Longbored Surfer

2007.02.07 American Idol Delusion

I know I'm a junkie. My TiVo has it set as a season pass, and I watch it faithfully. Although I enjoy the later rounds what with the voting and all that sort of thing, I'm most fascinated by the aura of American Idol the show. It seems to impact countless people. All of those people who try out, watch the show, and talk about the show. I thought the impression on last year's Google Zeitgeist was interesting as well. I think it's not very surprising, considering how many times we have to read about the new records set by the show, or how poorly other shows perform that are on at the same time. What I choose to address is the delusion possibly caused by American Idol, primarily in those who try out (contestants), and those who watch the show (lounge chair judges). Delusion at it's best.

The Contestants

We watch them all the time try out. They visit any number of cities, and have thousands of people show up. I'm sure the vast majority of those people are just trying to get on TV, and probably unsuccessfully. It's the total rejects that they highlight on TV which I choose to discuss. Again, the majority of the rejects show little to no reaction — it's all those people that seem to think they're some form of undiscovered talent that "sound like <insert some famous, and probably ridiculously good singer's name here>". They've written X number of songs, and Y number of people "have cried" when they heard them sing. Once they finish singing, during which they probably close their eyes, they look up to see the judges either trying to stave off giggles, or in complete and total shock at the person.

This shock may be confused for the "oh wow… this person is really good" type expression, but as we all know, it's the "this person is stupid or mentally errant enough to think that they're actually good. However bad they may be, this is going to make some great TV footage" look.

I don't really choose to discuss how bad these people are. We already know this answer. What I often wonder is how it is that this person got to the point that they're on national TV under the impression that they have skills comparable to Wonder Boy. Some of them I know are mentally debilitated, and it shows, but others… I just don't know.

I've gathered that in order to get to be in front of Randy, Paula, and Simon, that one has to go through something like 4 or more rounds of previous judges. Maybe it's that these people have thought to themselves, "Hey, I've made it past all those judges… I really am good. The not-so-subtle let-down provided by the judges is probably so much of an opposite to what they've been told, in the previous rounds, that these people think the judges just have it all wrong. I'm completely open to other interpretations though, so please feel free to let me/us know.

The Lounge Chair Judges

Sure, we all have our opinions of the singers, but that's not where my gripe lives. I have issues with two types of people – those who think Paula is always either high or drunk, and those people who think they could be a judge for American Idol. I met somebody who is of both of these types. I'll address each issue separately.

Sure, Paula is weird. I don't doubt that at some point she has been intoxicated in some way while on the show, and possibly more than once. She claps in a really weird way (like a sea lion slapping together it's flippers). She gets emotional over silly songs, and seems to fall for too many of the young men on the show. She also chooses to present herself in such a way that she could easily be confused for a plastic flotation device. These things don't ever tell me that she's always intoxicated. She's just weird, and that's okay. People just think she's always intoxicated because they really are jealous that she seems to have such a plush job on an insanely popular television show, and they're stuck at home on their uncomfortable couch watching the show without TiVo.

The other people who annoy me, which I can't really say all that much about, are the people who think they could be a judge on American Idol. They're not. They have their judges. The judges have helped to make the show extremely successful for 5, now 6 seasons. I could continue on about I feel that these wannabe judges are just as delusional as the contestants, with their pathetic skill set and supposed list of qualifications, but I won't. We all get a chance to judge – just call in your vote like the rest of us do, or you can even send the text message.

Tag(s): entertainment soap_box

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