Don't Cry for Elliott, Richmond, Virginia...
Oooooh, Soooooooo close.
It came down to .2 percent of 50 million votes cast but tonight Elliott came out on the short end. But Elliott took it gracefully and with his ever-present smile. He’s a classy guy.
And may I say that the taped piece on Elliott’s trip home should be packaged and used by Richmond’s economic development mavens. I could not have been more proud of how Richmond looked in that piece. Even the Diamond didn’t look half bad! But what looked best of all was the enthusiasm of Richmonders, who didn’t come off like yokels but like a vigorous, passionate community. (Where are all these people when we’re trying to get consensus on a performing arts center or baseball stadium?)
The cameos were fun to watch: Curt Autry, Aaron Gilchrist, Susan Greenbaum, Tim Kaine -- but the true star of the montage was none other than the Westbury Pharmacy! I swear I got choked up! The old gal looked good, didn’t she?
Admittedly, Richmond was a little slow in working up a frenzy over Yamin. But by the time Elliott had Paula Abdul breaking down in tears, calling him “handsome and evolved” and a bunch of other incoherent things, Elliott had won all of Richmond over too. But we, at least, could articulate why. 1) He’s good. 2.) He was making Richmond proud, proving himself to be humble, gracious and well-mannered. 3.) He’s a mama’s boy, and who doesn’t love that?
By this week, it had become a full-blown frenzy. Everywhere you went it was the topic of conversation (even with dental instruments in one’s mouth, I can personally attest to). We started to sense that we had a very real shot at claiming a major star, a major talent, and a good guy who, unlike some other recent Richmond singing star, most likely wouldn’t spit on people at a gas station.
Alas it was not to be. So being THE American Idol isn’t in Elliott’s future but don’t cry for him, Richmond, Virginia. The truth is, as Randy Jackson would say, the guy can “blow.” He will have a career in music, and not just as a DJ.
Thank you, Elliott, for lifting this town -- at least for a while -- out of its murder spree, bear-killing, ballpark drama blues.
And OK, Anonymous, I hear you. Yes, I've written mostly about Elliott lately but truthfully I was getting pretty drained from writing about people getting killed and bears getting killed and arts center plans getting killed. This entire town needed a collective palate cleansing. Elliott Yamin was our sorbet.