Thank you for your article ''Idol: Inside America's Music Factory.'' It's about time the ''AI'' contestants made the cover! It's nice to see a magazine look further into what the show is about rather than waste time and pages bashing each contestant. EW, you'll always be my American Idol. LESLIE DIXON firstname.lastname@example.org Smyrna, Tenn.
I find it amusing that ''American Idol'' is interested in getting Bob Dylan for their show next year, when someone who sounds like him would probably get booted long before the final 12. I can hear it now: ''Sorry, dawg, it was a little pitchy and you missed a few notes.'' ''American Idol'' makes good TV but average music. Everyone was upset that Jennifer Hudson was eliminated too soon, but has anyone stopped to think that maybe Americans are bored with people who are just good singers, and actually yearn for something different? Like Bob Dylan... MARIA APICELLA Kurtigo@aol.com Seattle
State of Race
We need more conversations about race in this country, but we do a tremendous disservice to the subject by using reality TV as a jumping-off point (''The Reality of Race''). Jennifer Hudson was sent home on ''American Idol'' after white contestants were, and the ''three divas'' were placed in the bottom three because viewers probably thought they were safe and didn't vote for them. As for ''The Apprentice,'' Kwame came in second because he deserved to, and people judge Omarosa because she's conniving. EW, be careful not to feed race-oriented conspiracy theories. JOSHUA LEVS Atlanta
More Than Words
I couldn't agree more with Rob Brunner's dismissal of the importance of lyrics (''Lyrics Don't Matter!''). Half of the time, I get them wrong because the performers enunciate so poorly. And the other half of the time, I sing happily without realizing what they mean. I always thought Sarah McLachlan was uplifting until someone made me pay attention to the words. Regardless, a song's lyrics have never had any bearing on whether I enjoy the song itself. Thanks, EW, for exposing the sad obsession of the lyric snob. MURRAY LEANING email@example.com Toronto
While I found the article ''Sex Balm'' interesting from a news standpoint, I was disturbed by its legitimizing portrayal of the porn industry: an industry that objectifies women, helps spread STDs, and feeds sex addictions (News & Notes). I was also disgusted by Lisa Schwarzbaum's description of Lindsay Lohan's character in ''Mean Girls'' as ''a tasty bit of fresh meat.'' Women are not meat -- they are people, even in movies. JEFF MARTIN firstname.lastname@example.org Harrow, Ontario
TV for Dummies
The problems with TV today lie not with its complicated scenarios, but with its derivative plots, trite scripts, and one-dimensional characters (News & Notes). Networks and advertisers are so focused on ratings that if a program presents something new or thought-provoking, it is summarily canceled (''Wonderfalls,'' ''Freaks and Geeks''). How many more mindless ''Bachelor''s, ''Survivor''s, and ''Idol''s must we endure? STEVEN R. WILKINSON email@example.com Corona, Calif.