I started my first thank you note in 2005 the morning after Carrie Underwood had defeated Bo Bice. (And no, her victory was not preordained. I honestly thought Bo had a shot.) I was in a hotel room in Birmingham, Ala. I was just amazed I even had readers at the time. I don’t think many of the regulars today were around back then. I also knew that most folks who were regular readers during the season would disappear off season.
Nonetheless, I decided at the time to keep the blog alive even during the off time. I figure there was always something happening “Idol” related most any day. There was the “Idols Live” tour and all the alums to track. There were chart singles to track, CD sales (yes, those still mattered back then) and the latest gossip about Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell. And a few of you stuck around off season. Very few. Believe me, there were days I was lucky to get 7 or 8 comments in July. Lara, I recall, was one of the few.
But then season 5 happened and traffic exploded. I still think my biggest month ever was in May, 2006, the month that Chris Daughtry was eliminated and Taylor Hicks beat Katharine McPhee. And the “Idol” blog kept chugging along. Traffic actually slipped off as viewership fell through 2009. We survived Flats, who triggered a splinter group. I tried an experimental software for a year that didn’t work out. We then moved to Wordpress. And last year, for logical and not-so-logical reasons, traffic zoomed more than 60 percent year over year despite the fact it was not a good year for “Idol.” Then this year, we’ve managed to grow traffic yet again.
Thank you all for sticking with me. I readily admit I can’t be as dedicated to this blog as MJ is to hers. I have another blog to tend to as well. As a result, I have to give a primo shout out to my key blog contributor: Deirdre. She’s been my rock for the past few years, playing unofficial moderator since I’m not always around. We’ve had an incredibly civil, calm year, haven’t we, Deirdre? I have to give you some of the credit. This blog wouldn’t be half as vibrant without you.
Sure, the Cover it Live portion isn’t Deirdre’s cup o’ tea, but there were plenty of others who enjoyed the ADD chat function for a second year. It’s been a lot more fun this year since I actually like most of the top 13. Season 9 for me will always be about “pants on the ground” dude, Crystal Bowersox and everybody else.
Anyway, JTesla, you are another loyalist, frequently first to comment whenever I post anything. I deeply appreciate your support. Kellie & Carrie Fan, thanks for joining me this past year at the Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson concerts! Woodpappy -you’ve stuck it out with me pretty much as long as anybody, eh? Rickster – you are always there with a pointed jab or two. This blog always needs that. And Neg? How can we live without your commentary?
Others to thank: Sam-A, Mercedes S, Harriett, Mo Schreibman, Seth T, Nutmeg, Carrie, newcomer Greg, jj, Nana, Pitchy, KPH, Andi, RxDawg, Cadre, JD, old_skool, Highlander, Cammi317, Weary Traveler, somebody else, G, notmzbehavin, ATL1000, occasional, Honu.
This is by no means a complete list. I apologize in advance for missing anybody.
For those who only comment during the regular season, feel free to sit back and join us again in January. For the others, I’m going to keep covering “The Voice” and when the fall comes around “X Factor.” And as the summer goes along, there will be tour and audition coverage as well as anything else “Idol” related. Will J. Lo and Steven Tyler stick around? Is Randy done? Who will be the biggest star from season 10? The Idol Industrial Machine never ends!
Bottom line: you readers are who keep me employed. I am humbled by your loyalty. “Idol” has been part of my life for ten years. This blog is now past the six year mark. It’s now part of my DNA. Again, thank you all.