As we head into the finale of American Idol 4, Newsday reports on a shocking truth: image and appearance matters on the show. Robert Thompson coughs up a quote, arguing that “What makes ‘American Idol’ much more than a talent show is seeing a Kelly Clarkson go from frumpy to this suave performer. Or–the greatest story yet–seeing Clay Aiken, this sort of goofy guy, undergo a transformation with a little mousse and a couple of good new outfits.” The paper also talks to the show’s fashion stylist, Miles Siggins, and hair stylist, Dean Banowetz, about their hits and misses over the show’s four-year history. Siggins says, “I try to be honest as I can without being rude, but it’s completely their decision. I might say, ‘Wear that if you want, but I think you’re going to get slaughtered.’” He also says that Carrie Underwood has had more difficulty in the style department than some of the others. He told Newsday, “It’s been a big learning curve for Carrie. In the beginning, she was very country. She grew up on a farm and she’s had no exposure to fashion. Where she’s from, the local supermarket doesn’t even sell Elle or Vogue.”
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about the writer
Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.