Last night, I did something I never did before, swore I never would do, and reaffirm that vow to never do again.
I watched "American Idol."
But I swear, it was barely half of the show, and it was for purely political reasons.
All of Massachusetts has been atwitter this season about one of the contestants. 17-year-old Ayla Brown of Wrentham has been wowing them (or so I hear), and is a real All-American girl. Great student, star athlete, and a fantastic singer, along with (I've been told) a good personality and a decent head on her shoulders.
But it's not just Ayla's own innate qualities that has folks talking. Her parents are a big part of the story.
Ayla's mother is Gail Huff, a reporter for Boston's ABC affiliate. As such, her face and voice are well-known to much of New England.
And Ayla's father, Scott Brown, is a very, very rare fellow. He's a State Senator and a Republican -- one of only six of that party in the 40-seat Senate. He's seen as a rising star in GOP circles in the Bay State, which means he has a better-than-average chance of being goveror or lieutenant governor -- that seems to be the only career path for Republicans; they might as well kiss off any hopes of going to Capitol Hill, or any sort of state legislative leadership.
In fact, Brown was on the "short list" of potential running mates for sitting Lt. Governor Kerry Murphy Healey, but Brown deferred any decisions while his daughter was competing on American Idol.
Well, last night his future might have opened up a bit, as Ayla's hopes on the show ended. She was the 2nd-lowest vote-getter among the women, so she got sent packing.
I blame myself. I violated a sacred vow to myself and tuned in, and she lost. I shall take this as a lesson: never again will I watch American Idol.
But the nerd in me has to wonder -- was she named after the heroine of Jean Auel's "Earth's Children" novels, Ayla Ranzz of comic-book semi-fame, or someone else?