I’m dead serious here. Ok, crap, I’m actually admitting on my blog that I watch American Idol, but I just can’t hold it in anymore. My old roommates already know this about me, so I guess it’s time the whole world (or at least the miniscule portion that reads this site) knows it too. It went down like this:
Lisa was interested in watching last season. I was not. She’s the woman, so obviously she won out. We watched a couple episodes early on, and I tried to keep myself busy. But then it started to happen. Someone would sing, and I’d make a few observations. Then Simon would say the same things, only nastier. As the show progressed, I realized that I agreed with Simon most of the time. The main differences were that I was far more polite in my observations and could recognize when someone had a good voice that simply didn’t fit into the competition well. And so I got hooked.
We watched most of the season together, and developed real interest in some of the singers. There were people like Jon Peter Lewis and Matthew Rogers, who we knew wouldn’t win, but hoped that someone would see their true talent and put them on a TV show or something. Others like George Huff needed Motown to regain its glory, while Amy Adams was just crying out for a shot on broadway. Even now, I am still waiting for John Stevens’ CD to come out and start a nouveau hipster movement.
And then there were the divas.
While I’m not a huge fan of modern R&B, Jennifer Hudson, La Toya London, and Fantasia Barrino were the real deal. The three of them had amazing voices, all with different facets of the classic R&B vocalist – varying tones of soul, depth, range, and control. But it all came crashing down the week that all 3 dropped into the lowest bracket.
Sure, in the end the most talented voice (Fantasia) won the competition, but he damage had been done. America had spoken, and proudly chose the likes of the talentless Jasmine Trias and the thoroughly forgetable Diana DeGarma, over truly deserving contestants. The problem with music today isn’t just the record labels. Even when given a choice, a good portion of the people will still pick crap.
You see, I really do love pop music. Pop music makes the world go ’round. Unfortunately, people have lost touch with what real pop music is, and therefore the quality has plummeted. I don’t buy that BS that singers need to write their own songs or play their own intruments. Some of the greatest voices in music history (Patsy Cline, Bobby Darin, Elvis Presley) never put pen to paper, and even many great rock bands (The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin) regularly covered classic material rather than strictly provide their own. So I will take talent for what it’s worth, whether or not it becomes popular.
The season ended with me skipping the last few episodes, simply aghast at the poor decisions the audience continually made. I felt sympathy for Simon as his tones grew more and more disgusted with the pitiful tastes of the public. I felt they had let him down. No wonder he uses every opportunity he can to bash the pathetic excuses for contestants that wait in line for hours to humiliate themselves in front of a national audience. Oh Simon, I truly feel your pain.
And this year has become even worse, thanks in large part to the two other judges. If Randy could compliment someone with anything more than his usual hoots and “Yo yo dawg!” I might be able to tolerate him. But even still, he feels the need to pretend as though he is the truly knowledgeable one and keeps tossing out terms like “pitchy” whenever someone gives a great performance he can’t comprehend. Dude, you’re a fucking bass player! You don’t know shit about pitch! Stop pretending like you can magically find fault in anyone’s voice! And while I generally respect Paula’s opinions on the shows, for the most part she has picked the absolute worst battles to fight Simon. Both of them attack every little criticism he tosses out, no matter how well founded they are. I’m starting to feel embarassed for them.
And let me not forget their greatest transgression: Mikalah Gordon. This obnoxious piece of trash will most likely continue to be a bane for American Idol while the two of them build up her horrific and laughable performances as if they don’t hear the ridiculously nasal quality of her bad voice. But she’s confident! Ugh! Simon, on the other hand, has talked loudly over her performances and thinly veiled his responses ao as not to give away his complete distaste for her immature ways.
This season Simon has even toned down much of his harsh criticism and tried to give contestants advice. He really seems to want those with potential to succeed, and those without to lose on their own merits. His honesty may very well have become legendary when he told 23 year old Amanda Avila that in his next life he wants to come back as her microphone! Ryan Seacrest may have feigned ignorance, but every warm-blooded said a quick amen after that one.
I now offer my humblest apologies for doubting you, and mad props for speaking your mind in spite of public opinion and the pandering simpletons that generally watch this tripe. Simon, you rock!