Crystal Bowersox and American Idol’s Recipes


Crystal Bowersox might be my favorite American Idol contestant ever, and it’s not just because she’s diabetic.  I admit, though, that I didn’t like her performance this week, but I’m going to blame it on the fact that she had to sing a  Shania Twain song.

Crystal is not just a mega-talent, and very cool, but what’s interesting to me is that she isn’t complaining about her diabetes.  It seems to be sort of a non-issue.  For those of us living with diabetes, we know it’s anything but a non-issue.  And so there seems to be something a bit noble about the fact that she’s keeping it quiet, and not dramatizing diabetes (and not looking for sympathy votes),  especially given the fact that earlier in the season she had a complication that required hospitalization.  I don’t follow tabloid news at all, but other than this headline which showed up in a google alert, I haven’t seen any news about Crystal’s diabetes.  And speaking of not following news, I  went to the American Idol website today (3 days late!) to find out who’d been sent home this week (sorry Siobhan Magnus) and I was shocked to see recipes on the AI homepage.

The American Idol recipes are just product advertisements under the guise of great ideas of things to serve at a viewing party.  Thanks, American Idol, because I really wanted to know how to serve microwaved processed cheese product to my friends.  And thanks for the great photography, too.  That bowl of Velvetta Easy Chessy Fajita Dip looks like throw-up, which might be why none of the ten million people who have visited your website over the past few months have commented on how great the recipe looks.

But wait, American Idol.  I’m not just ranting about your lousy recipes, I am going somewhere with this…

Randy Jackson!  Where is Randy Jackson?  I just said that I admired Crystal for keeping her diabetes issues fairly quiet, but right now, I’d like to hear a little more from Randy, who was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2001.  Here’s an excerpt from Newsweek:

“When Randy Jackson, the Grammy-winning producer and “American Idol” judge, learned he had type 2 diabetes in 2001, he weighed 360 pounds. At 45, he was in “the worst shape of my life,” he says. For weeks he’d been feeling tired, thirsty and overheated. Even though his father was diabetic and took insulin shots, Jackson put off the trip to the doctor, thinking he just had a cold. “You don’t think it’s going to happen to you,” he says ruefully.”

After undergoing gastric bypass surgery, Jackson reduced his weight from 360 to 230 pounds.  And he wrote a book called Body with Soul: Slash Sugar, Cut Cholesterol, and Get a Jump on Your Best Health Ever.  And this is great!  This is promoting a healthy lifestyle and helping people change their eating habits.  Surely the book has better recipes than Kraft Foods Viewing Party suggestions.  And if not, I offer you this:  American Idol, you have my permission to use any and all recipes from ASweetLife on The following are my recipe recommendations for all American Idol viewing parties.

A refreshing cucumber salad, Missy Lieser’s Bacon-Wrapped Shiitake Mushrooms, Michael Aviad’s Parmesan Crusted Jerusalem Artichokes, Rani Polak’s Sesame and Herb Chicken Fingers, and my very own Buckwheat Apple Cinnamon Muffins.

Bacon Wrapped Shiitake Mushrooms
Jessica's Buckwheat Muffins

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