Tonight is going to be a big night. Like, really big. The entire Capital Region will be watching, tracking, and talking about the outcome of American Idol as Cohoes' Madison VanDenburg attempts to become this season's winner.  It's so large in fact,  it's hard to think of a single moment in the history of Capital Region entertainment or otherwise that has had a larger impact on so many of us.

Back in 2015, a young man with long hair and a distinctively different singing voice and style from Fultonville took the 518 by storm when he won The Voice.  While Sawyer Fredricks was certainly worthy of all the praise and attention he received at the time, it doesn't feel like it created the amount of mass hysteria currently created by the 17-year-old Shaker student.

A few things stand out as reasons why this might be.

First and foremost, American Idol is an iconic television show ranking up there with some of the all-time great shows in the history of television.  Even if many of us stopped watching six, eight, or ten years ago we grew up watching it and the Idol 'brand' is one that resonates with most of us.  We hold Idol in our hearts.

Also, Madison has the power of a large school district behind her.  The Town of Colonie is huge, and the Shaker community has been extremely supportive of her Idol run whereas Fredricks was home-schooled and while beloved in his farm community, there's a much more palpable connection to the girl who 'goes to the same school as my son or daughter'.

Over the years, many things have bonded the Capital Region: Our love for sports and music, passion for politics, and ability to rally on behalf of a sick kid or tragic loss.  However nothing in the area has bonded over a million local people to the point where we're ALL watching, rooting, and hoping for the same outcome the way we will when we watch American Idol (8pm-11pm on WTEN Ch. 10) tonight.

To top it off, Madison is a really good singer.  She's also humble,  sweet and unassuming.  Her teachers and friends adore her and she comes off as genuinely surprised and appreciative of all the attention and love she's received,   She's easy to root for, and so we will.

Tonight is our Super Bowl and we're all cheering fo the same team: Team Madison