I guess this happened yesterday while I wasn't paying attention (or, rather, while I was paying attention to the really awesome new issue of The L
hitting streets tomorrow... the one with a fourteen page
music section): American Idol
lowered the eligibility age from 16 to 15. This doesn't strike me as a particularly big deal, insofar as a year in either direction probably
won't have that great an impact on the show, but as Marc Hirsh at NPR points out
, it seems likely the decision had a little something to do with one Justin Bieber and the bazillion records and, like, lunch boxes he's sold. Subtle, begrudging acknowledgment that while there's nothing wrong with a bar-band-lookin' guitarist dude like Casey from this past season, there is simply no match for a classic teen-pop star.