OK, that was funny the first five times I used it as an answer to that familiar question, So why did you move to Nashville?
Kymberlee and I have followed American Idol for the last five or six years. And in case you have not heard, next year will be its last year. That is okay with me, as its format has lost relevance, witnessed by the long string of white-males-who-play-guitar winners. Teenage girls simply are better voters than anyone else.
We had a close brush with Idol fame in season 10, when James Durbin, our favorite Asperger musician poster child, had a homecoming in Santa Cruz. Alas, we were unable to make the trek and enjoy a bit of Idol stardom.
This season we scored. We immediately liked the grit of Clark Beckham, a Nashville native that grew up in nearby White House (yes, that is a name of an actual town). Before auditioning for Idol, he was making a living the hard way by busking on the sidewalks of Lower Broadway. We were thrilled when he made it to the final three, because it meant he got a homecoming trip to Nashville.
His homecoming had two components. One was a parade and concert in White House and the other was a trip to Lower Broadway to re-live his busking days.
Kymberlee found out about this and immediately decided to go, as Lower Broadway is only about 10 minutes from our house. As luck would have it, I was at a conference a few blocks away.
We waited patiently with a few other fans, including one that had scored a window ledge and was the only one with a poster.
We were sure we would make the highlight reel! Once he pulled up, we had a commanding view of his performance.
But wait, where is his guitar strap? Yes, the soon to be second place Idol had forgotten a strap for his guitar. So who volunteered to go grab one? My beautiful, thoughtful wife. She quickly hopped down and proceeded to get one from one of the nearby honky tonks and then got to hand it personally to Clark. Oh the joy!
At the end, she got to meet him again to retrieve the guitar strap and for her kindness received an autographed picture.
Whose the rock star now? My wife, that’s who!
If you knew what was coming and had a pause button, you could actually see us during the airing of the episode. Just hope you didn’t blink.
We were a bit bummed that the other White Guy With a Guitar won, but we now have memories (and photos) of our brush with American Idol fame.
Last season will be the last, but the odds are in our favor that this might happen again:
“Since the show’s inception in 2002, ten of the fourteen Idol winners, including its first five, have come from the Southern United States. A large number of other notable finalists during the series’ run have also hailed from the American South, including Clay Aiken, Kellie Pickler, and Chris Daughtry, who are all from North Carolina. In 2012, an analysis of the 131 contestants who have appeared in the finals of all seasons of the show up to that point found that 48% have some connection to the Southern United States.”