Let’s talk about American Idol for a second. I know it’s years and years late, but I’d like to discuss Ruben Studdard vs. Clay Aiken. Regardless of who walked away with the title, I don’t know who you feel won that season but I have a hunch. It probably matches who I thought won. Clay Aiken, plain and simple.
Now, I’m not saying that Ruben Studdard cannot sing, or that his voice is anything less than songbird melodic. What I’m saying is that Clay Aiken was, and is still, better. By far. Not even close. No contest. After that season I seriously considered not watching the show anymore. I felt that something had to have been rigged, because Aiken’s voice was nothing less than fabulous and he wasn’t, well, fat.
We all know that in a perfect world, nobody would judge folks based on their appearance. Welcome to Earth. That happens here, every day. And in a competition as fierce as American Idol where the judges are literally looking for the next music star to represent the American Dream, I would think that a sweaty, overweight feller might not be the poster child. Then again, maybe he would. Have you been inside a Wal-Mart or fast food venue lately?
But I digress. I am not here to pick on Mr. Studdard’s weight. I am here to say that it was a *singing* competition, and Ruben came up terribly short. I’m not even sure that it’s simply a matter of opinion that Clay Aiken should have won. It may be edging into the fact category. He is simply a better singer, with a better range and better appearance and stage presence. I’d be willing to bet that if a Ruben Studdard song were broadcast over the radio I wouldn’t have a clue it was him. However, I recognize Clay’s voice from a mile away.
Was the lesson here that different and original sounding isn’t better? Probably a large part of it. And if you don’t believe me, check out Chris Daughtry, who did not win but has an extremely successful career. Or Adam Lambert, the kid who wowed us all with his vocal range and onstage charisma. Yet another second-best. I honestly don’t even remember the name of the winner that season. But I remember Lambert’s. You betcha.
And now we have Steven Tyler, who literally sings along with the contestants. All pro. I don’t know about you, but that gets so annoying to me that I can’t stand it. If I wanted to hear Aerosmith, I’d put a CD on. I want to hear contestants, you boob. Keep that large trap of yours shut. I’m just saying. If he wants to sing so bad, I recommend he try out next year. Who knows, maybe “Dawg” won’t let him through.