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Thursday, April 24, 2008


Idol, Au Revoir: Carly Smithson

If you've ever doubted that American Idol is anything more than a teen popularity contest, you only have to look at last night's dismissal of Carly Smithson to see the cold, hard, ugly truth. How else to explain that the widely-panned performance by wheezy heartthrob Jason Castro not only DIDN'T cost him his slot...but didn't even put him in the bottom two? How else to explain that Brooke White -- who flubbed so badly she had to stop the song entirely -- was also not in the bottom two? How else to explain that the best performance of the week, Syesha Mercado's sultry "One Rock 'N' Roll Too Many," ended up barely saving her from eviction.

Everyone's got favorites...I have no problem with that. But when the voting is so wildly skewed, it means the show has no legitimacy. Period. And yes, I hear your immediately response: maybe it never did. Maybe it jumped the shark last night. Or maybe it'll be fine. But with ratings in steep decline, one has to ask: is popularity whoring killing off American Idol?

The Final Sendoff: Carly Smithson, "Without You"
Previous American Idolatry: Yoko Ono, Where Art Thou?, Au Revoir Amanda, God Bless Idol Country, Au Revoir Chikezie, Giving What Back, Exactly?, Idol Gave Back (And I'm Friggin' Exhausted), Au Revoir Michael Johns, David Archuleta Is Like Sarah Brightman In Drag

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Blogger will g said...

Isn't that a little like saying democracy is dead if a candidate you don't like gets elected president? All I'm saying is, don't blame the SHOW per se, blame the voters. Or the candidates even. Not the institution! (And I'm not even a fan anymore.)

4/24/08, 12:38 AM  
Blogger joe*to*hell said...


4/24/08, 7:41 AM  
Blogger lylee said...

I think I'm more offended by Syesha being in the bottom 2 than Carly being booted - she (Carly)'s never quite floated my boat. That said, it is a travesty that Brooke and Jason should outlast her.

But it always has been a popularity contest. Not unlike our presidential race, people are more willing to vote for a personality they "connect" with than the person's ability. I'm somewhat more understanding of that in this context (personality is a big part of entertainment, like it or not), but still...there should be at least a *minimum* threshold of ability. Harumph.

4/24/08, 5:08 PM  
Blogger Ready2Die said...

As you predicted I am compelled to leave the 'this is nothing new' comment. Remember season 1? The sublime Tamyra Gray booted in favor of that former stripper, single mom, rocker wannabe? Can't even remember her name.

This is the perfect example of what Frank Zappa called the Debbie Effect. Pop music is made for 14 year old girls, there's no getting around it.

See this link for Zappa's own description of this phenomenon:

4/24/08, 5:29 PM  
Blogger will g said...

Just wanted it entered into the record that Joe's AMEN, above, is for ModFab and not my comment (damn).

4/25/08, 11:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is why I stopped watching the show entirely for the last two seasons. I couldn't stand to watch this happen over and over. However, it can't be avoided. The American public just sucks. I am waiting for the day that they make a good decision, for once. Talent doesn't matter. Personality and looks matter.

Also, I've noticed that my favorites generally get knocked out in the middle of the finals rather than at the beginning or end. I feel like the people I think of as interesting or unique or relevant are usually too inaccessible to the American public. Or they have too much talent and not enough personality. Eh, who knows... Syesha's basically the only person keeping me going at this point.

4/25/08, 3:47 PM  

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