IntroductionFox struck viewer gold with their wildly popular Summer talent search extravaganza, American Idol. Perky brunette Kelly Clarkson (photo to the side) made her superstar recording dreams come true when she beat out curly mop topped Justin Guarini to became the first American Idol on on Wednesday, September 4th. (Photo of Kelly Clarkson courtesy of Fox/TV - all rights reserved).
Over 15 million people jammed phone lines calling in their votes for finalists Kelly (20) or Justin (23). Texas native Kelly snagged over 58% of the vote and snagged the talent contest.
Although the oddsmakers were for Justin, the heavily highlighted and chocolate tressed Kelly had celebrities like Mary J. Blige, Natalie Maines (Dixie Chicks) and Donald Trump voting for her. So how could Kelly lose with that type of support? (Photo of Kelly and Justin courtesy of Fox/TV - all rights reserved).
Although Kelly beat out more than 10,000 superstar wannabes with her "A Moment Like This", many show watchers (yours truly included) believed that she did not win based solely on her vocal talent. Show insiders as well as critics have commented that while Kelly can definitely belt out the notes, her entire package of hot girl-next-door looks (dazzling blonde highlighted locks), perkiness and charm added to the final winning vote. Well duh. Don't get me wrong, I admire fellow Texan Kelly. The girl can sing. Seriously though, can you even imagine Kelly winning if she had bad hair?
And would Justin have been such a hotly discussed topic if it weren't for his feral spirals that were both adored and despised? Whether you loved or hated his strands, you knew who he was. Ditto for Nikki McKibben's red, white and blue hues.
Thinking back on the parade of warblers during the show's run, there is no doubt that Kelly's blonde streaked strands along with her voice helped knock out some of her hot competition. (Photo of top ten finalists courtesy of Fox/TV - all rights reserved).
While reviewing episode photos from the show I realized that "good hair" was the prevalent trend for the majority of the super star hopefuls. Heck, even Simon Cowell, the outspoken love-to-hate judge had well behaved cuticles for the most part. Judge Paula Abdul was loved and hated for her unwillingness to bash any of the contestants but no one could argue that her long locks looked smashing. The show's chatty and often inane hosts, Dunkelmann and Seacrest made up for some of their bizarre comments with stellar highlighted and carefully coiffed styles.
When I polled Ryan Keilhofer, our reigning HB.com male teen hair critic, he gave a big thumbs up to the strands of the three top ten female finalists, Kelly, Nikki and Tamyra.
Although Ryan "was personally pulling for the Kelly" because she "was so beautiful and had awesome hair", he also loved Texan Nikki McKibben's ever changing rainbow strand show (watch out Dennis Rodman).
Kelly definitely had a perpetual good hair thing going morphing from some edgy updo styles to a softly curled style that cascaded around her shoulders. On messageboards across the Net Kelly won favor for her hairstyles and highlights which many felt perfectly complimented her winning personality.
During the course of the Idol show Nikki's very cool and always edgy chin length do covered multi-shades of blue, red and blonde. Adding to the color extravaganza was the many layers and fips that showcased the red top layer. Deeming Nikki's hair "totally hot" Ryan also added Tamyra Gray and her soft luscious curls to his top list of best American Idol tressed. (Photo of Kelly, Justin and Nikki courtesy of Fox/TV - all rights reserved).
Ryan thought Tamyra was stunning and had a fabulous do as well. While I agree that Tamyra was impeccably coiffed, her styles changed so frequently that I wondered if she had a celebrity stylist stashed in her dressing room to effect such amazing changes.
Although Ryan wasn't against Justin's highly debated boy toy style, he also wasn't overly impressed. Ryan reported that in general the women contestant's hairstyles ranged from good to exceptional while none of the guys had "anything that edgy or out of the ordinary". (Photo courtesy of Fox/TV - all rights reserved).
Speaking of Justin (who went to the same high school as Pink), he refrained from hitting the color pots, pink or otherwise, like his peers. Even so, his hair was major fodder for the news media during the course of the show. Maybe it was because teen-age girls all over America swooned over Justin's curly do.
Not only will Justin remain famous for his mop, he is expected to release his own CD single in a few weeks. Don't be surprised if Justin nets his own million dollar contract. And yes, we suspect that his hair will continue to be noteworthy.
Christina Christian (pictured to the side) was beautifully coiffed but that didn't stop her from being booted from the American Idol show. Indisposed in the hospital the 21-year-old surrender to a bad case of stress and watched as she lost on TV. (Photo courtesy of Fox/TV - all rights reserved). Most music industry experts believe that Christina's beauty, great strands and voice will ultimately drive her to the top.
From Dread To Bedheads
Looking back at all the contestants you have to admit, that besides Ryan's picks for hair hottie of the show, there are many contestant with spectacular locks that covered the entire hair spectrum from Justinn Waddell's (Photo of Justinn courtesy of Fox/TV - all rights reserved). blonde highlighted dreads to some of the modified bedheads.
Even Jim Verraros, who started out with borderline bad hair cleaned up nicely and was on the road to good hair as the show progressed.
What's Next For The Best Tressed?
Look for Kelly's single CD in record stores in the near future. An American Idol DVD will be available for purchase after October 1, 2002. The ten finalists will go on a 28-city tour starting on October 8th from San Diego.
And of course, knowing Hollywood, there is probably already meetings about a made-for-TV movie