3.08.2006

Fine, I Watch American Idol, Whatever

So, look. I did not want to watch American Idol this season, on account of Fox has taken Prison Break off the schedule in order to air it. Furthermore--and this is maybe rude of me--I sort of (maybe, a little bit) think I'm better than American Idol. Like, what useful information am I gaining from watching what amounts to a high school talent show that is spread out over several months? How is it adding to my life? I mean, at least Project Runway taught me that you use a special machine to sew stretchy fabrics and that Tim Gunn is possibly the most awesome person in the world. What intrinsic value does American Idol have?

And yet ... I watch it. And I kind of hate myself for that.

Since I do watch it, I will of course talk about it.

I did not watch the first six hundred episodes of the season, in which (presumably, if it followed the same template as previous seasons) many, many nontalented people "sang" horrifically, got snotted at by Simon, threw hissy fits, and stomped out of the conference room of whatever budget hotel the auditions were being held in. This was very entertaining to me during the first two seasons, and then William Hung came in and "She-banged" all over it and now I can't watch the proceedings without that strange feeling of fear, superiority, loathing, and nausea.

So I skipped it this year, and boy, do I feel good about that.

I began watching this season during the first week of the semi-finals--the first week that America got to vote.

And now I will talk about the contestants, but only the ones I remember, because I don't feel like looking them all up right now, and anyway, I'm spending far too much time on this already.

My very favorite person, the one I hope will win everything, is Mandisa. Every time she performs, she blows away her competition. It's like when you have the local talent that opens for a big name entertainer: they're good, and you like them, but when the Big Name steps on stage, you realize JUST HOW MUCH BETTER he/she is, and how much work the Local Talent needs to do in order to reach that level. If Mandisa released a cd tomorrow, I would buy it. In fact, I would buy ten of them, and give them away as gifts.

I like Paris, but she gets on my nerves a little; I think this may have to do with my being old and crotchety, while she is young and chipper. I just can't deal with that much "perky" sometimes. Still, she's a good singer, and she can work a crowd.

I did like Katherine McPhee, but she is a boring performer. Plus, she said the Barbra Streisand originated "Since I Fell for You," WHICH SHE DID NOT. I don't know who did, but I DO know that Ella Fitzgerald sang it long before La Streisand got hold of it.

I am tired of Kellie Pickler; I get it, honey, you are country, okay? I'm gonna remember that too, so there's no need for you to remind me EVERY SINGLE SECOND.

I forget the rest of the girls; on to the boys.

Taylor Hicks: The ONLY way he is 29 is if his birthday falls on February 29. I do not believe for one second that he is any less that 45 years old. Also, he is very "Look at me!" with the camera, and that just reminds me of My Annoying Relative.

Bucky Covington: At first, I allowed myself to be affected by his appearance, which, let's face it, was not all that great. But he uses his voice well and he manages to sing on-key, which I appreciate in this competition, which is supposedly ABOUT singing.

Will Makar: He is cute, but too young, I think. I don't think anyone loves him as much as Ryan does.

Kevin Whatsit: I feel like the judges patronize him, like he is SO young that they don't want to say anything bad because they are afraid of hurting his little feelings. But he clearly is out of his depth and should maybe come back when he's got a few years on him.

Chris Whosit: He's got a good voice, but I feel like I've heard it all before.

Ace DontILookHott: I feel his place in this competition is based more on beauty than on talent. Also, Randy raves about his falsetto, but I just can't get behind that. It sounds drag-ish to me. And it makes me think of the castrato, and that just takes me to a place I don't want to go.

Elliot MyFavorite: Clearly the best singer, and that is why he's MyFavorite. He sings in tune, he is technically skilled, he can fancy up the songs without getting all Christina Aguilera about it, and he picks good songs that I've never heard before but now feel the need to find on iTunes.

As usual, Simon has my back during this competition, because I hate the way Paula fawns all over the contestants (saying,"You look so good tonight," is not an evaluation of their singing, PAULA) and Randy throws it over to the Dawg Pound instead of making any valid statements. Randy's go-to criticisms include the following:
"It was a little pitchy." Sometimes he even specifies that notes were sharp, but never, ever that they are flat, which I don't understand, because their notes ARE more often flat than sharp. Why the prejudice, Randy? Why are you hating on flats?
"You did your thing though." The "and it was awful" is implied, though not spoken.
"It was just a'ight for me." Translation: If I have to hear that again, I will literally poke this straw--provided by our sponsor Coca-cola--through my eye.

Simon is the only one who is not afraid to tell people they stink, though his similies are sometimes waaaaay out there. I like it, though, when he says, "That was like going to a dinner party and the host's child provides the after-dinner entertainment," (paraphrased, of course), because that's what used to happen whenever we went to my Aunt Jane's for dinner; My Annoying Relative would force us to listen to her sing or recite a poem she'd written, and it really was, as Simon would say, APPALLING.

I have a very specific method of watching American Idol, which is to Tivo it first and then fast-forward past all the back stories and Dawg Pound nonsense.

Also, I never, no never, watch Ryan Seacrest, because for some reason, when I see or hear him, I just get angry, for no logical reason. Like, I go from placid to raging in 0.5 seconds. I just cannot stand him; this is maybe because he is everywhere: on AI, on the radio, on E!News (which: now I can't watch that anymore, thanks E!). When he starts his own newspaper advice column or self-publishes his poetry, I ... I don't know what I'll do.

[sample poem:

why am i
so great is it the
streaks in My
hair-
the
gleam of my teeth
*** my perfect
manicure
i Guess
i ll
neVer know //too bad :(
.!. ]

Every season, I tell myself that THIS is the last time I'm watching, but then my curiosity gets the better of me, and I watch one episode, which turns into watching two episodes, and then I Season Pass it, and then it's like I've been caught in quicksand.

Lesson to be learned: American Idol is dangerously addictive. In the 80s,there would have been a very special episode of Different Strokes where Arnold finds a text message on his friend's phone ("Whatchoo talkin' 'bout, Simon?") and then Nancy Reagan would come in and tell him to Just Say No.

1 comment:

Cindy said...

Mei, I am SOOO with you on your favorites! I've been supporting Paris because she has a connection to my hometown, and I really do think she's good. But Mandisa reigns. And Elliot...his voice makes you forget that he's not a pretty boy. Ace is all style and no substance, IMHO.

 

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