But the real question is will Guarini—like Cooke and Gaye before him—eventually find the personal and artistic courage to somehow cast off those chains? Like his predecessors, will he become an artist of staggering depth and import, rewriting the very meaning of rhythm and blues in the process of a career that will be recalled in mythical terms in the centuries to come?
Hell, I don't know. Probably not, though it's fun to speculate on such things. And if you see some creepy-looking middle-aged fat guy wearing an obvious disguise and applauding wildly for Guarini on Friday night when the American Idols play the Pond, well . . . that won't be me. Fuck no.
TOP 10 AMERICAN IDOLS LIVE! AT THE ARROWHEAD POND, 2695 E. KATELLA AVE., ANAHEIM, (714) 704-2400. FRI., 7:30 P.M. $25-$45.