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Posts Tagged American Idol

What The Fuck Is Going On With Idol?

Filed Under: TV Reviews

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This should not be on television.

Preface: I’ve never really watched American Idol. I mean , I’ll tune in to the first few episodes for the sheer humor of watching unassuming retards belt out popular songs with absolutely no idea of how bad they are. I’ve also occasionally watched the final episode, though the drama between the last two standing is generally lost on me, having missed the season. But for the most part, Idol has been one of few instances where my love of all things pop culture doesn’t prevail (over my love of not spending three hours a week watching other people sing).

But I was swayed by the hype surrounding this year’s major changes, specifically the ousting of Simon and Paula for Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez. I had always liked Simon—how could any self-respecting fan of reality television NOT like Simon—but Paula was boring, and even Simon had in the last few seasons run out of ways to say “you’re awful.” The switcheroo seemed like a good call: today’s kids know both Tyler and Lopez (let’s be honest, Paula Abdul was lost on anyone under 25) and the change paved the way for Randy to let loose with his inner hater, which for the most part he has.

But now the dust has settled and we’re on the Top 24 (which, what the shit kind of number is that?) and Idol is asking me to spend not one, not two, but FIVE hours of my time watching this week (I’ll generously round down to 3.5 when commercials are excluded). Based on the four hours I’ve already watched, I just can’t see why. Maybe it was always this weak in the beginning; maybe all the hopefuls need Week 1 to find their sea legs and wrap their minds around performing to an audience of hundreds (to say nothing of the 20+ million television viewers) instead of singing at karaoke bars, or into hairbrushes in their bedrooms. But based on the 24 performances I’ve seen, this season is incredibly weak sauce. Here’s why.

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kira

10:35 AM on March 3rd, 2011 | 

Posted by kira

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Bittersweet Symphony

Filed Under: TV

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A cursory Google News search yields nearly 5,000 stories related to “Kris Allen,” last night’s winner of the 87th season of American Idol. You might argue, in fact, that I’m only even posting about the show — which I don’t watch — in an effort to capture fans left shell-shocked by Allen’s apparently surprising win. Indeed, you could accuse me of being a slut for Google trends.

It’s an accusation I’ll gladly accept, because in contemplating various RA topics today, I found myself bombarded on all sides—by news outlets, blogs and the chatty mail room guy who fills in during our receptionist’s lunch breaks—with surprised exclamations: “He won?!” Although I have long since accepted that millions upon millions of people watch American Idol—some 100 million voted in the finale—it never ceases to amaze me the kind of water cooler gossip generated by this show.

The latest scandal appears to be this: Kris Allen, a golden boy from Arkansas, did the unthinkable, beating out eyeliner-wearing rocker Adam Lambert to be this season’s winner. Fans and bloggers alike, the vast majority of whom appear incredibly surprised by this outcome, speculate that Allen’s religious background, or appeal to tween girls, are behind the coup — so far, no one has suggested he snagged the win based on anything like “merit” or “ability to sing songs.”

Which leads me to wonder: imagine being Kris Allen right now. I mean sure, he just won American Idol, and even as a dark horse the guy undoubtedly has a fan base of braces-wearing, Trapper Keeper-using pre-teens. But no one, and I mean no one, thinks he should have won. CNN is calling the victory stunning (and not in the good way), HuffPo called it an “upset,” and “Kris Allen beats Adam Lambert” may soon trump thinly-veiled sexual allusions for the definition of “shocker.” Even the fucking Wall Street Journal wrote about this shit. A slew of journalists are tearing apart each performance, offering “expert analysis” on why, oh God why, Allen could have possibly scored the win here.

Seems unless you have the American public in your pocket, winning isn’t even worth it. Take a look at Ruben Studdard, victor of American Idol’s second season, who probably died of obesity-related health defects three years ago. Or Season Three winner Fantasia Barrino, whose victory over Jennifer Hudson pales in comparison to Hudson’s, you know, Academy Award. The bottom line is unless you write a song so pop-infused it becomes irresistible to literally every music fan ever (”Since You’ve Been Gone”) or amass a cult-like following of potentially deranged middle-Americans (Clay Aiken), you’re no idol of this America.

 
kira

5:28 PM on May 21st, 2009 | 

Posted by kira

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Cold Hearted Snakes

Filed Under: TV

paula21-296x450With a word like “idol” in the show’s name, this was bound to happen eventually.

A two-time American Idol loser and huge Paula Abdul fan was found dead outside the singer’s home this week, in an apparent suicide undoubtedly tied to her 2005 rejection from the show. Paula Godspeed — I don’t know whether her first or last name is more ironic — was found in her car outside Abdul’s Los Angeles mansion, having died from what appears to be a drug overdose.

It’s almost possible to greet this story with the detached chuckle that comes from years of desensitization to violence and tragedy, that is until you see the video. Godspeed’s audition, despite being exceedingly average in the grand scheme of American Idol singing atrocities, is almost unbearable to watch when you know she committed suicide. It validates every time you’ve ever thought the infamous Simon, Randy and Paula might, in fact, be too harsh, and makes you wonder whether the trio will consider toning down their criticism. Not for lack of justification — some of the singing on that show is truly heinous — but because it’s fair to assume people participating in a nationally televised and incredibly hyped singing competition might be a little unhinged. Read More ›

 
kira

9:11 AM on November 14th, 2008 | 

Posted by kira

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