Saturday, May 13, 2006

American Idol

I don't remember if I've ever posted on American Idol. If not, it is only because I'm of the opinion that you can't post on EVERYTHING that you watch and do. It turns your life into work, what with all the necessary note-taking to blog succinctly. (I'm really starting to think seriously about a laptop, just to avoid having to handwrite my notes as I watch. It's either a laptop or move the tv into the office which seems pretty lame and bizarre.) The reason that I'm breaking my silence on AI is that I'm ticked off at the show. I need to vent. (Duh. That's what a blog is for!)

I've felt all season long that AI had an agenda that included having a male win this season. After all Kellie, Fantasia, and Carrie out-number poor Ruben three to one. To that end, the most popular girl singers have been treated rather boorishly. Poor Kellie Pickler was demoralized at the end of her run. The judges almost had her trained to trash her own performance for them before she finally got booted. Now Katherine MacFee has been getting ravaged by the judges in the last three shows for performances that were good, while the guys have been sliding by with far from stellar stuff. I mean, look at the judges' reactions when she sang a Whitney Houston song. Is no one allowed to sing Whitney but Whitney? Katherine did a fine job. Was she Whitney? No. Was she horrible? No. Simon basically said that when Katherine sang the Whitney song she was arrogantly telling everyone that she was as good as Whitney. Huh? Don't the contestants have to sing a song others have sung before them? I guess Ace thinks he's as good as Michael Jackson or George Michael from that thinking since he sang their hits. Kellie Clarkson apparently thinks she's as good as Aretha Franklin--after all she sang R-E-S-P-E-C-T twice in her season.

I liked Chris Daugherty a lot to start with, but I was glad to see him go. I'm sick of this excuse-making when early favorites are kicked off, btw, that the fans aren't voting because they think their favorite has a big following so they don't need to. That's just bull. People vote if they want their singer to advance. They don't vote when they don't care or don't want them to advance. In my opinion Chris was losing support because he had become so same-same. The affected posturing with the microphone stand and the way all his songs were copy-cat versions that others had already done had drained my well of goodwill dry. Frankly, I can't understand why no one has mentioned the Woody Woodpecker vibrato in his voice, either. (Elliot's voice suffers from the same vocal complaint.) I would love Simon to explain why he can compliment Chris for "never compromising his style" during the course of the season, but criticize other singers like Kellie Pickler for always sounding the same.

I don't consider myself to be a person who sees comspiracy theories everywhere. However, I think that the producers have a stake in certain outcomes in a show like AI. If American Idol continues to be won by female contestants, perhaps they fear that men will stop showing up to compete. Katherine MacFee's continued presence in the competition despite the judges hostilty towards her, may be the audience's way of reminding the judges and producers that they don't get to decide who wins. The judges and producers preferences do have an effect on the outcome of the voting to a certain degree, but their preferences do not determine who will sell the most cds either. So when the show is done, I'll plunk my cash down for the singer(s) that I prefer. If that makes me a middle-brow, hopelessly uncool consumer. Tough.