Lend Me Your Ears

Anyone who has hung around the goulash pot for very long, knows that Grandma is an American Idol fan. But the show has raised a question for me. What do people hear?

Not the judges. Sometimes their critiques make me wonder if we've listened to the same performance, but I'm not talking about that.. Nor about the public vote, which sent Lacey Brown home, while providing Tim Urban another opportunity to impersonate Tiny Tim. It's the auditions that puzzle me.

Some of the participants can really sing. Some shouldn't give up their day jobs, but they're not all that hard on the ears. Some are outrageously bad and know it, happy with their few minutes of fame. And then there are those who are just as bad, but remain oblivious. They are genuinely surprised and frequently devastated, when they are turned away.

That's puzzling. Why do they perceive their sound as great, rather than grating? Surely they must hear something different. Is it the auditory version of color blindness? Or some form of hallucination? Does an internal translator in the pathways of their brain convert demented cow to divine diva? Is it a more severe form of the common malady that makes your voice sound better in the shower?

As yet, there are no answers. But I ponder.


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