A moment like this only happens once: Kelly Clarkson on Sept. 4, 2002 was crowned the very first “American Idol” winner followed by ridiculous amounts of confetti.
The show had been building over the summer, starting with 10 million viewers but ending with more than 23 million viewers, a summer phenomenon that turned into an annual rite for another 10 seasons. It changed the way we looked at competitive reality TV. It brought us Ryan Seacrest and Simon Cowell. It made many people very very wealthy – including Clarkson herself.
It has kept me duly employed the past decade (though not very very wealthy.) I bow to the legacy that is “Idol,” even as it struggles to find its footing with too many competitors and a desperate need for “star power.”
And thank you Kelly Clarkson for a decade’s worth of great music. You even made “A Moment Like This” work, in all its treacly glory.
Watch it again. Wow. That stage was small, wasn’t it? And unlike recent years, they gave the runner up (in this case, Justin Guarini) plenty of time to give a speech. The whole thing feels sweet and innocent. ‘Idol” was just a baby learning to walk. Sniff. I remember being at a Dave & Busters for a Star 94 party watching this a decade ago.
In other “Idol” news:
- Scotty McCreery, season 10 winner, is coming out with a Christmas album.
- Pia Toscano parts ways with 19 Entertainment and Interscope. That was quick, eh? Who thought that was a good idea anyway? Her album isn’t even out. This was an exclusive from Hollywood Reporter, which is battling deadline.com for relevancy when it comes to such entertainment business news.
- Four days after I hung out with Phillip Phillips, Kelly Ripa and new co-host Michael Strahan did on ABC this morning. He sang ‘Home,” of course. The song is now up to 34 on the top 40 chart and No. 11 on the Hot AC chart, where Kelly Clarkson’s “Dark Side” has slipped to No. 10 after peaking at No. 7. Carrie Underwood’s “Blown Away” is about to become her 15th consecutive top 10 country hit. In fact, her first 14 singles have gone at least top 2 to date.
- Fox has set up a phone conference Thursday with “X Factor” judges Demi Lovato and Simon Cowell. I’ve RSVPed. I will get a chance to probably ask one single question. What should I ask?
By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk