Thursday, September 07, 2006

So long American Idols

Published September 7, 2006

If you didn’t watch American Idol last season, forgive me for this little pop culture digression. We watched the television show last season and became hooked after the first episode of auditions, primarily because two girls from Sacramento were featured as contestants. As a family, it was one of the only shows we looked forward to every week. I must be losing my mind to admit this in print. On top of planting ourselves in front of the television to watch it last season, we forked over an enormous amount of money to see the American Idol Tour at Arco Arena last week. We had so much fun with the kids. I didn’t have to worry about foul language, drugs or booze. My daughter, Shannon, had a homemade,” We Love Taylor” sign that one of her friends made for her, which was really sweet. These family friends went with us to the concert, and they, of course, were witness to my bizarre over-40 dance techniques. Our son Conor danced through the whole concert. He loved Chris Daughtry. I guess we all did. Aw shucks.

Our youngest, Birdy does a pretty awesome impersonation of Ace Young singing “We Will Rock You”. It’s hilarious. Birdy is 9 years old. So you can see we are not talking about serious culture here. As an old broad, I quickly became a Taylor Hicks fan last season. His entrance at Arco was hysterical. He came out from under one of the upper bleachers and danced his little “Taylor dance” all the way to the stage singing the Doobie Brothers song “Takin’ it to the Streets”. The crowd was on their feet right along with him. Yeah, me too. What a geek.

Most memorable was Mandisa, opening the show in her hometown, telling the crowd that it wasn’t too long ago when she sat in the upper deck of Arco Arena watching Janet Jackson belt out her favorite songs. Mandisa’s voice, large and soulful, commanded the stage with her rendition of “I’m Every Woman”. It was far better to see her perform in person than on television. She mentioned that her mother was in the audience. I wondered what she was thinking seeing her daughter perform in front of a sold out crowd at Arco Arena. Must be surreal. When Paris Bennett sang “Midnight Train to Georgia”, I got up for a little boogie stretch. Lisa Tucker was in rare form with her tribute to Elton John on the keyboard along with her Jennifer Holiday piece “I am changing” that won her over to everyone on last season’s show. Her Mom was in the audience too. I guess all of the parents in the audience were proud of these kids.

One of my favorites from last season was Elliot Yamin, the young man whose mother followed him to Idol after a serious illness. This is the same lovable Elliot, who is deaf in one ear and a diabetic. Yep, that Elliot, who has a voice like Stevie Wonder and a face only his mother could love. We loved him too. I probably voted for him 100 times.

Bucky Covington looked like he was enjoying his fifteen minutes of fame. He interacted with the audience like a kid in a candy store. He took the show outside in the parking lot afterwards and made sure he met and greeted everyone who was willing to shake his hand. Kelly Pickler hugged everyone outside like a bride at a wedding reception. It was hilarious to watch all of us old folks with our kids waiting for them all to come out of the Arena to their motor coaches. Our kids met Kelly, Bucky, Kat and Taylor Hicks. Birdy will never forget when he touched her thumb. The kids talked about the concert all the way home. I was just happy our kids got to met celebrities who are real people, even if it’s all just a bunch of hooey.

In the meantime, we’ve shut off the television, to get back to school and to life. The time we spent with the American Idols last season reminded me of the days when I was a little girl and my whole family sat down to watch The Carol Burnett Show.

Photo of Taylor Hicks courtesy of Tami Esling- who had really good seats at the concert!!!!

“I’m so glad we had this time together, just to have a laugh and sing a song. Seems we just get started and before you know it, comes the time we have to say “So Long”.

Tammy Maher is a resident of El Dorado Hills and a biweekly columnist for the Mountain Democrat. You can reach her by email at familyfare@ or on the web at


Shan-M said...

Great post mom! That was an awesome time!
The sign is mine....thats all.

Tom McGowan said...

Where is Reuben Studdard?

Anonymous said...

And what about Clay??? Sorry but he should of won....:-D

TCB said...

i think clay should have won

Shan-M said...

So do I do I.
Why didn't he win? I mean, he has an awesome voice, and looks really goo---- wait a minute. Did eveyone vote for Reuben Studdard because Clay didn't look like a star then!?!? Because if you did....shame on you ;-p Hahaha I'm just kidding. :-p