Monday, February 18, 2008

AMERICAN IDOL: Hollywood Week

STOP CRYING!!!!

This is AMERICAN IDOL not DARK VICTORY. This is not a Meredith Baxter Birney Lifetime MOW where she comes down with whatever disease killed the last patient on HOUSE. This is not LOVE STORY. This is not OLD YELLER!!

This is a bunch of cute looking kids who all sound like Aretha Franklin or Michael Bolton vying for a chance to be on television every week. It’s not, “Ohmygod, I can walk. I CAN WALK!”

At least in years past these wannabes were asked to perform together in groups during Hollywood Week so you had the fun of putting six rats in a box with only one piece of cheese. There were cat fights, there were alliances, there were questions. Who would rise to the challenge? Who would crack? Who would ruin it for the others? Who would Paula sleep with?

That’s all been replaced with a non-stop blubberfest. Winners cry, losers cry, Paula cries (the one she really wants to bang is only 16). The only one with dry eyes is Simon, who makes $2.45 for every tear.

Now there are solo auditions (most we never see), and a knock-off version of CHORUS LINE. “Back row, you’re going home. Front row, you’ve made it through till the next humiliation.” “Waaa waaaa!!”

STOP CRYING!!!!

The worst was this boy (pictured) who lives in his car and looks like Kellie Pickler. Jesus! He was inconsolable when the Clippers lost. I’m sooo glad he was finally eliminated. He cries so much he probably needs windshield wipers on the inside of that car.

Where are the cocky assholes? Where’s the happy-go-lucky bi-polar guy? The stoner? The guy wanted in four states? Instead we get 24 Terrell Owens (“He’s my quarterback, man!”).

That’s followed by an entire hour of kids walking back and forth down a long hallway. It’s supposed to be real dramatic. One by one they enter this huge room and must cross to the judges to learn their fate. Back to a life working at the Dairy Queen or performing live on national television for a few weeks and then back to a life working at the Dairy Queen? So our stomachs are supposed to be in our throats as we hear the decisions. Except that, well…we don’t give a shit about any of these people yet!! Some of these kids we’re seeing for the first time.

And it seems that in order to qualify for the final 24 you had to be able to sing, cry, and have parents or friends who are all 300 pounds or more.

But at least now we’ll get a chance to meet them, hear them sing, and more importantly, can begin making fun of them. And they think they had a reason to cry before

24 comments:

TCinLA said...

Well, there is the Irish girl who already blew a record contract in 2001 under another name nad is now competing under her married name.

Can't remember her name, but it was a Really Important Story in Yahoo News yesterday when I opened my home page to go check my mail.

Sounds about right for this phony-baloney show, whose existence proves that Mencken was completely right when he said "nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public."

Ken Levine said...

I must admit, when they get into the live competition part I'm totally hooked. Guess I'll never be asked to join Mensa, even with two shows in the top ten.

maven said...

We definitely are manipulated during this stage. I think they wanted us to really care about crying, living in the car boy (I don't even remember his name!). I was almost surprised when they pulled the rug out from under him.

I hope that Irish girl wears long sleeves all the time.

And there was so many of the 24 that we didn't even get to see yet. Wonder why that is? Are they really bad, or are they waiting to show us some really talented kids?

John Pearley Huffman said...

American Idol is still on? Wow. Who knew?

I'm too giddy about watching fine scripted entertainment like last night's Knight Rider movie on NBC to sit still for "reality" shows.

RAC said...

Oh, crap, I missed it, due to canceling my cable to afford food. Does anyone have an old tv antenna they could send me?

D. McEwan said...

You know Rac, a year from now, that annteannae will be useless.

I completely agree about all the crying, and even the exuberant kids who reacted to "Yes" by leaping about and cheering, and screaming "I MADE IT!!!" at all the losers who didn't.

Which is why, apart from my love of Janis Joplin, that I'm already attached to biker-nurse-singer Amanda Overmeyer, whose reaction to being told she made the top 24 was to drawl "Thanks. I appreciate it." and walk out smiling, but not screaming, crying, running, leaping about, or behaving in any way like a 12 year old in desperate need of medication. She behaved like --- like --- dare I say it? --- like a mature adult!

I am amused at how they say "America, here is YOUR top 24, like WE chose them, when there's at least 4 of them we have yet to hear sing even a single note. Who is dreadful dreadlocks boy, for instance? He's one of MY Top 24, and all I know about him is that I hate his hair.

As for Living-In-His-Car Boy, I was amused when he said he'd "Made every mistake a man could make." wondering if he had ever tried to determine if a gun was loaded by looking down the barrel and pulling the trigger, or had ever married someone he'd just met that day, or had ever shot a man in Reno just to watch him die, or had ever voted Republican. That nice back up singer lady almost begged him to come rehearse with them, you know, like a professional preparing an important audition, but he preferred to go off and cry about his nerves. He severely needs to get over himself, and to get a home.

Well, now it's off to the races.

Anonymous said...

How can you people watch anything on a Rupert Murdoch-owned company? This man is contributing to the ruination of the world and yet, you guys happily patronize his garbage, be it Fox News or Fox TV. No thanks. Wake up - this man and what he is doing to all media must be stopped.

blogward said...

RE Murdoch - it's too late. He might have been stopped in 1990 when I managed to (on his miscue) lower the ancient, rattling video projector from the ceiling of the Midland Bank theatre and play the wrong video at the wrong time. His fault for not rehearsing, but News Intrernational got the $660 million they were after anyway.

Anonymous said...

Apparently Mensa have a 'Gold' membership available only to the top 0.5% of the population. Then there's the 'Platinum' membership scheme...you see where I'm going with this.

Walter Plinge said...

"Where’s the happy-go-lucky bi-polar guy?"

Jeanie Aus - Keep it up.

Tom Quigley said...

...."How can you people watch anything on a Rupert Murdoch-owned company?"...

Ken, you've got to keep your friends better informed....

John said...

MSNBC ran a story Monday that said three of this year's Idol contestants already have bombed out of past record contracts, including one who apparently had about $1 million invested by the label in production and development. It might make an interesting scandal if any of the three get all the way to the final few rounds, but I doubt it's going to kill the franchise at this point in the season.

(Also, if you get too ideologically pure about everything, then you not only have to stop watching Fox, you've got to stop watching M*A*S*H, since Rupert's collecting booty there on the syndication rights. Also, after rooting for the New York Football Giants since the mid-'60s, I'm not giving up on Fox now, as long as they own the NFC package...)

Paul Duca said...

Tom...Ken worked for Fox pre-Murdoch (although he does sign Ken's royalty checks for M*A*S*H)

A. Buck Short said...

Everybody is missing the point. It's to make that Chris Crocker look like a Stoic.

A little more seriously, isn't that in some way part of the performance? That's what they know they're expected to do, so they method themselves through it?

Sort of like a sitcom or game show audience that knows it's supposed to be just a little over the top (ok, manic) so the reactions register better and there's a little more to work with in the editing.

I wonder if on the way out, some don't look at the applause sign and mutter to themselves, "Sure we got in for free. But I feel so used and dirty.

Where's Ted Mack now that we need him?

Observer said...

I couldn't believe Simon was arguing to hard for the dorky kid with the glasses. If he had made it through to the final 24, the anti-Idol voting websites would've had this year's Sanjaya. I wonder if Simon *wants* that sort of attention, as if the show doesn't already have enough.

Tom Quigley said...

RE: Tom...Ken worked for Fox pre-Murdoch (although he does sign Ken's royalty checks for M*A*S*H)...

Ken -- was your and David's development deal with Fox nixed by them after the strike began? If so, then I stand corrected -- don't anybody watch Fox!

RAC said...

d. mcewan said:
You know Rac, a year from now, that annteannae will be useless.

That's begging for a reply, so take your pick:

1) That's none of your business, and I think you misspelled penis.

2) That's what my nymphomaniac girlfriend said.

3) That's okay, I'll get some digital viagra.

4) That always happens when PBS is showing its annual Flaccido Domingo concert.

5) That's what people are saying about the new WGA contract.

Anonymous said...

Way Off Topic, but congrats Ken on your colleague's achievement:

Mariners Announcer Inducted Into Cooperstown

(Seattle, WA) -- "My oh my," -- that phrase linked directly to legendary Seattle Mariners broadcaster Dave Niehaus [[ NEE-house ]] who turns 73-today and is really celebrating. He just got word he'll be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. According to the Seattle Mariners, Niehaus received a phone call at his home in Issaquah, Washington from the president of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Niehaus, the "Voice of the Mariners" since their inaugural season in 1977, was told he is the 2008 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award. He'll be inducted into the broadcasters wing of the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown the weekend of July 25th.

D. McEwan said...

"1) That's none of your business, and I think you misspelled penis."

Rac, I've made every mistake a man can make (Sorry, Former Reno Dude), but if there's any mistake I have NEVER made, it's to misspell "Penis". Now "antenna" I have a little trouble spelling.

One other Idol-related observation, about the sweet 16 year old boy who sang Bryan Adams's HEAVEN for his audition (And sang it quite well.). 16 year olds should NOT sing songs that begin with Thinking Back to When I Was Young. Yeah, remember those carefree days when I was 8, before I became this decrepit ancient 16 year old? God, I'm only two years away from voting! Next stop, the cemetary!

J-Money said...

OK, the girl whose father died before her audition? Left me sobbing while I was running on the treadmill. Granted, that happens every time I run, but at least this time I had a reason.

Regardless of the competition, I watch because of the supersized crush I have on Simon. The things I would do with him, a long weekend, and a jar of Nutella...

Dhppy said...

Pass the hankie, please. This group of 24 bores me to tears.

D. McEwan said...

Having just watched the boys sing 60s week (Great songs at least), what many of them really need are hairstylists. So many horrible heads of terrible hair. Girly-boys with bangs (Damn you Zac Efron! You've made girly-boys think bangs are hot. THEY'RE NOT!) There was that whiny Lief Garrett lookalike creature who, in the extreme close-ups, turned out to have a mustache, but it's only visible from less than a foot away. There was the kid who was proud of being an Ellen DeGeneris lookalike, with bangs mused into submission. And there's no hope for poor, effeminte little Daniel Noriega's horrible Elvis cover, turning JAILHOUSE ROCK into JAILHOUSE SWISH. They were almost enough to make me embarassed to be gay. BUTCH UP BOYS, and get a hair cut! (God, I'm turning into the gay version of my father.)

jbryant said...

d. mcewan: Noriega wowed 'em in the auditions, but yeah, "Jailhouse Rock" was a mistake. I don't think middle America is ready for a gay teenager singing about prison sex. With Elvis, I suppose they gave him the benefit of the doubt that the song was about a coed prison. Either way, "if you can't find a partner, use a wooden chair." Just watch out for splinters.

NC Mike said...

Why didn't I watch the Oscars? Because the motion picture industry is filled with un*American shills and agendas. I'll not contribute a nickel to such propaganda, either in the theaters, video rentals, nor on television. I'll not fatten the bankrolls of the uninformed airhead celebrities, nor the motion picture studios that get rich off of attacking noble American values. Rationalize or equivocate as you will, this is an un*American industry.