I’ve not been a big fan of the American Idol television series. Even when it was being hyped as the hottest of the hot “must see” TV shows, I wasn’t drawn to it. The best that can be said about the show is that it was imported from Britain where at least a last lingering shred of television programming originality apparently still exists.
The concept of the series seemed to me to be little more than a latter day version of Queen for a Day, the 50’s daytime pseudo-reality show in which the woman, from among three contestants, who could churn out the most heart wrenching sob story would win a shiny new Maytag washing machine and a lifetime supply of Bosco. For those of you not blessed with having been around in the 50’s and 60’s to witness this spectacle first hand, just “Google” it for more details.
The belief that a television show, in this case American Idol, is going to be able to routinely fast-track anyone to entertainment stardom may be appealing, but the show’s actual success in doing so seems to belie the hype. Aside from Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood, what other winners have acquired any lasting notoriety, much less Idol-status? Some of the contestants who have so unceremoniously received the hook from the show’s panel of expert judges seem to have had just as much success in establishing recording careers as have the winners.
Last night, I happened to meander through our family room totally unaware that my spouse was watching American Idol. I chanced to overhear the evaluation which Nicki Minaj, one of this year’s judges, was in the process of giving to one of the female contestants.
“I just didn’t find any authenticity in your performance.” she intoned dramatically.
Upon hearing those words, I lost all equilibrium and came very close to careening into the door jamb as I was hastily attempting to exit the room.
I have to ask, is there any reasonable person who would grant even a modicum of credibility to a lecture on the subject of authenticity when it is being delivered by a woman who is wearing:
- a platinum blonde wig which looks as if it’s made from polypropylene,
- heavily applied day-glo orange eye shadow,
- false eye lashes which are longer than the tines on my yard rake, and
- finger nails containing more plastic than a Tupperware bowl?
It’s just possible that one of our sharper network executives might thereby be encouraged to import it under an assumed name and release it over here as one of next season’s newest #1, smart, must-see shows.
Images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Nicki Minaj photo from nme.com