With one idea, he had my heart in his hands.
“Let’s watch ‘American Idol’ together.”
Unfortunately, our relationship didn’t last. We severed ties before even having the privilege of enjoying a cheesy “Idol” group number together.
It wasn’t the last time “Idol” entered my dating life.
When the reality TV series debuted in 2002, it promised to revolutionize everything from the face of the recording industry to the way we watch TV.
The show has struggled to produce a major recording star in recent years but still influences multiple aspects of our culture.
Despite its sometimes tired formula and campy antics, “Idol” is surprisingly conducive to couples-friendly TV time.
What can I say? Gender is hardly a barrier when it comes to an affinity for bad “Against All Odds” covers.
Moreover, “Idol” includes a subtle -- and sometimes not-so-subtle -- relationship component.
During the competition’s audition phase, we usually get obligatory footage of a musical couple divided by the “Idol” judges’ wrath.
“Idol” never pretends to be strictly a search for the best vocalist, and a contestant’s personal relationships often affect his or her desirability as a potential winner.
Enter Chris Medina, who arguably offered this season’s most memorable back story. His fiancee was in a car accident that left her with a severe skull fracture, a traumatic brain injury and multiple fractures to her face. Medina is now her caregiver.
He had a decent voice -- good, but not incredibly unique -- yet sustained a strong fan base largely because of notions that he embodied qualities of a “real man,” honoring the kind of commitment that ideally defines strong relationships.
Despite not advancing to the top 24, Medina recently released a single.
Juxtapose Medina’s story with the inevitable rumors of contestants’ divorces or infidelity and you have the groundwork for all sorts of discussions about the parameters defining the “Idol” label.
Perhaps the best example of the show’s influence on dating came when runner-up Crystal Bowersox dropped some news at the end of last season.
She and her boyfriend broke up on the day of the top two performance episode, we learned.
The news underscored the humanness that’s still present in the “Idol” universe, even amid suspicions that the singers exist in an invincible bubble.
Now in its 10th season, “Idol” still shows viewers that real people pulled from obscurity can demonstrate vocal excellence on stage.
But perfecting a similar harmony in the relationship world requires a formula beyond a reality TV talent competition’s limits.
Sonya Sorich, reporter, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 706-571-8516.