“The Apprentice would not exist were it not for the success of American Idol. Donald Trump’s public profile wouldn’t have resurrected without the success of The Apprentice. And we are.”

It’s been 13 years and a whopping 14 American Idols crowned since the Days of Dunkleman, and Wednesday night, the reality TV stalwart debuted what will be its farewell season.

The rest of the two hours made a case for why American Idol, as a form of entertainment, is as strong as ever.

What The Voice offers is what, through its 15-season evolution, American Idol has transformed to offer: less a talent competition than talent television.

So in its final days, American Idol is lying in a bed of its own making.

Plucked from obscurity has double meaning on American Idol, which prefers its contestants to not just be anonymous before being discovered by the program, but to be from those small, removed towns that many of us think only exist on The Andy Griffith Show.

Mitchell’s family is off-the-grid, she says, and only turns on the power twice a week so they can watch American Idol, winning the episode’s Obscurity Olympics featuring a spate of off-the-grid talents.

American Idol