And the 2008 American Idol is...

The 2008 American Idol two-hour season finale begins with Ryan Seacrest proudly proclaiming that 97.5 million votes were cast to determine this year's winner. Seacrest adds, this is 23 million more votes than the previous high.

Figures like this perpetuate the myth that more people vote for the winner of American Idol than they do for the US president. This is a fallacy of course because people are allowed to vote more than once, and most likely, a large number of people vote numerous times.

Still, American Idol remains as the most popular American television show. First airing on June 11, 2002, Idol attempts to discover the best young singer in the United States through a series of nationwide auditions.

During the early audition rounds, tens of thousands of Idol hopefuls will try out; first in front of preliminary judges and ultimately-if they are lucky-in front of the show's three primary judges (Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul, and Simon Cowell). For many viewers, these early rounds are the most fun. Well, maybe for the sadist viewers, these early rounds are the best. I must admit, I am one of those people who usually enjoy the early rounds more than the final elimination rounds.

In the 2008 finale, we are shown clips from this year's early rounds. Ah, memories! These clips were both hurtful to view but delightfully entertaining at the same time. Watching these clips you can almost hear Simon say, "That was the worse performance I have ever heard." Oh yeah, that's right, we did hear Simon make some of his rude comments as Idol also showed clips of Simon at his best, or is that, his worse?

There were many performances from this year's "Top 12." And there were plenty of commercials. Once in a while the producers decided to remind the viewing audience why they were watching; namely, that there were two contestants left in the show. To that end, 30 minutes in, both finalists, David Cook of Kansas City, Missouri, and David Archuleta of Murray, Utah, were each given keys to brand new Ford Escalade Hybrids.

Have you noticed I have not told you the winner yet? Well, I had to wait 2 hours, you can read for a few minutes!

Finally, Seacrest announces that the winner, by 12 million votes, is David. David Cook, that is.

About the Author

Tim Delaney

Tim Delaney teaches sociology at SUNY Oswego. Author of such books as Simpsonology: There's A Little Bit of Springfield in all of Us! and Seinology: The Sociology of Seinfeld.

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