We make holes in teeth!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

American Idol Has Jumped the Shark

I know this a a little late, but what in my life doesn't come late these days. Next week I'll be ordering prints from the 1969 moon landing. Being there's a baby in the house now, it's all I can do to get myself ready and out the door to go to work every morning on time. Well that, and making sure I have clean clothes and dinner every night as well. Beyond that time is this sort of passing sludge that encompasses all and means nothing. Work and home are interchangeable entities of whiling the time away until we get to some magic demarcation in time, 100 days some declare it. As of today, little Julia is a meager 46 days old. It's too soon to be out of the woods of the perennial sleep walking just yet.

Anyway, a week later and here's what I think. American Idol has jumped the shark. I'm not going to waste time defending myself for watching this show. No, I admit freely that I am slumming, bowing down to the lowest common denominator on much the same level that fart jokes maintain. Hey, if everybody loved Raymond for so damn long why can't I watch American Idol? It's just a flaky talent show that isn't necessarily about the talent. Plus, people make colossal asses out of themselves endlessly on the show. So it's got that entertainment factor going for it.

I think season 1's winner, Kelly Clarkson, is the only real American idol to come out of the show. The rest are some form of fabricated popularity contest winners that tend to make people watch the show, but little more. I'm not saying the other people can't sing, far from it. Reuben was a great singer who had no right being called an idol in any state of the nation. Does David Cassidy's legacy as a teen idol suffer when this portly yet sweet-singing guy is labeled in the same way? Are people really hanging posters - really large ones - of this guy on their walls? I tend to doubt it.

In season 3 it was Fantasia Burrito, or whatever her name was. I thought she was probably the best singer in any of the 5 shows. But clearly she isn't teen idol material because a) she's not white, and b) she doesn't sing vapid and brainless sugar-pop songs that get played on the local crud stations. Actually she might. I haven't heard anything she's released since the show. She certainly had a Macy Gray potential there. But like Gray, they both seem to have faded into the woodwork of pop culture "where are they now?" fame.

Last year's winner was really attractive. But how do you label a country singer as an American Idol? And when did teen idols start singing about Jesus and driving? Second place finisher Bo Bice was more my musical speed, but still I'm not delusional in saying that he's not idol material either. Nor was the season 1 loser, Justine Whatever. Maybe Diana Whatever from season 3 or Clay Whatever from season 2 come close. But just because thy are both white it doesn't really make them idols. Personally I think they both sucked at singing. The fact they got so far is only a testament to the fact that Fonzy was revving up the engine years ago.

Which of course brings us to this season. Hey, being realistic, this season sucked balls. I mean, the talent level just wasn't there this year. When you watch these people week in and week out, you have expectations of what they will do. So when they collectively start to slide you don't really notice it. But pull out some of the Queen songs from a few weeks ago and listen to them in a fish bowl, and you'll understand just how awful these contestants were. Bad, and I mean bad. Chris Whatever has a great voice for his musical genre, but he sure sucked picking songs.

The only one who fit the bill of an idol was Katherine, or however you spell her name. Her voice was light years ahead of everyone else, save for maybe Elliot. Elliot's problem was that he looked like a total dork - hardly idol material. Great voice, look of a dweeb. Katherine's good voice and great body could not make up for her stage nervousness, piss poor choice of songs, and the fact that she appeared to actually be a robot. In the end, it landed her second place and possibly a spread in Maxim someday. But maybe not.

So we're left with the 4th straight non-idol like American Idol. Hey, the show remains entertaining despite the contrived and occasionally real tension between the judges. But as far as quality of entertainment goes, it's spiraling quickly. Maybe Taylor Ham got more votes than George Bush. But in the end, each of the little girls that votes 80 times for him hardly make me impressed with the shows ability to draw viewers who want to watch train wreck television. What it really shows me is that Fox is really on the ball with being able to handle a flood of phone calls and text messages all at once.

Hey, maybe next year the show will take a step up and the talent levels will get better. But for 2 years now, we've had sweet-looking white girl facing off with a gruff-looking white guy in the final. So far we've got a split between the 2. Next year I expect more of the same, but with even lesser quality.

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