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American Idol: SRSLY? May 27, 2010

Posted by Skippy in Popular Culture.
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The dream is dead, y’all.

Last night, I frittered away two good hours of my life watching the season nine finale of American Idol. I’ve watched this season with only mild interest. This has been a drastically different experience from the earlier seasons of this show. I even have been know to obsessively vote for contestants.* I even have Elliot Yamin’s debut album and I downloaded a couple of Kelly Clarkson songs.

I think I quit watching the season after Eliott Taylor Hicks won. I figured that I needed to get out more. Get a life. Stop being so obsessed about a television show. Fortunately, there was nothing else on television that would grab my attention.

Fig. 1: Oh. Yeah.

Anyway, I quit watching American Idol and quit caring about who would become America’s next disposable pop tartlet. I heard that someone named Jordin Sparks won the next year and I didn’t believe it because that name sounded totally made up and the year after some unthreatening boy named David won and the next year an even less threatening boy named Kris won. I didn’t care. I had begun to deride American Idol as a show that was getting way too boring, way too formulaic and predictable to be anything other than a fossilized relic, a shell of its former self.

Fig. 2: Did you know that by the third trimester, fetuses can actually sing?

Besides, after Carrie Underwood, it seemed that the winner of American Idol was actually the person who came in second. Or even third. The “winner” of American Idol had to sign a contract with 19 Entertainment and put out an album or two under that label. And those albums were always garbage. Utter and complete schlock with a side of “Are You Joking?” The winner’s first single was usually a song that sounded like something even Up With People would refuse to sing. The song would be so saccharine, so completely trite and pedantic, that listening to it would immediately result in a diabetic coma. The person who came in second would usually breathe a sigh of relief and thank their lucky stars that they could go out on their own, free from the shackles of 19 Entertainment.

Fig. 3: After his elimination, he vowed revenge upon America. And thus, the band “Daughtry” was born.

In the meantime, the producers decided to monkey around with the format of the show. They decided to add another judge, Kara DioGuardi. She claims to be a songwriter. I’ll believe that when I see it. Paula Abdul left the show, depriving America of some of the loopiest commentary ever delivered on a live show.

Fig. 4: Believe it or not, she was usually LESS lucid.

Nevertheless, watching her interact with Simon was usually good for a few laughs. Less funny was Ryan Seacrest. Dear lord. Watching him try to make jokes and try, oh so desperately, to convey to America that he’s totally 100% he-man heterosexual has shot past “annoying as all hell” and is now “just plain sad.”

Fig. 5: Remember the guy on the right? Don’t worry; no one does.

This season, this sad, lurching, wounded mess of a season gave us some pretty wretched “singers.” I ranted before about Tim Urban and his soulless, boring, Aberzombie and Fitch self, but he was not alone. Oh, dear god, he was not alone. There were two other giant sacks of suck who, week after week, brutally assaulted my faith in humankind.

Siobahn Magnus: She tried so hard. She tried so very hard to be edgy and “geeky” and avant-garde. She thought shrieking glory notes left right and center would disguise her utter inability to actually, you know SING. She thought she could be this guy:

Fig. 6: No one can be the Glambert.

Michael Lynche: I guess the producers thought he’d be Ruben Studdard, Part Two. He wasn’t. He was smug, annoying, always sang in a high register and would not stop wearing that goddamn wallet chain! Occasionally, he’d try to spar with Simon, and he would always come off looking like a ginormous douche.

Fig. 7: Doesn’t he remind you of Teal’C from Stargate: SG-1?

So, we get to the Big Finale. It came down to Crystal Bowersox and Lee DeWyze. Crystal was a white girl with dreadlocks and Lee was a white boy with just a few wisps of facial hair and a nonthreatening stoner face. Both used guitars, but it was Crystal who could actually, you know, SING. Lee, bless his stoned little heart, couldn’t find the melody if you gave him a Garmin GPS navigator. So, after one hour and fifty minutes of seeing old person after old person** trotted out to sing their faded-away hits with the so-called “top 12,” Seacrest finally announced the winner:

Fig. 8: This guy? Seriously?

Fuck it. I’m done with American Idol.

*I found out about that .10 cent per text charge…the hard way.
** Seriously. I felt OLD when Janet Jackson came out and lip-synched “Nasty.” Dude. That song was released in 1986. Nineteen. Eighty-six. Twenty-four years ago.



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