for a moment like this," only moments after she was crowned the first American Idol last September. Since then, auditions have been held in six cities throughout the country, and the time has now come for thirty more potential superstars to compete for the moment they have waited a lifetime for.
Due to its enormous success last summer, American Idol is back with its second search for a superstar. Premiering on Tuesday, January 21 at 8:00 P.M. on FOX, millions of viewers will welcome the “Star Search” of the new millennium, in which viewers call in to vote for 30 finalists who are eventually narrowed down to a single American Idol, who wins a valuable record label contract.
The two-hour debut of the sequel will mark the beginning of another long journey in search of a superstar. The thirty prospective idols chosen from the tens of thousands who auditioned will be split into three groups of ten. Each week for three weeks America will vote for their three favorite stars. The nine selected, plus one "wild-card" chosen by the judges will become the ten finalists. As the American public votes for their favorite performers, the group will eventually be whittled down until only the one true American Idol remains.
Host Ryan Seacrest will return for the second season, this time without his dull and goofy co-host Brian Dunkleman. Also returning are the three judges: Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul, and the infamous, cynical, yet always amusing, Simon Cowell.
Aside from Seacrest and the judges, all the faces and voices will be new. America will have to adjust their eyes and ears to the new competitors, who include contestants between the ages of 16 and 24, from all over the country. Some will sound like "Mickey Mouse on helium," to quote Cowell in one of his scathing criticisms, while others will be the next Mariahs, Celines, Whitneys, or even Kellys. Some will win our love (and votes) from the start, while others will struggle to stay in the contest. Will the second season of American Idol be as addictive and successful as the first? Will the 30 million viewers who tuned in to the season finale stay loyal to the show?
Stuyvesant students were among those swept into the heat of American Idol last summer. Sophomore Paola Conery said, "I was really addicted. Every show was so suspenseful and entertaining." Despite the enthusiastic reaction to the first season, many fans think that the second time around won't be as exciting and captivating. Though a fan of the original show, Conery commented, “It'll just be the same thing all over again. It kind of has no point now. Kelly Clarkson was the American Idol; everyone after her is just, like, whatever.”
Most agree that it's up to the competitors to make the second season live up to the first. With the right chemistry, intensity, and talent, American Idol can continue to thrive. Who will replace the loveable Kelly, gutsy Justin, irritating Nikki, stunning Tamyra, and timid R.J. who we grew accustomed to? On January 21 the country will be introduced to the thirty people who hold the show's success in their hands.
Will the hype last? Or will it come to an end as seen with other reality shows? It could end up being extraordinary, or, as Cowell says, "extraordinary—extraordinarily bad."
For the latest updates on American Idol, go to www.idolonfox.com. The American Idol performance shows air on Tuesday nights at 8:00 P.M. on FOX and the results shows air on Wednesday nights at 9:00 P.M. on FOX.