"A lot of nights on American Idol, the most heart-rending performers aren't the ones on the stage. They're the ones in the seats, in the shadows, invisible except when the camera flits past their paunches and jowls, their crow's feet and their tears of hope;
... they are the parents...
Drama rests on contrast. The Idol parents are the incarnation of dreams not fully lived. Their children are the promise of dreams that could be wildly realized.
Sometimes as I watch the Idol parents, I wonder what their grand dreams were when they were their children's age. I wonder if they fantasized about fame for themselves, or at least about being declared the very best at what they do.
At what point did they concede that glory was beyond their grasp, that their place from now on was in the audience?"
The Chicago Tribune