The votes have been counted, the confetti has fallen, and the tears have been shed. The sixth installment of American Idol has come to a close. Jordin Sparks won but her song, “This is My Now,” is another syrupy soft rock stinker.
Congratulations to the songwriters who won the nationwide competition are in order, I suppose. These two unknowns will be laughing all the way to the bank as the trite ditty inevitably shoots up the charts. That being said, the tradition of picking mature Richard Marx-like ballads for young contestants is perplexing. After all, this is a show based on what the youth of today wants and I hardly think they want another song to listen to in the waiting room of their orthodontist’s office. Take a look at the iTunes top songs and songs like “Buy U a Drank” and “Party Like a Rock Star” tend to support my theory. After enduring months of Ryan Seacrest, is a catchy radio friendly hit too much to ask for? Or as “This is My Now”’s lyrics say ”I've settled for less now I'm ready for more.”
It’s not shocking that the song is a dud because Idol’s rich history of crap-tacular ballads is a painful and nearly criminal one. Take for example, “Flying Without Wings” by Rueben Studdard. Please. With predictable R&B production values and greeting card lyrics, it’s a natural for weddings and graduations. And that’s not a good thing, people. We already have a surplus of tooth rotting anthems like this thanks to Diane Warren, author of co-dependency classics like “How do I Live Without You” and “Because You Loved Me”. Still, I guess the song works on multiple levels for both Rueben and Clay. For Studdard, the “wings” in question could be buffalo, while Aiken’s could be fairy.