Thursday, February 09, 2012

AMERICAN IDOL hits its absolute low point

So last night on AMERICAN IDOL, 16 year-old Symone Black finishes her song during Hollywood Week, is talking to the judges, faints, crumples, and falls off a five-foot stage.

As people yell medic and everyone rushes to help her and see if she's even conscious the closing credits roll and Ryan says, "Tomorrow night, see what happens to Symone as the pressure builds."

A cliff-hanger?!  They've turned someone's passing out and falling off the stage a fucking CLIFF HANGER?!

And remember Hollywood Week is all pre-taped.  They could have handled that situation any way they wanted, including not show it.   But this is how the producers chose to deal to with a delicate incident -- by using it to grab ratings.  Despicable.  Just despicable. 

Happy to say that Symone appears to be okay.  I learned this by reading follow-up accounts on the internet.  I will never watch AMERICAN IDOL again. 

My regular post for the day is right below.  But I just had to rant on this. 

31 comments:

JUST ME said...

I can't watch American Idol. I've never been able to. The judges all take Degrading pills and Condescending shots before they come on camera.

If they talked to me the way they talk to most of their contestants I would be forced to kick over their giant red cups of Coke and explain just how awful they are in vivid, colorful language.

Cap'n Bob said...

Never cared for the show anyway, and with Lopez on there I wouldn't watch now if you paid me.

Phillip B said...

I hung in for William Hung - and then was done with American Idol. It is seems less an entertainment than it is a business plan....

emily said...

"I will never watch AMERICAN IDOL again."

Ken, I'm so glad to see you've finally come to your senses...

Ron said...

Question is, why would you watch it in the first place!

jbryant said...

I agree the cliffhanger was a pathetic choice. I'll still watch though, because once they get past these shenanigans and get to the top 24 or whatever, it generally becomes more about the singing. And it sounds like they've got a few really good ones this season.

Just Me: Your description (based on one viewing, I presume, since you've otherwise "never been able to" watch the show) fits Simon Cowell, but despite whatever other faults they may have, Tyler and Lopez have made this a kinder, gentler "Idol" in some ways. Randy Jackson remains a dumbass.

General note: It's quite possible to watch this show, be fully aware of how ridiculous, hokey, schmaltzy and cruel it can be, and still find it an entertaining time-waster. Ken did this for years. Just because this cliffhanger straw broke the camel's back doesn't mean he 'came to his senses' and now regrets whatever enjoyment he got from watching and reviewing the previous seasons, I'm sure.

Frustrated said...

I'm cynical enough about this show to believe it was all a setup from the beginning - fainting as audience draw. I wonder if they get paid if they fall down.

Mark said...

This incident makes the show only marginally more appalling than before.

blinkytoo said...

I am proud to say that the only time I ever saw American Idol was when it ran long into the Lost time slot.

Kirk said...

@blinkytoo--Lost and American Idol were/are on different networks, and often opposite each other. You may be thinking of Dancing With The Stars, which used to air before Lost and occasionally ran into it's time slot.

Tallulah Morehead said...

I DVR'd it, and the show cut-off just before her collapse! They'd been ballyhooing a terrible event throughout the show (made it sound like someone was going to die, or speak honestly to J-Lo, which would then result in death), and then nil, so thanks for letting me know what I'd missed. But is this really worse than Taylor Hicks winning a season? I hear he had a job last week, though just which "In 'n' Out Burger" his job was at I did not hear.

jbryant said...

Kirk: In that case, I guess blinkytoo may never have seen "Idol" at all, and can therefore be even prouder.

Whenever Ken posts about "Idol," someone ALWAYS weighs in with that "proud I've never watched it" thing. And I never understand it. Shouldn't we save our pride for actual achievements? I mean, I can't imagine ever watching "The Jersey Shore," for instance, but I can't say I'm "proud" of the fact. I know plenty of intelligent people that get some kind of kick out of it (or treat it as a guilty pleasure). And besides, if it didn't exist, we would've been deprived of some great laughs on "The Soup" and "Beavis and Butthead."

Naz said...

I gave up once no talent Lopez joined the gang.

leor said...

@kirk, blinkytoo may be one of my fellow canucks, who got both American Idol and Lost on CTV, which aired both shows on simulcast.

D. McEwan said...

"Kirk said...
@blinkytoo--Lost and American Idol were/are on different networks, and often opposite each other. You may be thinking of Dancing With The Stars."


Yes, AI would have to be Lost indeed to have wound up on ABC. The thing is, blinkytoo, if you're going to insult AI, which to some degree we all do, in an "only-ignorant plebes watch this garbage" POV that insults all of us who did watch it, but then display such overwhelming ignorance about the show you are critizing (like, for instance, being unable to tell the difference between a singing competition and a a dancing competition, not generally considered a tough hair to split), it completely negates your opinion, as it demonstrates that you don't know what you're talking about, and therefore can be dissmissed from further discussion. Uninformed opinions are valueless.

"JUST ME said...
If they talked to me the way they talk to most of their contestants I would be forced to kick over their giant red cups of Coke and explain just how awful they are in vivid, colorful language.


Demonstrating your emotional maturity over theirs?

As many a contestant has already done, many times. (Did you really think no one ever thought - if "thought" is the right word - to do that before?) The thing is, you'll get maybe one sentence out before the large, burly, and violent goon security guards who are one inch off-camera during all auditions, roughly drag you out of the room.

If the person being removed gets shown on TV, then they were probably able to leave the building on their own two feet, not even bleeding. It's the ones whose auditions never make the air who perhaps leave on a stretcher. I mean, feel free, but be aware that you won't get far into your tirade, that they've heard it all before anyway, that it makes you look like a spoiled, delusional, emotional 5 year old, and that you will get tossed out, and may "accidentally" break a bone or two. Your choice.

Of course, it was Simon Cowell who was rude, i.e. honest, with the deluded ones. His condescending Voice of Reality, and his absence, is exactly what is wrong with the show now. We have J-Lo, who won't hurt anyone's feelings unless they're on her payroll, Steven Tyler, creepily hitting on girls young enough to be his great-grand-daughters, and appearing so revolting that it looks like a zombie from The Walking Dead wandered onto the set and got made a judge, on the condition that he wore a gorier, more-repulsive make-up (Tyler's little speeches and poems reinforce the impression that his brain is just dead, rotting meat), and Randy Jackson, whose general incoherence makes one long for the relative sanity of Paula Abdul, or, even better, another zombie.

So this is why I stop watching when the freak show auditions shows (During which I fast-forward through ALL "inspiring backstories". Hint: if an auditionee has a "moving backstory" that is featured at all, you can skip their audition. They will be going to Hollywood. The ones with inspiring backstories who do not go to Hollywood don't get their heart-wrenching backstories aired.) and Hollywood Hell Week is over.

Without Simon, we're left to the whims of mass-dialing tween CWM fans, which is how last year a freakishly deep-voiced child with appalling musical taste won, a boy who would sing "When I was 17 It Was a Very Good Year" when he was 16. This frees up more time for me to also skip The Voice.

D. McEwan said...

"Frustrated said...
I'm cynical enough about this show to believe it was all a setup from the beginning - fainting as audience draw. I wonder if they get paid if they fall down."


Man, I hope I am never you. Do you actually believe that a 16 year old girl, a CHILD, took a dangerous stunt fall off a stage for a bribe? In case you haven't noticed, Mr or Miss Blazing Cynic:

A. American Idol remains one of the highest-rated shows on TV even without shoving children into orchestra pits. And ...

B. The insane pressures of Hollywood Hell Week would be enough to provoke a collapse in a woman twice this child's age. The wonder isn't that someone >16 fainted; it's that not everyone faints.

To quote a great man: "I find your lack of faith disturbing."

benson said...

You really don't think a 16 yr. old girl, who's desperate for fame (and fortune) wouldn't pull a stunt like that?

There are teenage girls ruining teaching careers all the time because they don't get what they want. This isn't a big stretch at all. Not saying she took a dump/fall, but not impossible, especially in Hollywood.

Jake Mabe said...

I am proud to say I've never watched an entire episode of this crap.

This is absolutely pathetic.

Johnny Walker said...

Absolutely disgusting. This makes me pretty angry. I already had issues with this show, but that's just absolutely base on every level. I'm very glad to hear someone publicly renounce this.

jbryant said...

Well, at least the show continues to do wonders for the pride of those who don't watch it. For that alone, we should be thankful.

Dr. Leo Marvin said...

emily said...

"I will never watch AMERICAN IDOL again."

Ken, I'm so glad to see you've finally come to your senses...


Not so fast. IIRC he's made this promise before. An intervention and 12 Step Program may be in order.

Jen said...

It sounds like Nigel Lithgoe's biggest regret was that they only got a wide shot of it happening:

"And when I watch it back -- because the cameras weren't expecting it, we just caught it on a wide angle, unfortunately -- it was like whoever was asleep on his camera went, 'Where did that girl go?' She just disappears below the frame."

(From http://www.realitytvworld.com/news/american-idol-cuts-hollywood-week-hopefuls-and-sees-symone-black-fall--13113.php)

He just disgusts me on so many levels.

D. McEwan said...

"benson said...
You really don't think a 16 yr. old girl, who's desperate for fame (and fortune) wouldn't pull a stunt like that?"


Proud of that cynicism towards children, are you? Without EVIDENCE I would not make such an insulting, libelous charge about A CHILD!

Did you watch the show? Did you see the kid? Or are you just babbling out of your navel? I found the clip online easily enough, since, as mentioned above, my DVR cut out before it happened (Approximately 35 seconds before, judging by seeing the clip) A sweet, over-pressured CHILD, who has a Stage Father From Hell putting even greater additional pressure on her, was too much for the poor little girl. You could see her getting woozy and losing it just before she collapsed. It was clearly real. That would not be how you'd do the fall if it were a stunt being done by a PRO (and the number of 16 year old qualified stunt performers who could pull that fall off in total safety is ZERO!), because you don't stage a fall that dangerous (Did you see it? Obviously not!) with an amateur, unless you want to be paying her medical bills after she gets crippled for life or killed. It was easily an 7 foot fall.

Also, if they'd arranged for it to happen (Which, AGAIN, there is no earthly reason to do. They're already the #1 show on TV, or haven't you noticed?), They'd have had a camera on it in a wide-enough shot to show it clearly! That takes only a minimal amount of brain to work out, so I'm surprised you couldn't work it out yourself. Nygel Lythgoe would not be making ill-advised public complaints about not having a good shot of it if he'd known in advance it would happen.

Your cynicism is pathetic.

"jbryant said...
Well, at least the show continues to do wonders for the pride of those who don't watch it."


Really! They've felt left out for a decade now, so as the show loses some devotees now that it is in its decline (though its ratings remain in the stratosphere) they are apparently desperate to try and make the rest feel like they were left out of the Cynicism Party. They are desperate to sound superior and smug.

I don't watch Dancing with the Has-Beens or Glee, but I also don't make a habit of each week informing my friends who do that they are tasteless morons for daring to watch and enjoy a show I don't watch.

Frankly, when "Cap'n Bob" starts dropping his scorn on a TV show from a great height, it almost makes me want to watch it again.

HogsAteMySister said...

If Symone had been hurt, I'd agree with you. As it happened, Idol just leveraged what happened to drive ratings. Ken, you mean to say network PR people NEVER leveraged an accident, or CREATED on, to generate publicity and boost your show's ratings? Really?

Pat Reeder said...

I think the last time I watched this show was when Carrie Underwood won after obviously being anointed the winner from day one, largely due to her looks and obvious willingness to do absolutely anything the producers told her to do, from losing 20 pounds to recording awful corporate country-rock songs. I figured that when you start wishing someone would shove the girl singer off the stage, it's time to jump ship.

In fairness to her, she seems to have become a better singer since then. She no longer spends half the song searching for the right key. But her songs are still an affront to the term "country music," and I still live a happily Idol-free life.

Tom Quigley said...

D. McEwan:

Good to see you're back in classic form again, Doug... I was beginning to worry! :-)

nk said...

Seen the Idol billboards around town since this happened, Ken? If not, just keep the eyes front and center and hands at ten and two and you'll be fine.

Cap'n Bob said...

Doug: I offer you this from my great height. Lopez belongs to a cult I cannot abide. I don't watch anything featuring one of their number. It has nothing to do with the show. I watched it for several years at the behest of my daughter and feel I've had my fill. And without Simon it lacks the edge I enjoyed. So there.

Josh said...

Shows tend to push the limits as their ratings slip.

Wow. Ken, you are soo negative. Think positive. The lower reality TV goes, the more slots will open up for non-reality TV... you get my drift?

Also, why not turn this into a challenge? How do we turn this into a humorous situation that we can all laugh at?

Love your blog. Cheer up =)

Kevin B said...

Oh, c'mon people! The producers were handed a gift wrapped dramatic moment. Why would they not air it and capitalize on the drama?

Tom M. said...

D. Mcewan--

The girl probably didn't take the fall on purpose.

But your naivete regarding what people (including "children" like the 16 year olds who are all over MTV's reality disasters) is just kind of bizarre. There is overwhelming evidence in our popular culture that teenagers (and younger children) have done (and will continue to do) much worse and more dangerous things to become famous.

Although this specific girl probably did just fall.