Thursday, May 14, 2009

Why Do We Care Dawg?

Ok - so I know that even thinking of writing this post is totally the pot calling the kettle black and oh-so hypocritical of me (seeing as I have next Tuesday and Wednesday nights blocked off in my calendar) - but riddle me this campers: Why the Hell do any of us give one flying fig about American Idol?

Eight years ago, when Kelly and Justin went into that final week...we all knew the outcome would be life-changing. ONE of them would walk away THE AMERICAN IDOL while the other...well, the other would just walk away. In theory. Right? Wasn't that the whole point? Give THE best singer THE chance of a lifetime and Give a "Sorry suckas" and "Thanks for playing" to everyone else?

Only, nowadays, you don't need to win to get the recording contract. You don't need to win to become famous. You don't need to win be a star. You don't even need to be good (hello William Huang). And I don't have time (nor do I really care that much) to do a whole bunch of Idol research and show how many actual winners versus non-winners have been successful and what that means in terms of album sales and shit but here are some random thoughts:

* The only 2 Idol winners who have been TRULY successful in my book are Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood. I mean - does anyone know where Fantasia is and does anyone give a shit?

* Chris Daughtry (voted off at #4 in Season 5) clearly smokes Taylor Hicks. Clearly. And Kellie Pickler? Why she's doing New Year's Eve with Ryan in Times Square and opening for Taylor Swift. Where the Hell are you Katherine McPhee?

* Shit. Speaking of Season 5. Bucky Covington smokes Taylor Hicks. What's that all about? Damn. Season 5 was fucked up (and that was the one year I actually voted).

* Three words: Jennifer. Hudson. Oscar.

* I was on iTunes the other day and you know who has a new single or maybe even album? Elliott Yamin. Remember that dude? I do. Barely. Well, this will be Danny Gokey in a year...unless Danny Gokey does the whole Christian Rock thing (which I totally think he should) in which case he might actually get elevated to some sort of God-like status.

* You know who else is releasing/has released albums and/or singles recently: Mandisa, Ace Young, Paris Bennett, Josh Gracin and Brooke White. Were any of them Idols? No.

* Can anyone tell me what happened to Jordin Sparks and/or David Cook? Once again, does anyone care? And did it really matter that David Cook beat David Archueleta last year because they both released albums.

* And wasn't Constantine Maroulis on TV or Broadway or BFF with Kelsey Grammar or something?

It's not that I don't love Idol. I do. And I will totally watch next week along with 78 gazillion other people. But I write all this to make the point that this show is no longer about ONE really talented person getting a recording contract. It's about - like half a dozen people (some with talent, some not so much) getting recording contracts. And the chance to tour (at least the Top 10). And I simply think the end result is less interesting, less life-changing and therefore, I am less on the edge of my seat about the whole thing.

What are your thoughts on Idol? Am I smoking-my-shoelaces-Paula Abdul crazy? Or am I so right-like-Simon-ALWAYS-is right? Do you really think it matters the difference between first, second and eighth place?

I mean is Kris Allen really going to fade back into Arkansas obscurity when he loses to Adam next week? Probably not. In fact, they good people of Conway will probably slap his picture on their homepage to replace the photo of that bison.

And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your...


harmzie said...

I have to say that I have only ever been a shaudenfreude (sp?) watcher. That is, I could only ever stomach it in the early episodes, whilst they were weeding. After the first cut, everyone was good enough to be groomed (or at least filtered), so I lost interest.

Also, the early episodes taught me that I probably *can't* sing. So it was really all about the learning...

rudecactus said...

Admittedly, I don't love Idol. Used to watch it but gave up after feeling manipulated. And you're right - you don't have to win to be successful.

Nancy said...

I didn't watch the 1st season, watched a few after that and then totally stopped after my friend's brother tried out in Cincinnati for Idol. The guy is an awesome singer, he didn't make it and one of his friend's tried out as a joke and make it through (but not far after). The stories my friend told me (she and her mother went with him), what they put the people through, the mental torture was amazing. I refuse to watch after that (ok, ok, I watched last season).
HOWEVER, I'm going to see David Cook next Sunday at this crazy little club in New Haven. I have to quickly download his CD so I know his songs but I did really really like him the best.
Totally agree with everything you have to say and that extends to the CMT country music contests as well. Taylor Swift? She DID have to sing live to win that didn't she? Don't know how she managed that because I have HEARD her sing and my cat can do better live.

kyooty said...

I don't watch it, I can't stomach the auditions and the hype, but I read a lot of blogs about it so I know some names, haven't seen them sing. What ever happened to Ruban?

Anonymous said...

Just an update for your list of non-winners, Constantine Maroulis just became the first American Idol (6th place season 4) to be nominated for a Tony award- Broadway's most coveted prize. He is in the running along with 4 others for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a musical.
He is truly living his dream of combining theater and rock and roll in Rock of Ages- which is nominated for Best Musical.

and yes, he worked with Kelsey Grammar, appeared for a summer series as a character in the Bold and the Beautiful, put out his debut CD, did 2 Broadway shows and is currently playing the role that he originated in the 80's music-themed story on Broadway.
He hasn't stopped for one minute in the 5 years since he DIDN'T win Idol.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I agree that many Idol contestants do fly a bit under the radar unless you are paying attention to their career because everyone isn't going to be an A-Lister. Yet many of them are achieving success nonetheless - success in having opportunities now to be able to do what they love to do - sing, perform, entertain.

The # of CDs someone sells right off Idol doesn't always determine their level of success although it's easy to think that. By the time each Idol season ends, Idol has manipulated people into thinking these people are the hottest thing going since sliced bread. But can they sustain that excitement on their own without the Idol promotion? I can't wait to look back 10-20 yrs from now to see who's still working in this field.

Kudos to the person who mentioned Constantine - he's not stopped working in entertainment since he left Idol, even though he may not be on the front page of People magazine each week. Yet. And he just got nominated for the most prestigious, (although maybe not YET as widely visible in pop culture) Tony Award for his lead role in ROCK OF AGES, a new musical on Broadway. It doesn't get much better than that for someone who is living his dream. Congratulations to Constantine! He achieved this all on his own and has been building up to this moment for many years now. I predict he will be one of those we'll still be talking about 20 years from now. YAY!