Yes, I watch American Idol. My wife got me hooked. Really.
We hear over and over again from the judges that Americal Idol "is a singing competition."
It isn't. If it was, it would be on the radio. Instead, it is on television, a visual medium. Once it gets to the stage where the viewers are voting, it is a contest to see who can inspire, by whatever means, enough people to vote repeatedly for them. In addition to singing, the voters clearly take into account appearance, personality, background, stage presence, genre preference, and possibly some other factors.
What if someone was a really, really good singer, but just stood there at the mic, not moving and not even looking into the camera, had a huge, crooked nose and bad teeth, and came across as arrogant in the interviews? Would that person win? I rest my case.