David Cook. Kris Allen. Le DeWyze.
These are your past three "Idol" winners, America.
All demure, lilywhite males, certified safe for cougar- and tween-crush voting blocks.
Get used to it. The recent past is also the foreseeable future for a tiring franchise with an aging audience.
Milquetoast white guys? Yep. This ... is "American Idol."
Where flawed singers, whose flawed voices and flawed looks have been keeping hope alive among our garden-variety dreamers and the delusional for a decade. Where passable guitar self-accompaniment sounds almost as good as it does at Starbucks. Where mediocrity still gets bathed in heavenly light and hyperbolic praise.
(Carrie Underwood, a bona fide country crossover Goddess with a capital G, notwithstanding. Point to Simon Cowell, who predicted as much).
Speaking of Cowell, the man could barely keep himself awake for this year's pageant, but a big piece of the "Idol" back-end compelled him to spew superlatives through clenched teeth when they got down to the contestants who walk away with actual recording contracts. He's no dummy.
I've largely sided with Simon over the years, but on Wednesday I think he missed the point about one thing.
HuffPost Entertainment is your one-stop shop for celebrity news, hilarious late-night bits, industry and awards coverage and more — sent right to your inbox six days a week. Learn more