Thursday, March 02, 2006

In defense of 'American Idol'

...So I watched American Idol last night. Not that it makes me cooler than you or anything.

Last week I saw the top 12 girls, and some of the performances really blew me away. The majority, however, had completely forgettable performances. It was like they said to themselves: "Hey, I like Beyonce, Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston! Why I don't I just oversing a song every chance I get just like they do and have absolutely no personality while I do it! Yeah, that'll win be that American Idol title, for sure!" There are only a few girls that have any real potential to be a professional performer.

I saw the top 10 guys this week, and almost all of them actually have personalities and their own styles. If girls fall into the vocal performance mire of Beyonce/Mariah/Whitney, then guys usually fall into this Usher/Justin Timberlake/Stevie Wonder/Brian McKnight rut. Some, God forbid, even try to sound like Josh fucking Groban. Luckily, few guys this season seem to be falling into blandness. As un-rock 'n' roll as American Idol is (I remember Simon saying something righteous once like "Rock 'n' roll is anti-establishment, American Idol is the establishment!"), this guy did an amazing version of Fuel's "Hemmorhage (In My Hands)" and this John Legend look alike isn't bad either. Same goes for the George Clooney clone.

Now I know what you're saying: "Oh my fucking God, Konflict of Interest, what the hell are you doing defending that show?! Why aren't you just previewing the upcoming Mogwai album 'Mr. Beast' or telling us how many drummers John Zorn has on his new Electric Masada album?" Well, I stick up for "American Idol." If you like "Since U Been Gone" (and let's face it, if you don't then there's something wrong with you), then you have no right to complain about the deep well of vocal, and sometimes performance, talent that exists in American Idol auditions.

I attribute this exclusively to Randy Jackson (who literally works with everyone) and Simon Cowell (who, at his peril, has produced mostly British boybands). They are both amazing: Randy for his raw talent and versatility of bass playing and Simon for his discriminating, well-honed eye for talent. I can only hope the American people don't pull another Fantasia or Carrie Underwood. Yeech.

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