Thursday, January 18, 2007

Thursday Thirteen: "American Idol"

I’m not a big watcher of “American Idol,” but I have some observations of it based on three or four viewings and what I’ve seen in the news lately.

Apparently, the panel of “judges” screen thousands of idol hopefuls.

They are charged with choosing the final thirty or so contestants, who will be picked off one at a time during the season.

Many of the people auditioning have little to no talent.

The judges roll their eyes and make rude remarks to the ones they don’t like.

In fact, some of the things they say are downright cruel and hurtful.

For example, on the news I saw What’s-His-Name (meanest judge) say to one young man that he had weird eyes and did not either sound or look human. He said, "You look like one of those creatures that live in the woods with those massive eyes."

I was horrified that anybody would be that mean and personal. Why couldn’t he just say thanks, but no thanks?

I think the whole thing is somewhat rigged from the very beginning.

A couple of years ago, I asked my students to write a little piece about the appeal of “reality” shows. My example was “Survivor.”

One student said he thought viewers identify with real people more than actors. Maybe this season’s opening “American Idol” segment had more viewers than ever for that reason.

One student used “American Idol” as a reference. She said, “We have a responsibility to choose our music.”

Oh, good grief!

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