Truth be told, I haven’t followed American Idol since Carrie Underwood’s season – Season 4, in 2005. The cringe-worthy audition footage they’d show in early episodes was enough to turn me off for good. (No I don’t want to hear another awful rendition of Ricky Martin’s “Shake Your Bon-Bon,” thank you very much…) But when I heard that Connecticut native Nick Fradiani had advanced to this season’s final twelve, I knew I’d have to watch along to see how it would play out.
A few weeks, a number of show-stopping performances and millions of votes later, America had a new ‘Idol,” Guilford, Connecticut’s Nick Fradiani.
Anyone who knows me knows that I have a tremendous love for Connecticut. Regardless of my mailing address over the years, it has always been my “home.” Guilford lies in an especially beautiful part of the state – on the Connecticut Shoreline in New Haven County. (Ok, maybe I’m biased, since Guilford does border my hometown of Madison.)
A charming, small town of less than 25,000 residents, It’s been really incredible to see Guilford’s support of Fradiani. During Idol’s hometown visits, which took place in one of the final few episodes, over 10,000 fans gathered to welcome Nick “home” with a festive parade. Schools even let kids out early and businesses closed their doors, as the parade was an event not to miss.
During my visit to Guilford last weekend, I wasn’t surprised at all to see so many heartwarming messages of support by local businesses. Nearly every business surrounding the town green had some sort of message in their window, and Cilantro is even offering a Fradiani French Roast.
But the most creative show of support I spotted was at Hair of The Dog Grooming. Luckily Wellington had receive his “Fradiani Fever” vaccine, so he was able to be groomed!
I’m sure the signs will come down at some point, but I think it’s safe to say that “Fradiani Fever” will forever remain in the hearts of Guilford, CT residents, especially of those youngsters who I’m sure he’s inspired!