Cruel and Usual, Just The Way America Likes It

I happened to watch a few minutes of American Idol last night, not by choice. My wife was watching it and I needed to talk with her about a few things so I was inadvertently exposed to the show. I happened to see the long segment where they interviewed the overweight girl with bad teeth, bad hair and a fashion sense set to brown and baggy. She was talking about how she was going to do well by selling "sexy" to the judges. They even brought in her mother, who was her double, just with darker hair.

And then they let her sing a few bars of that song with the chorus of "Don't you wish your girlfriend was hot like me" when Simon stopped her by saying "No."

American Idol is a curious show. From the pretenders who really can't sing and are just looking for a little exposure to the people with voices that they muck all the hell with "gimmicky" singing (overuse of melismas usually, just because it works for Mariah Carey does NOT mean it will work for you).

Alot of the attraction of the show in these early stages is the same attraction that people have for Nascar. People like to see wrecks. They like to see people go down in flames, they like to see Simon roll his eyes, put his hand up to stop them and then tell them just how awful they really are and that they should concentrate on perfecting their french fry cooking technique.

I will admit that I kind of enjoy watching the smackdown being brought on people who really have no business singing to themselves alone in the shower. But I think the formula is wearing thin, the music they sing isn't very good and I think its time to refresh the show with some new judges who aren't quite so tired of the whole thing.

Not that it would make me watch the show but it might make it just a little bit less irritating when they set someone up for a big ol' smackdown.

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