Helen Fisher, an anthropologist at Rutgers University and the author of the new book "Why We Love," has a few theories on why people join fan clubs and why people obsess over celebrities they most likely will never meet.
She says that whereas people used to gossip about their neighbors, more and more people have become disconnected from their immediate community and turn to celebrities.
"We don't know our neighbors anymore, and our entire sense of community is changing," Fisher said. "What we do have in common are celebrities. We all know who these people are, and a lot of these people follow their lives, so rather than talking to the neighbors -- which we did for millions of years -- we have switched to talk about the other people we know, which are the celebrities."
Fisher recognizes that fan clubs can help members, saying that it never hurt anyone to have a hero.
"Fan clubs are totally harmless -- maybe even beneficial," Fisher said.
For Croft and Martino, this is certainly the case.
Having a role model to look up to has shaped both their lives in ways neither of them could even imagine.
So to Taylor Hicks, Croft might say, "I may be deaf but not that deaf, and I heard your voice."