American Idolatry

Man, do I like American Idol. Oh yeahhhhh. You know what I mean? I know many of you, after seeing some of the contestants, feel like saying “Wow, what a bunch of retards, I could have told these people that they suck.” Here’s a show in which you can find the following, all in one season:

  1. Retarded person who looks like a ferret and makes you want to spontaneously laugh and cry at the same time.
  2. Another retarded person who’s friends with Person 1 and makes you want to do the same, as well as send those who would be mean enough to tell a retarded person they had a shot at a competitive talent show which would be seen by millions of people to a mental institution or prison for the criminally insane.
  3. Woman with key private parts hanging down to her ankles, and (as I’ve checked about with both my mother and my English teacher) just when you think, “her mother should teach her better”, her mother comes into the shot, sporting the same exact look, except fatter and older.
  4. An incredibly uptight business major. I know, we’ve seen plenty of these. But, not usually belting out a song to a nationwide audience, and certainly not one he chose because it was a judge’s favorite disregarding whether he could sing it or not (he couldn’t).
  5. One contestant who lets it all hang out (if you know what I mean) in a video “for her boyfriend” which the paparazzi puts on the Internet, which sparks a protest from several people, including a) a former black contestant who got kicked off for agreeing to pose for a porno magazine, b) Rosie O’bese Donnellesbian (arguably the truest three words ever written on the internet) who says the show’s producers are racist for not kicking off the white chick, and c) Idol’s announcer, who says it’s just horrible that people would take advantage of somebody stupid enough to 1) go on a nationwide talent show and 2) beforehand have pictures taken of themselves naked, armed only with the knowledge that they could be intercepted by the same people that took pictures of both Princess Diana and John Lennon as they died rather than call a hospital.

Aside from all that, though, I think we can all agree that there’s one thing about this show that cannot be understated: This is ultimate Americana. It’s like a bizarre freak show invented by Ronald Reagan and staffed by Monica Lewinsky, Bill Clinton, and Michael Jackson: a “wholesome” talent contest with contestants that constantly get in trouble for things like getting naked in public or pornography, and judges that are booed so often by the audience that it seems as if the audience has Tourette’s Syndrome. I’m serious about that last remark, by the way: The only other possibility is that the audience is composed of the same people who seriously tell the worst contestants to go on. I don’t think “tone deaf” is adequate to describe them, considering the fact that most of the contestants can barely sing their pop music, let alone anything more difficult.

Even the best contestants are obnoxious. I think the best word to describe them is “pretentious.” I remember one guy who sung an old jazz song and dedicated it to his grandfather, as if the song described the man because it’s old. I don’t remember anybody saying that the guy actually liked jazz music, or even that he’d even heard the song being dedicated to him.

As for the actual songs, I can think of places where I’ve seen more creativity, many of which involve manufacturing plants. To me, every song sung on American Idol sounds the same, in essence. What I mean is, they all sound bad. Generic. Latest Top 50 Hit stuff. And why not? All the songs are from the past ten to twenty years. Even the best songs, like those from Seal, are from only five to ten years old. But I don’t like Top 50 Hits. A lot of people don’t. You won’t hear songs by Guns N’ Roses, or even Journey. This is balladry of the fluffiest, close to what could be called “anti-rock”.

Aside from criticism, though, American Idol is a wonderful show, characterized by funny opening acts and a boring close. “Family atmosphere” between contestants vying for fame and fortune. Tons of scandal. Irritating, fluffy tributes that are to music what Dr. Phil is to humans. And at least two critics who are afraid to call bad singing when they see it, which is truly sad. Some of these people need to be told that they just can’t sing.

Oh, well, at least House comes on right after.

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