The Adventures of Don Chapman

I lead an exciting life.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

What's Wrong With American Idol

In my previous posts you'll read my raves about the show. Uh oh, I was duped again by the music biz. You would think I'd learn by now, after spending years in it.

Idol has jumped the shark. I'll reveal some behind the scenes shenanigans in a few months.

But what's going on now - heck, anyone can see that something is wrong with the show.

It simply is not about the contestants.

You can't really blame the Idol powers-that-be. After all, how can mere humans retain their sanity when their show is the most powerful force in the history of television. It's a rare thing to maintain popularity with credibility and level heads.

Self-importance is what's going on here. Take the "Idol Gives Back" nonsense as an example. I'm all for feeding the homeless and helping underprivileged nations, but I watch American Idol for... the contestants. If you remember that week, the contestants were a laughable afterthought. We see Ryan and Simon in Africa. Paula at a youth center. Randy in New Orleans. What about the... contestants?

In fact, the contestants have been an afterthought all season. The grandeur of the show itself has taken center stage. In previous years we've come to know the contestants. TV crews make a trek to their hometowns. We meet their families. Find out about their hobbies. What they do for a living. Why not this year? Until the final 3 it didn't happen, because it's not about the contestants anymore.

What's sad is that these contestants are cool, quality people and you really haven't seen much of their personalities on the tube. There are stories to be told that haven't. I've had the pleasure of meeting and hanging out with several of them, and they're awesome. Melinda really is that sweet and kind (and humble.) Gina is hil-ar-i-ous and bubbly. Chris R is so polite. Blake is a bundle of energy and creativity. Phil would make a great buddy. And on top of it, they're all friends with each other and will probably have the time of their lives this summer. I guess you'd never know that unless I told you, 'cause the show didn't. [Update 05.26.07 If you caught Larry King Live last night, you saw that friendly interaction between the top 10.]

And the finale. What on earth was that? Smokey Robinson with plastic surgery gone awry (has he been hanging with Kenny Rogers?) Bette Midler couldn't find a pitch. Clive Davis is a boring old coot (what a hoot - inadvertently, or intentionally, dissing Taylor by comparing his sales with Daughtry's right before Taylor performs!) Tony Bennett, please retire. And that weird segment with the fat woman in the yellow outfit humping Ryan made me uncomfortable (I was at the Birmingham auditions and watched her antics all day. Yes, she really is that nuts.) But, thank goodness, we heard again from Gwen Stefani via satellite.

Please, all I want is to hear the contestants and get to know them. Even Sanjaya. I'd love to hear Phil again, Brandon again, Gina again, Stephanie again, Chris R again, Chris S again. Even Lakisha, again. Did we really need to hear Sanjaya again?

It was great while it lasted.


  • At 5:06 AM , Blogger Marty Funderburk said...

    Have you considered anger-management classes?

  • At 6:57 PM , Blogger Alan Steele said...

    I AGREE 100%
    Sanjaya could not carry a note, but he was better than the professionals they hired.
    As far as the little girl that was crying when Sanjaya sang,I think her ears were hurting.
    Was Jordon a professional before she went on American Idol? I thought I heard them say she had already cut a song.

  • At 10:41 AM , Blogger HstryQT said...

    Hi Don!

    I've been following your blog ever since becoming a fanatical Chris Sligh fan :). Thanks for all of the behind the scenes earlier in the season.

    I agree completely with your assessment of American Idol this season. It became obvious that the show was no longer about the contestants when they removed the whole "Back story" package. We weren't able to learn about the contestants unless you went out of your way to search for info on the internet (thank God for Kay!! :) I think that worked against Chris, because people weren't shown where he was coming from, and ignorant people took what they saw of him on the show and ran with it in a completely negative direction. Very sad. But Chris has great things coming so all is well in the end.

    Also, to make it even MORE obvious that it's no longer about the contestants - AI isn't putting out a Season Six Compilation CD this year! (At least that's the rumor - and usually by now they would've released it). They could have at *least* made some "inspirational" compilation going along with Idol Gives Back and made more money for charity, I mean come on. *sigh*

    At least there's still an AI Tour... will we even have that next year?

    Thanks for giving me an outlet to vent :).

    A fellow Fro Patro-er,

    Lori, the History Cutie

  • At 3:24 PM , Blogger Uge said...

    American Idol is so wrong and is a symtom of what is wrong with this world and the church.


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