Thursday, May 25, 2006

One of Two Things.

I can't claim to be an American Idol viewer. I've seen all of 30 minutes of the show, ever. I understand why it's popular.

There's a fading Laker girl, a man who calls everyone "dawg" and a cruel British guy. Makes sense, that's a good start for entertaining the masses. Oh, and there are people embarrasing themselves singing songs everyone knows. It's like karaoke meets MST3K. I get it.

But not being a viewer I miss out on a lot of the details. Recently I heard there was a guy (who now I learn has won) Taylor Hicks who talks about "Soul Patrol." First the term "Soul Patrol" seems like a shitty buddy cop/CHIPS movie staring Ice Cube and Cedric the Entertainer. Like Soul Plane, but you know...with cops. So this Hicks fellow irks me for that reason. Also troubling is the stipulation that contestants must be younger than 28. While I grant that Taylor Hicks has been --at one point in his long life--only 28, I doubt that is the case at present.

28, I think not. Also am I the only one who thinks that Taylor Hicks looks like the love child of Jay Leno and Benny Hinn?

So that's one of the odd things about American Idol.

The second for me is the voting. I'm astonished by the vote totals this show gets. And every season there's some "scandal" about rigged voting. People get more upset with rigged voting for a show about the next Big Singing Star* than say a Presidential election. Thrilling.

This quote from a Fox executive in the Washington Post addresses concerns about voting:

"Fox, of course, vigorously defends 'Idol.' "The producers and network have gone to great lengths to ensure the integrity of the voting process, Fox spokesman Scott Grogin said in a statement. 'America votes, an independent company calculates the tally, and the show reports those results. While acknowledging that dedicated fans may be unhappy with the outcome, 'American Idol's' process -- the most sophisticated voting system in existence -- only reports the decision of the voting public.'"[emphasis added]

W/r/t this statement, one of two things is true: 1) American Idol's vote process is the most sophisticated voting system in existence and therefore the world is a depressing and horrible place. If that's true, why are we paying Diebold this money? Shouldn't we just have America text message some company with our presidential selection. 2) The other option is that Fox is lying and the process isn't the most amazing one in existence, in which case they should seriously just shut the fuck up. It's a show, and not a very important one at that. They're determining who will get signed to a record contract. Time was that these things were settled by young aspiring singers sleeping with producers or sealed over a line of coke. It's not some great holy process. You'd think American Idol was the new version of the conclave. Instead of white smoke it's text messages from pimply teens and disturbing karaoke fans. The process doesn't have to be perfect--you're picking a singer, not a pope or a president.

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