I am a huge music fan, and enjoy the contestants' twists on songs I love. I also love the "rags to riches" stories of everyday people getting discovered. Some winners have faded into oblivion (did we ever really expect to hear from Taylor Hicks again?) but some have become super-stars, like Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood. And many, many contestants that didn't take the top prize have done very well. I am a huge Adam Lambert fan, and also love Chris Doughtry.
But there's another reason I love the show. There have been many contestants with various disabilities and challenges, many of which my own daughter, A, struggles with. For example:
- Season 8's Scott MacIntyre is blind. Now my daughter isn't blind, but she is a severe vision impairment. She has colobomas in both eyes (gaps on her optic nerves) giving her gaps in her fields of vision.
- Season 4's Anthony Federov had a trachestomy as a child...just like my daughter.
- Season 7's David Archuleta had a paralyzed vocal cord, just like my daughter. His paralysis resolved, while my daughter's hasn't.
- Season 5's Elliot Yamin is 90% deaf in his right ear. My daughter is deaf/hard-of-hearing in both of her ears. By the way, Elliot also has diabetes and is insulin-dependent!
- Season 10's James Durbin has both Asperger's Syndrome and Tourette's Syndrome. My daughter has neither, but I am still so impressed he overcame these challenges to finish in fourth place this season!
Truly inspiring. My daughter will accomplish the same. You may never see her in a recording studio (but who knows!) but I can promise you she will acheive great things. She can do whatever she wants to do.