2 thoughts

  1. From what I’ve seen of “Idol” (and I think I’ve seen about 10 minutes of it, so I’m twice as informed as you) here’s what I think make’s it popular:

    1) the laughable performances
    2) the underdog performer we all root for
    3) the derisive but on-point judge who publicly humiliates bad contestants, but when praise is given it really resonates
    4) the “good cop” judge to take the sting from the other

    If there were a science Idol, it should contain variations on at least the first two elements. However, the thing that will make American Idol always more popular than Science Idol is that an excellent performance is immediately apparent to everyone, however great science isn’t always. The microbial explanation of ulcers comes to mind as a good example of this. However, it would be great TV to watch a scientist drink a vial of H. pylori.

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