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Thursday, May 24, 2007


When The BeatBox Stopped...

Last night, we discovered many things. Mostly, we learned that a 30-second announcement can be stretched to two hours if you add promos for Gwen Stefani, Kelly Clarkson, Green Day, Taylor Hicks and (two for) Carrie Underwood; time-wasting reveries with freak-show contestants from early auditions; endless commercials for Ford and Coca-Cola; song medleys with badly-worn oldtimers like Smokey Robinson, Gladys Knight, Bette Midler and most tragically, Tony Bennett; and a resurgent appearance by the talentless disaster named Sanjaya....this time accompanied by Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry. That last song, incidentially, ended at about the same time I shoved a pick ax through my forehead.

There were a few cool moments, to be fair. The beatbox duet between Blake and rap god Doug E. Fresh was electrifying, even if it did subtly point out that beatboxing's heyday was almost 20 years ago. Jordin, for her part, kicked serious ass on a duet with the most underrated Idol ever, Ruben Studdard, giving surprising substance to Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell's "You're All I Need (To Get By)." Perhaps the most unexpected delight of the evening were The Winans, who joined Melinda Doolittle to sing their 80's gospel hit (and a longtime ModFab favorite) "Hold Up The Light." (And before I get letters, yes, I know about The Winans' notoriously anti-gay politics; I hold my nose each and every time I listen to their glorious album Heaven, which you should only buy used.) The "Idols on Parade" tribute to Sgt. Pepper's, a medley featuring Clarkson, Hicks, Underwood, Studdard, and the current cast, was more weird than anything. Guess Fantasia couldn't make it, huh?

But in the end, it went down exactly as the majority of ModFab readers thought -- Jordin Sparks is the newest Idol, which is probably as it should be. A youngster with immense promise, the platform she now stands upon could give her a decades-long career. And Blake? He'll be fine. Probably more than fine...in media-packaging terms, he's basically a hetero Clay Aiken, which means his fanatic teen girl following will travel with him for a number of years.

But what's next for all of us, who've watched this ridiculous, irritating, idiotic, and completely entertaining show together over the past four months? All I can say is it's been a complete pleasure to read your thoughts and comments each week; you're collectively the smartest bunch of media-savvy entertainment junkies I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. Perhaps we'll chat more about the summer's new contests, like So You Think You Can Dance and the hilariously-titled Pirate Master. But for now, just remember...Big Brother starts in a month. :-)

Previously on ModFab: Simon Says, Women Who Wowed, When Goth Chicks Ruled The Universe, The Sanjaya Conundrum, You're A Heartbreaker, Bye Bye Barba!, Gender Blending, To Simon With Love, Not Feeling Hella Good, Mack The Knife, Haley The Slut, Livin' La Vida Loca, Oh Bucky Covington Where Art Thou?, Not Exactly Live Aid, You'll Make It I Swear, Night Fever, Triple Crown, The Last Hurrah

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