On the wishes of my wife, Mary Todd, and the nagging of my son, Tad, I reluctantly auditioned for American Idol a few years ago. Although I do not believe I am that great of a singer, it has been a tradition for me to sing after every dinner by the fireplace as we wait for it to be too dark for it to be sensible to stay up any longer in our log cabin. So about 8 p.m.
Waiting in line for the audition was one of my worst memories. Far worse than that one time with Stonewall Jackson.* Besides the long waiting time, it was just so awkward as I sure did not want to be seen there. And unfortunately, with my long legs and gaping hole in my head, I am not one to blend in.
Once I finally got in the room to audition, I began to relax a bit. As I said before, I was not in this to win but rather to appease my family, so I went in actually hoping I would not be asked back. For a song choice, I went with “White Winter Hymnal” by Fleet Foxes, who are cool.
After I had finished the song, there was about a thirty second pause where all three judges, Simon, Randy, and Paula (this was before she went crazy and started hanging out with a sack of russet potatoes) just sat there staring at me, with me just standing uncomfortable and awkward.
Finally, they informed me that I had won American Idol.
At this statement I was very confused, as this was just the first round of auditions, and I was under the impression that this show was known for its exorbitant amount of rounds and voting system from the public. But this confusion was quickly cleared up as they sat me down and explained the real rules.
Basically, every year a winner is chosen from the beginning and all additional episodes are a farce. This year, they told me, I was to be the winner.
Politely I told them I was flattered by their decision but I had to decline. Season one of Mad Men had just arrived in the mail, and those episodes are an hour long each so I felt like I needed to keep my priorities straight if I was going to be successful in getting through all of them.
So for being a contest that even winning should be less of a priority than watching Mad Men (which, in all fairness, is the best)…
American Idol is so uncool.