It's Idol time

This month the 5th series of Australian Idol kicked off. Over in the UK the 4th series of X-Factor is currently one of the highest rated shows on television, meanwhile American Idol is currently holding auditions for its 7th season. Considering Idol is aired in over 30 countries all over the world, it seems nobody can escape this music show phenomenon.

Even though I was rejected from my audition (they asked me to take off the monkey suit, and refused to accept my excuse that this would in fact kill me) I still find myself tuning in every week to see instant celebrities made out of these young boys and girls.

We've even got our first four contestants through to the final 12, Tarisai Vushe, Lana Krost, Matt Corby and Jacob Butler. You couldn't ask for a more distinct bunch. First, we've got a future teen heartthrob in Corby, who seems pretty darn close to being this year's Dean Geyer. Then there's Mr Butler, who holds the distinction of having made it through to the top 100 already in a previous season, as well as being booted off X factor and UK idol before. Can't he take a hint?

The most recent two to enter the top twelve also differ greatly. While Lana Krost seems a little, erm, vanilla, the same can't be said for vocal ninja Tarisai. But even though her tonsil acrobatics are guaranteed to entertain, her enthusiastic belief that the Lord Almighty Himself is personally responsible for her continued success seems bound to produce some of the more memorable soundbites this year.

For example, can you imagine the lord Jesus bestowing such holy grandeur on her arrangement of "Bootylicious&q uot; that the contest is abandoned and Tarisai declared instant victor in week 6? I'm not saying it will happen, but you never know with live TV.

So, what is the appeal of Australian Idol or other shows with a similar format such as RockStar, Star Search and Popstars?

Perhaps it's the cringe-worthy auditions at the beginning of the season. You know, those people who come in thinking they're the next Whitney Houston when they really sound like a drunken cat on Karaoke night at your local pub? Isn't it horrible when you shout "get off" at them and they think that you said, "get it off"?

But then there are those who emerge from these types of shows who can actually sing and go on to huge success either only in their country (Guy Sebastian, Anthony Callea) or worldwide (Kelly Clarkson, Will Young).

Idol draws a lot of criticism from many people in the music industry who claim that it takes away from the genuine and talented singer/songwriters who are struggling to get a record deal or sell albums. But is there room in this world for both?

Now it's over to you. Are you a fan of Idol or do you agree with the critics? Who is your favourite this season? Maybe you've even auditioned or know someone who has. Let us know in the comments below.
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