Roundtable: ‘American Idol’ memories


American Idol Experience, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World. (Flickr)

Anokh Palakurthi, associate Life editor

The worst ever heard. Ghastly. Dreadful. Like a drowning cat. These are common words used by the infamous and former “American Idol”  judge Simon Cowell to describe some of the auditions he heard for the televised singing competition. Cowell, who was previously a music producer and music talent scout, doesn’t just know talent when he sees it – he knows talentless and will damn well make sure that you know it. While fans of the immortal reality television series may enjoy all the bad singing from early stages of the show, there’s no denying that Cowell’s wonderfully pompous and brutally honest reactions to the wannabe Madonnas and Beyonces of the world made the show such a memorable force. I only wish that he was still on the show. 

Edward Pankowski, Life editor

“American Idol” has always been something of a staple of American television, but I always thought of the whole process as being influenced by producers, though not exactly rigged. That’s why I liked Clay Aiken’s performance several years ago, because it was one of the most unconventional performances I’ve ever seen. 

Everyone goes for the pop songs and the rock and roll when they compete, but Aiken comes out with a choir and starts singing gospel music. The whole audience is swaying and clapping hands with the choir and it felt like I was in a beautiful, musical church. That’s my favorite memory from “American Idol,” and if the new season can capture anything like it then “American Idol” will go out on a high note.

Kimberly Armstrong, Staff Writer

The best part of any “American Idol” season wasn’t the forgettably-talented contestants that made it through to the later rounds, but the colorful cast of loonies that regularly stormed the show’s auditions to sing their hearts out dressed as everything from giant babies to Uncle Sam. 

Most memorably, General Larry Platt – who was “just slightly” over “American Idol’s” age limit of 28-years-old at 62 – carried the torch of this long standing tradition in season 9 with his timeless performance of “Pants on the Ground,” an original rap anthem that will inspire kids everywhere to “get your pants off the ground” for generations to come.

Anokh Palakurthi is associate life editor for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at anokh.palakurthi@uconn.eduHe tweets @DC_Anokh.

Edward Pankowski is the life editor for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at

Kimberly Armstrong is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at

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