American Idol is certainly not a new entertainment phenomenon.
After all, the concept originated as Pop Idol in the UK.
For those of you who do not know,
American Idol is a singing reality show,
where everyday Americans compete against one another,
and the American public is asked to decide
the winner by calling in or text messaging their vote.
Under this model, the fans become the talent filters and play
the critical role in determining who their entertainers will be.
It is a concept that has helped the show become
the most popular television property in America of the 2000s.
To give you some perspective on the success of American Idol,
here is a chart that measures the votes each contestant received in the 2006 Finale
compared with the votes for
each presidential candidate in the 2004 American presidential election.
As you can see,
the combined number of votes for Taylor Hicks, the eventual winner,
and Katharine McPhee, is comparable to the number of votes for George W. Bush,
the winner of the presidential election.
That should give you an idea of the show's power in the US.