Monday, January 22, 2007

American Idol Season 6 - The Beat-down

There are train wreck spectacles on television that make you grit your teeth in quiet pain, and then there are the emotionally wrenching trainwrecks that make you squirm in agony. Those catastrophic moments were aplenty during the sixth season, opening audition episodes of American Idol.
Yes, I am probably the billionth blogger to post on American Idol, the American pop-culture juggernaut that debuted its sixth season last week. This is my first time paying any significant amount of attention to the most popular show on American television, so I figure I might as well join the rest of the bloggers who compusively write about the show. I have watched a few episodes in the past, and became particularly intrigued toward the end of last season. It wasn't appointment television, but it was close.
This year, I figured it would be fun to watch the season, post thoughts, and basically play along at home. A few talking points on what I saw last week:
- The festivities kicked off with a bang in Minneapolis, where a young female who idolized the singer Jewel got her dream: a chance to audition in front of her idol. Of course, the female Idol contestant was no good, and Jewel was forced to tell her she didn't have "it." The girl walked away with tears in her eyes, seeking consolation from her family and boyfriend. Quality television, for sure.
- The most hysterical scene involved a young African-American woman who couldn't get the lyrics down to the song "Kiss" by hometown hero Prince. As she fumbled her words, she attempted to compensate with a series of awkward dance moves that ended with her kneeling on the ground. Not a good look.
- One girl who must have been a big hit in her high school production of "The Wizard of Oz" tried to win the panel over with her rendition of the cowardly Lion's solo, complete with guttaral lion growls. Her growl sounded more akin to Chewbacca of Star Wars fame.
- The guy in the sailor suit and receding hairline won over the judges big time, proving one theory for success: balding guys in military uniform with halfway decent talent earn big points.
- The Seattle auditions were particularly awful. I was worried that no one was going to be selected. The auditions were saved by a 6-foot-5 black girl who could blow with the gale force of a Northwestern wind storm.
- It was hard to say who I felt most sorry for, but I'm pretty sure it was the skinny white guy who claimed to be a vocal coach. Randy Jackson stripped him down to the bone with the line "I would not pay money take lessons from you." You know dude is unemployed and looking for work in the want ads right about now.
- The narrator kep setting up the fact that Seattle was chock full of weirdos, but I wasn't prepared for the burly, bearded, red-head who was confident his falsetto would knock everyone out the box. When he started singing, his voiced had more cracks than a pound of cocaine and baking soda in the kitchen.
- The rock star guy who went on last during the Seattle tryouts deserves to go to the top 12 of the guys. He displayed the most talent of any of the contestants to this point, and he has the look to go along with it.
- As bad as everyone in Seattle was, I have to admit, I could never bring myself to audition for American Idol. It takes a special kind of masochist, I mean, person, to get in front of the camera, before a nation of millions, and suck grapefruits with confidence.

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