How to watch American Idol

April 18, 2008
How to watch American Idol

As Idol mania sweeps across America, I, a show-savvy fan, feel it necessary to
give a brief overview of how to watch the show. There is an art to watching it successfully, an art that takes almost as much talent as some of the contestants themselves have. You have the perfect opportunity to exercise this talent if you have a big family and a small television set. Observe these rules and greatly improve your family’s relationships during the Idol hour!
1) Be early. Turn the TV on about five minutes before American Idol is programmed to air. This will give you time to situate yourselves for the show. Make sure there is no glare on the screen, and that everyone can see the TV. Ask each young child individually if he can see. Kids tend to tune out a group question, so this ‘asking separately’ method can be very effective. Be early, and the stress that comes with last minute settling is eliminated. Be early, and you are guaranteed to hear the American Idol pixie-dust fall on your ears, the magic that sends you off to Idoltopia: Ryan Seacrest’s trademark line, “This is American Idol.”
2) Be prepared. If you have young children in your family, you know that they can create quite a distraction. Take out toys, food, anything that quiets them down and keeps them occupied. But remember to be careful in your choice of toys. Is a hot wheels car with a squeaky axle really less irritating than your son’s constant chatter? Make sure all have completed their chores, brushed their teeth, and gotten ready for bed. It can be distracting to have little ones rushing back and forth during the show while they perform these tasks. Have the kids ready for bedtime and their toys ready for play before American Idol begins.
3) Be time-considerate. David Archuleta is doing such a great job with this song that you just have to comment! Please, have a little respect. Don’t scream over David’s beautiful, long, high note that is sending goose bumps down your mom’s arms. If you simply must remark, wait until he takes a breath. Only at breaths and instrumental breaks can you speak, and it had better be quick. No one waits all day to hear you say, “Good song choice.” Everyone waits to hear David A. sing! Comments are also o.k. during applause, but get them out before Randy starts to talk. Bad-timed comments are one of the biggest sources of aggravation during the show. You and your family should develop an understanding of when (and when not to) comment.
4) Think before you speak. Even if you have mastered the art of well-timed comments, some just aren’t appropriate for breath pauses. If everyone is a fan of Brooke White, you can give a positive remark during one of her breaths at your own risk! But if the comment will be negative, do everyone a favor. Don’t say anything, unless your whole family agrees with your dislike of her. People will get very protective of their favorites as the season progresses. For example, my six-year-old brother is obsessed with Kristy Lee Cook this year. My family has learned from experience not to criticize her while she is singing! You’d think my brother would ignore us so he wouldn’t miss any of her song. Well, he feels a personal responsibility to defend her credibility at that moment. An argument ensues while Kristy warbles on. Soon someone screams for them to shut up, everyone becomes involved in the fight, and the song has ended. This rule is of the utmost importance. Save all negative remarks for later.
5) Spend time in family discussion. For what other purpose were commercial breaks created? These are times when you can voice the negative criticisms you’ve been holding in. Let’s face it: arguments happen, especially in a large family. There will be many different opinions on song choices, contestants, clothes, judges’ comments, just about everything! Argue all you want during the commercials. A warning: don’t be shocked at how these opinions can transform people. In a matter of minutes your sweet little sister may morph into a maniacal fan, who won’t stop at anything to prove that Jason Castro is the best, despite the possible “wrong song choice this week”. Commercial breaks will give you ample time to argue, prove, and diss each other and the contestants to your heart’s content. There are plenty of these breaks, so never fear; you won’t run out of time to debate.
You will benefit from introducing these suggested rules to your family. It can get tense and chaotic when many opinionated people watch American Idol together! But follow these guidelines, and your hour spent together will be harmonious and magical. Enjoy!

This will certify that the above work is completely original.

Angelle-Marie Damare

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