I didn't watch American Idol at all last season. Being my usually snobby self, I figured that a competition that was very deliberately aimed at selecting the most commercially viable and mainstream acceptible STAR would have very little entertainment value for a smug, insufferable indie snob like myself. Though it's not "must see" or anything (like 24 or the Dead Zone), I have caught more than one episode of the current season. It's usually entertaining, though I find the host unbearable. Though I can admire the effort the candidates are putting forth, it does seem a shame that only conventionally attractive people with voices suited for singing mainstream pop and R&B are realistically eligible for the competition. I think about the fact that many of my favorite "singers" (vocalists, really, because I'm sure many of them wouldn't call what they do singing, necessarily) would never even get past the first cut of such a competitition. There's no room for someone who sounds like Björk or Sam Prekop or Colin Newman or Stephin Merritt (let alone the real oddballs like Stan Ridgway or Mark E. Smith...)
Hackers of the world, unite!