The buzz is everywhere. American Idol is back. Blogs are talking about it. The media asks if it's too mean. You couldn't escape it if you tried.
I love American Idol, but I'm not watching it now. I never watch the audition part. I get physically uncomfortable for the people trying out. When they sing badly, and so many do, I actually hurt. When their dreams are crushed, I feel crushed for them. I didn't catch on to the phenomenon until more than midway through the first season. When the second season started, I was all set to go. I watched and cringed. I hid my face. I couldn't stand it.
When they got down to the final dozen, I started watching again and found the show I enjoyed. Now don't get me wrong, I can be as critical as the next guy when they blow a song, but at least they can sing. It's the obviously deluded ones during the audition phase that cause me agony.
I think there are two kinds of Idol fans. Those who prefer the audtions, and those who prefer the competition afterwards. Nothing is wrong with either; I'm just squarely in the second camp. All you Idol-lovers, I'll join you in a few weeks.