The Gospel: 'American Idol' Marches On...Relevency Still Pending

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Isn't it ironic that Kelly Clarkson's new single (see below) would get a leak today considering the fact that the show that brought her fame is in it's eighth season and premiering tonight? Looking back, American Idol has partly become a juggernaut in the American music industry as well as being the most pretentious show that has graced television. I remember being a big AI supporter during my early college days. The dorm I lived in would literally come to a halt for a good hour while we would digest everything judges, Simon, Paula and Randy would say. This was back when AI was fun rot your teeth viewing, where Simon was a prick and you secretly loved it. When you watched the auditions and laughed at the delusional people who thought that they could indeed out sing Whitney Houston, but ended up rivaling Rosanne Barr. When you racked up your cell phone bill for those singers you voted heavily for and booed at the ones who butchered your favorite Journey song during the Top 10 competitions. When people like that Keith guy made Madonna shrivel up by raping "Like A Virgin" was on your screen and then disappeared, no novelty CD to be found at Sam Goody. But American Idol got too cute over the years at it's popularity soared. It literally became a mockery of itself by focusing on rating grabbers like a mohawk donning Sanjaya and making the contestants sing songs that my grandpa considers to be "heavy listening" with Lawrence Welk-esque bubbles blowing about. Literally, the show lost me when they couldn't effectively bridge the old school with the new school, stuck with the same Celine Dion and Motown songs, and forgot about the topic at hand: original singing talent. The show went from being a vehicle for current pop culture, to literally just pumping out stereotypical singers and stale ideals. It was almost like The Breakfast Club every have the hard rocker, the soul queen, the country princess, the Stevie Wonder crooner, the guy with the weird hair who was influenced by The Smiths and Prince. While variety is sometimes limited with a scripted show such as AI, it just seemed each season just kind of melted into one another, not one bearing any difference from the last. Before I combust, let me just say that hopefully AI took the hint from all the backlash from last season and switches things up this year by actually focusing on entertaining the masses with natural talent and a few fuck ups inbetween...I'd love for them to do so. They have a new female judge, are getting brand new mentors and apparently are bringing back that Wild Card thing which is meant to spice up the final round so there is some room for something fresh on the horizon this season.


  1. I do agree -- Idol has gotten a bit of an inflated ego (with a lot of it on the shoulders of Ryan Seacrest, who has no reason to claim he has any talent whatsoever), but Idol does put out its occasional gem of a pop masterpiece. Jordin Sparks may not be breaking ground, but her album was well recieved and "No Air" is quite good. Blake Lewis' album was phenomenal and totally underrated. Carrie Underwood is phenomenal, and Daughtry is a powerhouse. And no one can refute Jennifer Hudson.

    Hopefully Season 8 will give us something good to talk about and none of the annoying twitter. Haha. One can dream.

  2. LMAO at Ryan mom commented on him when we were watching New Years Rockin' Eve, she goes "Who's that fool? And where's Dick Clark?" Gotta love my mom and her bluntness

    Oh, maybe I should have been clearer about the successes of AI, as I don't dismiss the success of Carrie, Jordin ("No Air" was GOOD. I loved that song...and weirdly I left if off my best of '08 list) and J Hud but I still feel they just kind of make the contestants sing the same songs over and over...there are a zillion other songs they could choose from and then they focus on people like Sanjaya for wayy too long, I remember they spent so much time focusing on when he was going to kicked off, that I barely remember what the other contestants sang to stay in the top 10

    Yeah, I watched a bit of the auditions tonight...looks like they are trying to grab people with ratings cause that one boy fainted?!? I know the auditions are supposed to be bad, but come on...If anything interesting happens this year I will be sure to blog about it :)

    Is Blake's album good, Mel? I've been wary of it when I first saw it because I heard the first single, didn't like it much and the video was pretty bad...but maybe in 2009 I'll give Blake a chance!

  3. You get the good, the bad and the ugly on anything like this. It's the same with the X Factor here, when the judges put through acts that wouldn't stand a chance usually and it's all to draw in the ratings. It's all down to making money.

    A lot of talent has come from this show, Carrie Underwood (even though she's more C&W, she's very talented), Kelly Clarkson (not a huge fan, but again she is talented), Fantasia, Jennifer Hudson, Jordin Sparks (not a big fan, I wanted Melinda to win that season), Melinda Doolittle, etc. A lot of talent has come from the show, my brother likes Daughtry as well. Oh and Josiah Leming is very talented, his songwriting is unbelievable, he should have got onto the live shows for real.

    On the subject of Blake and Jordin, not much of a fan of either. Melinda Doolittle was who I was rooting for over here and her debut drops soon, by all accounts. IT IS HOT!

    On the subject of Ryan Seacrest though, why is he a presenter on there? He grates at every nerve and his continuous banter with Simon is stale now. He doesn't seem to have that charisma that Ant & Dec have here.

  4. Oh, Tamyra Gray was awesome too.

  5. Ooh, you should give Blake a chance. "Break Anotha" is not the best song on the album at all. It kinda sounds like an 80s mixtape. Crazy. I love "She's Makin' Me Lose It", "End of the World" and "Surrender" in particular. If you want the songs, I can send them to you.

    I agree they are pulling for ratings, but I think they are realizing the show is getting publicity for the wrong reasons, hence the addition of Kara DioGuardi and the return of the wildcard.

    I think I'll only really pay attention to it once we get to Hollywood. These auditions get draining.

    And I'm glad I'm not the only one who dislikes Seacrest. And it makes me even more upset that he feels like he's the next Dick Clark. Have you heard of Kathy Griffin? She has some good words on him...

  6. I pay attention if there is some talented artists on the show, like when Melinda Doolittle was on it. I so wanted her to win, but now at least she's not being held back by a contract with 19 who would've probabaly took her down a different route. Her album sounds awesome!

    Kathy Griffin? Isn't she the woman who recently let rip at that guy live on TV? lol I can imagine she has a few choice words on the annoying little runt. LOL!!

  7. Here is just one of her tirades against Ryan: (part one and part two)

  8. Oh my days, she really dislikes him, doesn't she? LOL!!

    She seems cool, she's so outspoken. I saw the clip recently when she gave that guy a mouth full live on TV.

  9. Kathy Griffin is hilarious! Thanks for those clips Mel :)
    I know my girl, Chelsa Handler disses Ryan Seacrest too on her show...but sometimes she can't say much because they are on the same network but I know behind closed doors she would be just as brutal as Kathy

    Ryan gets tanner, blonder and more annoying with each season of AI and like Woosh said, that banter between him and Simon is tired with a capital "T". I thought they would've gotten a new presenter by now...


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