Friday, January 26, 2007

Amer-i-can't Idol

I like Keith Olberman. While he’s no doubt the liberal version of Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity he’s still pretty cool (I tend not to like folks who are either too liberal or too conservative. Which is why my boy, The Hippie Conservative is j-u-u-ust right). But a couple of nights ago, he made a comment that annoyed the hell out of me. He accused the judges on the popular singing competition American Idol of being too mean to the contestants. This was apparently in response to comments made by Simon Cowell – the most notorious of the judges – addressed to a mentally challenged contestant.

Now, let’s be clear on one thing: I really don’t like American Idol. For the most part, I’m not a fan of the music industry these days, so it would only make sense for me not to like a show about kids aspiring to be in that industry. But I’ll admit that the initial auditioning is pretty addictive for me to watch. I get a kick out of watching people get on stage and make a fool out of themselves. For this reason, they deserve whatever criticism they get.

I’m sorry. But watching some of these putrid performances, you can’t convince me that these people don’t already know that they suck. There's absolutely nothing wrong with pointing that out. After all, knowing how bad they are, the contestants try to be…well…the worse they can be; more than likely so they can become the new William Hung (in a way, I feel bad for him and how bad the media has been exploiting him).

Most of these contestants -- who seem to get stranger and stranger each episode -- need some serious professional help.

And not just with their singing...


10 "Insiders" spoke their mind. Join in...:

Cynthia said...

Dre, you gotta admit that the comments Simon made about the two disabled guys WAS pretty mean. Why do you think it was that he apologized for it later? B/C he was dirt wrong!

Andre said...

C'mon Cyn. You're joking, right? OK. The shots he took at these disabled folks was wrong. But they DID sound like crap. They DID look strange. Why not bash them; especially when he didn't even know they were mentally challenged?

Maybe the biggest question is: where were these guys parents/guardians? Who in their right mind would let these two guys go on national television sounding the way they did? Let's be real here: they clearly didn't have a snowball's chance in hell of winning.

If I were Simon (and had his wit), I'd do the same thing.

Cynthia said...

I don't know how you can sit there and cast the blame on the contestants without calling out the show itself. THEY'RE the ones exploiting these contestants.

Andre said...

I get that. In fact, I read that the contestants have at least two other auditions even before they hit the stage. So, putting the obviously bad talent on the stage is clearly a ploy to get more ratings. But, none of the footage is aired without the contestants signing release forms first. Many of those who sign aren't doing so with the intention of winning. They just want their 15 minutes. In this case, their 15 minutes are for infamamy. Can't blame the producers for that...

Diane J. said...

I just don't get the whole American Idol thing. At all. None of it. I'm embarassed FOR those poor tone deaf people. I watched about 5 minutes of the first or second show of the first season and that was enough for me. I've never watched a minute of it ever again.

To each his own, and AI is not for me.

As far as the judges going too far in their criticism, if those people signed a contract, they should have read it and they should know what they're letting themselves in for.
They've seen the show and they know what the judges do to the poor saps who can't sing. I have no sympathy for them. They should know the score.

I'm usually the first one to stand up for the underdog, like developmentally disabled people, but if they could read enough to sign a legal contract, they knew what they were getting into.

Okay, I'm done now.

Have a good weekend, Andre. :-)

KC said...

I think you're outnumbered on this one, Cyn.

Andre said...

Geez Diane! How do you really feel?! LOL!

Joking aside, I agree with you. Sure I get entertained by how nonsensical most of these guys are. But ultimately, I'm deeply bothered by what's going on. If it's not some ridiculous sob story (i.e. one girl conjured up some story about how she lied to her disapproving parents only to have them proud of her once she advanced), it's some no-talent hacks hurting America's ears. And we, interestingly, love it.

Very odd.

@ KC: YOU said that. Not me...

Joslyn said...


I'm with you on this one. Personal responsibilty plays a big role on this show. If you are that dead set on becoming a singer, be prepared to face all the critisims that follow.

As far as the disabled people go, I'll leave you with what a comedian said: "I don't discriminate at all......I talk about disabled folks too."


Andre said...

Amen Jos. You summed up my whole argument in two words: Personal responsibility.

I can learn a thing or two from you about getting to point. Thanks.

The H.C. said...

Hey Dre,
I felt less sorry for the mentally handicapped singer than the rest. At least he had a good excuse why he didn't know he sucked. As an ex-singer for local bands, I can't even watch that show, I mean, I'm certainly not great, but my God, some of them are horrible. Thanks for the props. After the dissin' I got on Theirspace I was afraid I might take a turn toward the right, but nah, it's to much fun fightin' with both parties and much more material.