North Carolina native Clay Aiken sang his way to a runner-up finish on the television show "American Idol."

North Carolina native Clay Aiken sang his way to a runner-up finish on the television show "American Idol." Last season, fellow North Carolinian Fantasia Barrino won a lucrative recording contract by claiming the title. Now, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte will now cement the show's legacy in the state by offering an academic course about "American Idol."

Beginning in January, students at UNCC will earn three credit hours for the class "Examining 'American Idol' Through Musical Critique."

The class will watch the show twice a week and devise its own system for rating contestants. Students will learn the history of different musical styles used as "Idol" themes, such as Motown and Broadway. The final project will be a paper on who should win and why.

The elective course was created by Jay Grymes, assistant professor of musicology, who says he's a huge fan of "Idol." The show can be a springboard for serious discussion about the art of performing music and the craft of critiquing it, he said.

"People going into performing arts would probably benefit from class like this with proper instruction," Grymes told the campus' University Times newspaper.


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