Summary: Canadian Idol looks at different idols we worshipping using the television program as the theme.

You may think that the show Canadian Idol had it’s roots in the hit American Idol which debuted last summer on the Fox Network in the US. The truth however is that like many American television shows the concept was first seen in the UK. In this case it was a wildly popular British Program called Pop Idol. American Idol not only borrowed the theme from the Brits it also borrowed acid tongued Simon Cowell who had also been a judge on the original show.

The concept has remained the same in all three shows plus the plethora of clones that are being broadcast around the world. First an open audition call is put out and thousands of young people flock to various cities to compete for a spot on the show. In the case of Canadian Idol auditions were held in Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax and St. John’s and the auditions attracted over 13,000 hopefuls. Of those 13,000 a little over 1% or 144 were selected to move on to Toronto and from those 144 30 will be selected. Now if you watched the show on Monday night you know as well as I do that not all of those who appeared before the celebrity judges got there because of their talent. Some appeared before the judges for the sole purpose of humiliation, you know that people who were that lacking in talent didn’t slip through the cracks. I don’t think I’m the only one smart enough to figure that out, as a matter of fact a correspondent for the Toronto Sun wrote these words: A few of the on-camera auditions showcased people who had no business getting that far. In Toronto there were two auditions before the celebrity judges even heard the contestants. The truly bad were supposedly weeded out, but some were probably singled out for their awfulness, as a few bumped Toronto-area contestants have suggested. The same is surely true for American Idol. Watching people die on television has become a bigger kick than watching them succeed. It must be underlined somewhere in the American Idol playbook: Make sure you have enough freaks and losers.

Now on one hand I feel bad for them, but on the other hand they did get in line and audition.

Once the 144 were in Toronto they appeared before the celebrity judges over a three day period and 114 of the hopefuls were eliminated leaving 30 of the original 13,000. From those 30 contestants viewers will select 9 and the judges will select 1 wild card from the 21 who didn’t advance for a total of 10 contestants. It will be one of those 10 who will eventually become the Canadian Idol.

But what is an Idol? The dictionary defines it this way i•dol (îd’l) noun

1. a. An image used as an object of worship. b. A false god.

2. One that is adored, often blindly or excessively.

3. Something visible but without substance.

I would suspect that it is definition number two that those who took part in the auditions for Canadian Idol were trying achieve especially the excessively part. However if they are like a lot of the idols who come our way they will probably fit number 3 better.

Washington Irving said “The idol of today pushes the hero of yesterday out of our recollection; and will, in turn, be supplanted by his successor of tomorrow.” Which would probably explain what Matt Dillon meant when [Reflecting on his former status as a teen idol] said “Thirty was so strange for me. I’ve really had to come to terms with the fact that I am now a walking and talking adult.” We don’t just cast off our idols do we?

Canadian Idol is fun, some people will be disappointed and others will be hurt, which they knew might happened when they entered, but overall it will be enjoyed by many people between now and September 16th when the winner is selected. At the end at least one young Canadian will have the opportunity to begin a professional music career and millions of others will have been entertained on Monday nights through the summer.

There are other Canadian Idols though which aren’t nearly as harmless. William B. Ullathorne was a Benedictine Monk in the late 1800s and he summed it up when “Whatever a man seeks, honours, or exalts more than God, this is the god of his idolatry.”

Do you remember the second commandment? Deuteronomy 5:8-9 Do not make idols of any kind, whether in the shape of birds or animals or fish. You must never worship or bow down to them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not share your affection with any other god!

When I was in High School I was part of the debating team and one winter our coach returned from Hawaii with a souvenir of his trip, it was a small wooded deity, an idol. Mr. Thompson told us his name was Kahunna Achami and that he was the Hawaiian god of wisdom.

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