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TV or not TV
Scott D. Pierce
Scott D. Pierce writes about television for the Salt Lake Tribune. Vice president of the Television Critics Associationn, he's covered TV in Utah since 1990.

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(Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune) People about to audition for "American Idol" cheer outside of EnergySolutions Arena Thursday July 11, 2013.
You gotta love the young'uns auditioning for "American Idol"

"American Idol" auditions are in full swing on Thursday at EnergySolutions Arena, and it's an island of optimism in a sea of cynicism.

Anytime I write anything about "Idol" (or most other reality shows), the comments are predictable:

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"This show is still on?"

"It's funny to see all these wannabes in the photos under the illusion that it's still relevant.

"Is that show still on? I figured it had run its course already."

"I am still amazed that after the show has been on this long, people with horrible singing voices still try to get on it... their friends and family should be shot for knowingly contributing and supporting their dementia."

"Ooooo, I have never been so excited to not give a damn."

Yes, all those comments were attached to the "Idol" story that went online on Wednesday.

Hey, I'm cynical by nature and professionally. And I've written my share of stories about how the "Idol" ratings have plummeted.

But, even in its weakened state, "Idol" finished the 2012-13 season as the No. 6 (Wednesdays) and No. 7 (Thursdays) show on TV. So, yes, it's still relevant.

I could sit here and mock "American Idol" all day long. It was certainly easy to do this past season with the judging train wreck that occurred between Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj.

But I can't bring myself to be cynical about the teens and twentysomethings who are auditioning at the ESA. I talked a number of them, and I came away admiring their enthusiasm, their idealism, their courage.

Even if I could sing, I would never have been brave enough to try out.

Maybe that makes me more of a Pollyanna than I ever wanted to believe. I've probably set myself up for cynical comments about that.

But I can't bring myself to be cynical about the young people who dare to dream big. At least not today.

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