Wednesday, February 4, 2009

American Idol Hollywood Week

Okay, so I'll admit it: I like American Idol.

But I hate American Idol.

I like the competition, I like seeing the contestants grow and stretch, I like seeing the different personalities, I like playing judge from my couch, I like seeing the dream come true for these kids (yowzas, I'm old enough to call these kids kids.  I'll be right back - I need to go take my metamucil and change my depends).

I hate the producers.  Already in the auditions, they would show us 5 or 6 that made it to hollywood and then tell us that a total of 10 or 20 made it through*.  What about the others?  The show just feels dishonest to me with the heavy-handed production.  Why can't we just see some talented singers and decide for ourselves what we think?
But it came to a boiling point for me tonight while watching the first day of the "Hollywood Week".  We are told that 147 people made it through to Hollywood and they all sang in front of the judges over a two day period.  They then proceed to come out on stage in groups of 8... and the stupid producers show us one or two or sometimes even three of them.  That's it.  The other 5 or 7 contestants can go jump off a tall building.  They don't even get face time.  A lot of the time we only see them from the back.

147 sang, and they showed us 23 of them**.  Seriously... 23 out of 147.  If you left that percent as a tip at a fine restaurant, you would get the evil eye from the waiter.

I know that my wife and I are addicted to these reality TV competitions (We faithfully watch AI, AGT, SYTYCD, TC, NFNS***, and even catch the really really dumb ones like nashville star and blush and true beauty and the painfully bad last comic standing), and I know that none of them actually show us reality, but can we at least get some semblance of being part of the show?  I don't even know the names of most of the people who are supposedly "the best singers in America" because the powers that be decided that they will only let me see their pet singers.

And the most frustrating part of it all is that despite my anger at the stupid producers, I will continue to watch faithfully, because I'm Braden and I'm addicted to American Idol.

*  Actually (and I hate to ruin this for those poor innocent souls who believe everything American Idol shoves at your face), did you know that when they show the auditions, they are mixing two different days?  That's right despite them making you think that 10,000 people came in front of the judges and you get to see thousands lined up and stadiums full of people, in reality, only about 100 people get to sing in front of the judges.  Those stadiums full of people actually sang in front of mid-level producers in some back room somewhere and those deemed good enough or bad enough to make for compelling TV are called back several weeks later to sing for the judges.  This makes the bad auditions especially cruel, because they already knew how bad these singers were when they invited them back, but they don't care because it makes for better ratings, and, as Happy Hospitalist likes to point out, ratings=more****.
**by my count, plus about 5 more that get mention but no real air time.
*** If you know what all those acronyms mean, you are probably addicted to reality competitions as well.
**** I'm paraphrasing here.*****
***** By the way, have you ever seen anyone asterix an asterix before?  Now you have.

*$%#* And for the record: contestants that have really stood out to me so far: David Osmond, Danny Gokey, Scott McIntyre, Anne-Marie Boskovich, Anoop Desai, Nick Mitchell (for the entertainment factor only), a couple others whose names I cant remember (so did they really stick out so much? hmm), and maybe some of the ones that the idol producers decided I shouldn't get to see.

Okay, I'm going to bed now.  Thanks for letting me rant.  Good night.

1 comment:

Manda said...

I couldn't agree with you more - the exploitation factor to me has become unconscionable. Did you see the audition where they brought the woman back who had diagrams of vocal anatomy, and couldn't pronounce all the words she labeled it with? The poor dear seemed slow. They used her for ratings and for others to make fun of - it was sick.