I have been sparing you this year my interest in American Idol, the popular talent show that causes the American public to exercise aesthetic judgments. But now we are at the finale. The last two standing are Scotty McCreary and Laure Alaina, 17 and 16 years old respectively. They are both country singers, interestingly enough, and refreshingly free of attitude and vulgarity. This season is being hailed as one of the best ever in terms of talent. Simon Cowell is not on anymore, so the criticisms have been kinder and gentler, to put it mildly. The replacements for Cowell and Paula Abdul, Steve Tyler and Jennifer Lopez, have been surprisingly likable. They compete tonight, with the winner being announced on Wednesday.
I think some of you must follow the show, despite the snide remarks I have endured in previous years (“Dr. Veith! You are the highbrow culture critic! How can you watch this dreck?”), so I address only you fellow-travelers: What do you think of the show this season? What were the highlights? Has justice been done? Who deserves to win?