Computer screensavers are the bedroom walls of the Internet generation: a functional necessity you might as well decorate and personalize, because the space is there and – why not? Puppies, waterfalls, 3-D global news, and SpongeBob Squarepants are vastly cooler on your computer screen than flying windows, no?
So while poster sales in the ’70s pointed to a national Farrah Fawcett fixation, in the ’00s screensaver downloads — dubbed the “pop culture pulse-taker” by The Los Angeles Times — point to Heidi Klum as the current favored digital hottie.
Tonight we have an excellent opportunity to test the efficacy of the download theory as I was able to secure some screensaver stats from the leading download site Screensavers.com regarding the remaining four American Idol finalists, one of whom will be booted into oblivion in a little over an hour from now.
Here’s what we know: over a recent multi-day time period, Chris Daughtry garnered 44.7% of the Final Four downloads, Katherine McPhee snagged 25.7%, Taylor Hicks grabbed 20.8%, and Elliott Yamin — whom we all have to admit is the least pretty individual to go this deep in the competition in the history of the show — brought up the rear with 8.8%.
But of course, enjoying a person’s singing on TV and enthusiastically voting them to glory is not exactly the same thing as their mug springing to life on your computer in very close proximity to your face every time you stop typing for a few minutes.
And I have even more recent figures for your amusement and edification: after last night’s lackluster Elvis-tune performances by sweet Katharine, in the last 24 hours, downloads of “Gray Fox” Taylor Hicks shot ahead of the lovely Miss McPhee, who certainly has looks on her side; with Daughtry still in the lead and Yamin — who did a stellar job on his two Presley numbers — still in the rear.
I am predicting that McPhee’s download decline is a foreshadow of doom, but I wouldn’t bet on it or anything. We shall see.
By the way, Kelly Clarkson is by far the most downloaded all-time Idol, accounting for over 57% of all Idol downloads over that same multi-day time period mentioned above.