Love it or loathe it, there's no escaping the cultural phenomenon that is American Idol. A multimedia success story that has left an indelible mark on television, the recording industry and concert stages over the past five years, the show and the fresh-faced artists who have emerged from its talent show format have become major players in the entertainment industry.
On Tuesday, the current crop of Idols rolls into Charlotte (N.C.) Bobcats Arena, and on Wednesday it plays Columbia's Colonial Center. Here's a look at some of the facts, figures and live performance surprises in store for faithful Idol-ators.
Reach Steven Uhles at (706) 823-3626 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHAT: American Idols Live!
WHEN: Tuesday (Charlotte, N.C.) and Wednesday (Columbia)
WHERE: Charlotte Bobcats Arena, 333 E. Trade St., Charlotte, N.C.; The Colonial Center, 801 Lincoln St., Columbia
NOW HEAR THIS
Most obvious song performed during American Idols Live!: Taylor Hick's oft-repeated version of the Doobie Brothers classic Takin' It to the Streets
Most surprising song performed during American Idols Live!: The Guns 'N Roses classic Patience performed by Chris Daughtry, Elliot Yamin, Bucky Covington and Ace Young
THE VIEW FROM HERE
Average number of per-broadcast American Idol viewers: About 30 million
The population of Georgia: About 9 million
Days until the American Idol cycle begins again: 12. Auditions begin Aug. 8 in Los Angeles.
DO THE MATH
Percentage of American Idols hailing from Southern states: 70
Percentage of American Idols who claim a family member as a 'personal hero': 80
Percentage who have had formal pre-Idol vocal training: 50 (20 percent of the males, 80 percent of the females)
Percentage who ranked American Idol as one of their 'proudest moments': 70
FOR THE AGES
The average age of the current (Season Five) American Idols: 23.7 years
Males: 27 years
Females: 20.4 years (Remember, girls mature sooner than boys.)
The oldest: Taylor Hicks - 29
The youngest: Lisa Tucker - 16
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
Number of days between first and last date on the American Idols Live! tour: 82
Number of shows: 60
Number of states: 28, plus the District of Columbia
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