The Final Auditions

For whatever reason, Idol decided to add an extra one-hour audition show after the Oscars around 11:30 p.m. Whether even I will bother to watch remains to be seen (really, who am I kidding?), but this weekend I had a very personal reminder of why the auditions matter.

WST, a millennial music-obsessive friend, sent me an acoustic version of Daughtry’s Heavy Is The Crown. This inspired a flurry of late-night texts and messages between WST, My Daughter Diandra (MDD), and me that included several undiscovered (to us) Daughtry cover videos. And commentary. WST, MDD, and I do lots of commentary.

This is the same Chris Daughtry that in 2006 auditioned on Idol as a complete unknown. During that audition, MDD, with extraordinary foresight, exclaimed, “I’m buying his album when it comes out!” Well, that album did come out and became the fastest-selling debut rock album in history, selling more than one million copies within five weeks of release[1].

Fast forward to 2022, WST, MDD, and your friendly neighborhood Muser are still finding ourselves in awe of Daughtry’s music. Would I have found out about Daughtry without his Idol audition? Given his breakout stardom in a genre that I was paying much attention to at the time, I probably would have. But discovering artists early and watching their careers grow is one of my favorite activities. Their success feels more personal when I’ve been a part of their journey. It feels especially personal when I discover them on a TV show that I watch to try to identify future stars. And it is very gratifying to see my projections of which Idolists I think will be successful after the show come to pass – whether they win or not is not relevant to my projections.

[Ed. (i.e.me) note: Congratulations to ex-Idolist Jax, the winner of iHeartRadio Music Awards TikTok Songwriter of the Year. She finished third on Idol Season 14, but she was my pick for future stardom.]

So, yeah, whether it’s tonight or not, I’ll eventually take some time to catch this last hour of auditions. I might see the next Daughtry. Or the next Adam Lambert, Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson, Tori Kelly, Mickey Guyton, Jax, or any number of ex-Idolists who went on to post-Idol success in the music business and by the business, I mean the industry.

Here is the Daughtry song that inspired these particular musings.

And here is his Idol audition.

Hollywood Week begins Monday. I have long believed that this critical week plays a vital role in Idol’s star-making process. However, due to an unusually heavy schedule, my Musings from Monday night’s kickoff to Hollywood Week will likely be delayed.

While you’re waiting, check out Daughtry’s killer cover of Sia’s Alive. Wow.

See you soon.


[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daughtry_(album)

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