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Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'American Idol' Sails Off Into The Sunset

Original <em>American Idol </em>judges Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell on stage in 2008.
Mark J. Terrill
Original American Idol judges Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell on stage in 2008.

As Stephen mentions early in this episode, the original nut of what became Pop Culture Happy Hour was a conversation he and I had about whether we should take conversations we'd been having in written form about American Idol -- like this one — and have them in audio form instead. So just as without Dawson's Creek (which eventually begat the first place I ever wrote) I would not be writing, without American Idol, there might be no PCHH.

Thus, we thought it only right to sit down at the beginning of the show's 15th and final season to reminisce. We brought with us our friend Tanya Ballard Brown, who is not only an editor at NPR.org but also a singer in a band, as well as Marc Hirsh, a Boston-based music writer and old pal who also spent a chunk of the mid-aughts overanalyzing Idol with us and has since reviewed quite a few contestants in their post-show careers.

After we talk Idol, we settle in for a round of one of our favorite round robins: People We're Pulling For. Stephen picks an actor, Marc picks a comedian, Tanya picks an actor and a host, and I pick a lady who can't make too many commercials with her mother as far as I'm concerned.

As always, we close the show with what's making us happy this week. Stephen (once again!) is happy about watching a very good movie he enjoyed. Tanya is happy about Netflix viewing, not only the shows she's been watching but the shows she's looking forward to. Marc is happy about a box set you might be able to get for less money than you think. And I am happy about a show I finally caught up on and a book I liked very much.

Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter: me, Stephen, Tanya, Marc, the show, producer Jessica, and producer emeritus/music director/pal Mike.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Linda Holmes is a pop culture correspondent for NPR and the host of Pop Culture Happy Hour. She began her professional life as an attorney. In time, however, her affection for writing, popular culture, and the online universe eclipsed her legal ambitions. She shoved her law degree in the back of the closet, gave its living room space to DVD sets of The Wire, and never looked back.

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