Amory, Mississippi. Ever heard of it?
Unless you’re from Mississippi (It’s a fun word to type!), chances are you have not. And why would you?
Yet, in an incredible coincidence, two young men from Amory, Mississippi, just won slots to go to Hollywood on “American Idol.” Yes, I watch “American Idol.” It’s a fun, uplifting and emotional show. That’s due in no small part to the three judges – Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie. These three are beyond an improvement from the first judges who sat in the chairs – Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson and Simon Cowell. Those three, especially Jackson and Cowell, could be cruel at times, and without empathy.
I did not like them and only watched the show a couple of times before I tired of the judges and stopped watching. Now, there is something that’s wonderful every Sunday night. Consider the small 15-year-old girl with the huge voice, who auditioned last Sunday. She sang an original song and dedicated it to her father. Dad is in the Army and has been stationed overseas for nine of her last birthdays, she happened to mention. She missed him terribly.
When it came time to tell her she was definitely “going to Hollywood,” Katy told the girl, “Look behind you.” When she did, her dad was standing right there. What joy! Then, they asked her mother, waiting anxiously in the wings, to step on stage.
Mom was beside herself with joy and surprise, too! The family had a happy reunion.
The two young men from Small Town, Mississippi knew each other, but did not “pal around” together. One was working the counter at a well-known Amory burger joint. The first fellow came in with his buddies, waving around his golden ticket to Hollywood. Before they left, the burger flipper had decided he, too, could muster the courage to apply for an audition. Thus, two people from a town of 600 or so got to sing on national TV and won tickets to what might be a grand future.
Did I say “American Idol” is a feel-good show? Well, it sure is! Even if the singer is not chosen, the judges listen attentively, applaud after and offer advice on how to improve. They are kind, unlike the judges in the past.
Another encouraging thing about the show is people do not have to be good looking or glitzed up to have a chance at fame. All they need is a voice that moves the judges and a willingness to be trained on how to do it better.
There are emotional moments in every show. Sunday, by far the most emotional was the ordinary looking big fellow from Santa Fe, Texas. His voice was on the road to great. When asked why he auditioned, he told of being in an art classroom at school when an armed gunman burst in and killed
eight of his classmates, and two teachers. Katy threw her head down on the desk and cried out loud. She was angry. She went on a rant about the fact that this type of horror occurs far too often and wondered, “How can it be stopped? You shouldn’t be singing about eight dead friends!”
No one had an answer, of course, but the young man was going to Hollywood with one of those golden tickets. Every week, there are heartwarming and encouraging events that occur with frequency on “American Idol.” You can laugh, and maybe cry, and feel good about life when you watch the show.
I gotta love that!