Thou Shalt Worship Idol

To paraphrase Mojo Nixon’s song “Elvis Is Everywhere,” Who built the Pyramids? “American Idol.” Who built Stonehenge? “American Idol.”

This past season of the Fox network sine qua non – known early on as only a spinoff of a popular British television show – has moved beyond terms like “phenomenon.” Instead, it could become the fourth branch of government.

The “American Idols Live” tour has been a solid summer moneymaker but the upcoming July-September outing should top them all, with 60 dates on the books including several two-night stays at major venues.

More than 20 of those dates appeared the day after Taylor Hicks was announced the winner of the event at Los Angeles’ Kodak Theatre May 24th.

There is a mathematical equation that proves this will be a knockout tour – just combine television ratings, Internet downloads, the migration habits of the African swallow and shifts in human behavior, then divide by two.

For instance, one weather announcer on a morning television program dyed her hair grey in celebration of Hicks’ win. Add to that Katie Couric’s lament when candidate Chris Daughtry was booted off the show.

There was a clip of David Hasselhoff tearing up during the finale that became a popular Internet clip within 24 hours – before it was yanked by Fox. Another clip of an Idol wannabe singing with his hero, Clay Aiken, was e-mailed from coast to coast.

Add to that front-page stories in every major newspaper that Hicks was the big winner, and top it with the fact that about 63 million people voted for either Hicks or runner-up Katherine McPhee.

Then there was Prince, who made a surprise appearance at the finale giving the show either a sudden injection of credibility or a jumping-the-shark moment.

No matter the case, “American Idol” has either seen its best season in its history or will continue to build on its success and last at least as long as “Married With Children.”