Finally, if you feel like your singing is ready to move from the shower stall to the recording booth, you could take a shot at American Idol -- hell, if William Hung did it, why can't you? Local curator Marisa Olson tried out for the current season of the show and chronicled her experience -- from sit-ups to stilettos to running scales -- in her blog (http://americanidolauditiontraining.blogs.com/marisa/). If her ordeal scares you off, you could always try a low-budget alternative. Producer Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins, who's crafted hit tracks for the likes of Britney Spears, Destiny's Child, and Mary J. Blige, will soon release Versatility, a retail CD of 11 original instrumental productions for aspiring vocalists to sing to. According to VH1, he even plans to offer a contest in which the best interpreters of his work will win a recording contract with his Darkchild label.
American democracy may be in a lull, but at least in R&B, egalitarianism is alive and well.