Welcome to the final act of "American Idol," everybody's favorite fake look into how the music industry works.
For years, the reality show has taught a generation that sometimes all it takes for success in the industry is standing in line for hours to possibly become one of the thousands chosen to move on to the next round. Or, if you really have no talent and are just looking to get a moment of fame, then try and get a spot when the "Worst Auditions" air. Your clip will be watched by millions, and you'll make no money.
After 14 seasons, the show's tenure on Fox has come up, but not without one last season — which is likely to produce another unmemorable winner.
Granted, not everyone on the show has been unmemorable. There's Carrie Underwood — the Peyton Manning of the show, who has been the most memorable and most successful of the bunch. Then there are Kelly Clarkson and Jordin Sparks, who both have had some minor success.
Then alongside them, there have been some we'll remember from the violent havoc they've wreaked in music. Take the ever-redundant Phillip Phillips, who should win the "American Idol" award for "Most memorable track overused in insurance commercials." Or the once runner-up Daughtry, who terrorized the airwaves with songs from the Creed-era — when it was cool to sing like something was stuck in your throat.
Perhaps what will stick with us the most is the judges and their wacky personalities. Who could forget Simon Cowell? He was the reason many would tune in, as they waited to see which singer's dreams he could crush. Or the awkward banter between Cowell and Ryan Seacrest, which made many wonder if the two were secretly in love. ( Which could still be the case.) And then there was the seemingly perpetually drunk Paula Abdul, who had very little to offer other than complements like, "special" or "unique."
When the judges were recast as Harry Conick Jr., Keith Urban and Jennifer Lopez — they were nowhere near as entertaining. Arguments could be made that the show should have been cancelled after the final "yo dawg" we ever heard from Randy Jackson, the last remaining original Idol judge.
It'll be sad to see the show go away for us all. Through 14 seasons, it gave us something light to watch after spending too much time at work being nice to people and alphabetizing things.
At least we have one more season to bask in the ambience of the show and think about all the good memories we had. And when the show makes its final hurrah, viewers will likely turn up in droves — much like the amount of viewers who tune in to cricket matches in America.
In all seriousness, I am excited for one last season that will feature at least a couple episodes of the "Worst Auditions." And hopefully a lot of guest appearances from William Hung.
Caleb Dennis: Twitter.com/TheWriterCalebD