Letters to Holly

Wednesday, January 16

Watching American Idol

As Your Sister's semester winds down, a few students and teachers are letting the pressure get to them. One kid still owes her the final pages of his research papers after pretending he didn't know how to send an email attachment. Another has her mom ask Your Sis what could be done to help her grades, but she asked on the last day of classes. A teacher decided she wasn't going to help in pre-exam remediation despite the standing order from Your Sis.

American Idol started its seventh season last night, and I asked her if she wanted to try it. Maybe give her some conversational ammo for the students. The auditions are my favorite part. I appreciate the quick movement from applicant to applicant, and I enjoy the assurance that there are people who sing worse than I. In contrast, the second half of the show is a parade of whining and griping, both from the contestants and judges. The first part of the season is a game show; the second is a reality show.

We saw the usual stream of variety. Some incredibly, unfairly talented people were also gorgeous. These people are the next evolutionary advances ,and we poor Morlocks can only scheme to steal their fire. Some people were clearly seeking TV time: One guy dressed in the Slave Leia outfit and was allowed to come back after he promised to wax his chest hair. He did. Sang about three notes before getting yanked.

But the ending was a singular oddity. There were two girls left: a brunette and a blonde. The brunette went first. She dressed up in her costume from the Los Angeles Star Wars Convention -- Star Wars belt buckle, clip-on hair rolls, tight black dress, silver platform shoes. In her pre-singing interviews, she bragged she wasn't wearing make-up, made a Star Trek insult, and impersonated Chewbacca. She galloped into the audition and made nervous conversation (I can't imagine how anxious that scenario must be for the borderline talented). Then she sang. And she wasn't bad. A little soft, maybe (again, nerves), but she had a nice, even sound. The problem was that she was jittery and socially awkward. She was a nerd.

And when she lost, she went off to the cameras. Complained that the show only wanted cookie-cutter looks and voices and needed an "oddball" like her. But while she was ranting, the show aired a montage of the previous two hours' winners, and she had a point. I couldn't tell if the show was trying to prove her wrong with the majority of petite women and their blinding white smiles or if we were supposed to nod in silent agreement, that yes, it's unfair that society wants pretty things to stare at for six months at a time.

Ultimately, her adamant goofiness was her poison pill. She set those judges up to see her as an insincere applicant, and she dared them to give her a pass. Anyone who's seen the show -- anyone who knows of the show -- is aware that applicants are prepared to be pop stars. And even pseudo-punk pop girls wear makeup. Presentation is crucial to your audition. Her outfit was a protest to the show's bread-and-butter. She was borderline, and if she had slipped off her high horse and met them halfway, she might be in Hollywood right now instead of becoming another failed contestant bitching on camera into her cell phone.

She wasn't as offensively stupid as the veterinarian student rocker who went apeshit against Simon despite what might have be the most pleasant rejection from all three judges. Clearly, when she got on camera to curse him out, she had a prepared speech. Unfortunately, she scrambled it and came across as a loon.

Oh, and the thin blonde after the Star wars girl was approved after offering a weaker audition. She won on personality.

I don't know if we'll watch again. It's entirely Your Sister's call. I'd be curious to watch more.

Picture of the Day
The latest picture from this year's Indiana Jones film.

In The News
Even though Romney took Michigan, the GOP is only accepting half the delegates as punishment for the early primary. He may have taken the state, but he doesn't get the full benefits.

South Carolina comes an even bigger primary now that Romney, Huckabee, and McCain have all won at least one state. All three, Thompson, and Paul are running ads here. Giuliani is a non-entity, betting on Florida for his first primary win. Obama and Edwards have TV ads, but I don't remember any for Clinton. To be fair, we don't watch much of the local affiliates. American Idol and Terminator are both on FOX, and only football and Lost make us watch ABC.

The GOP primary in SC is Saturday, and the Democrats' is a week later.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

stumbled across this 3 part blogger story that just might make you laugh...pt one is called "the mystery of the face on the cake"