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Idol Worship42:00
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If you're a man or woman of the people and you want to know where the masses were last night, that's simple: they were watching American Idol.

At least 30 million viewers, or perhaps more tuned in. They cast 63 million votes — more than any US president's ever had, crowed host Ryan Seacrest — for chubby, goofy, endearing Alabama man-boy Taylor Hicks as the new American Idol.

In TV terms, these numbers are astronomical, and astounding. In cultural terms, American Idol is a monster — good or bad, depending on whether you're glued or gone when the amateurs take the stage. A sweet tribal ritual for the whole family, or the end of civilization as we thought we knew it.

Hear about the new cultural phenomenon called American Idol.

Guests:

Michael Speier, Managing Editor of the Variety magazine

Constantine Maroulis, a contestant in last season's American Idol who made it to the top 6 finalists

Renee Graham, Pop Culture Critic

Craig Marks, Editor-in-chief of Blender Magazine

Felicity Paxton, Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.

This program aired on May 25, 2006.

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