Friday, July 29, 2011


Like Major Bowes' Amateur Hour and Star Search before it, American Idol appeals to the idea that there's a lot of talent out there just waiting for the opportunity, and every year some people seize the opportunity more than others.

I had never heard "Black Horse and a Cherry Tree" before Katharine McPhee sang it in a memorable Season 5 finale against Taylor Hicks – you know, the year Chris Daughtry really won. I had been rooting for Hicks all along and believed he was a shoo-in with Daughtry out, but this performance by Ms. McPhee rattled my smug cage.

I heard the "real" version in a store the other day and thought, "Hey, that's the Katharine McPhee song." Still one of the show's most memorable moments.

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