The problem(s) with Idol

by Steve, May 11th, 2012

Look, I’m not half the writer’s Dave Holmes is, so if you really want the low down on American Idol, check his recaps. Other than his crush on Philip Philips and his love of Elise Testone (she who could bear no criticism), I pretty much agree with him right down the line. (And what the hell happened to MTV’s Jim Cantiello?)

But I’ve got a few comments.

First, I finally figured who Steven Tyler (STyler in our house) looks like: that aging hippie woman at the local co-op, who spends hours a week shopping and socializing with the staff and wants to tell the young produce guy all about her wild days on the commune or her latest colonic recipe. I mean, he looks exactly like that woman. (I spent the better part of 10 years working produce at natural food stores, so I speak as an authority on this.)

Second, let me just say that Jimmy Iovine is the refreshing voice of truth in contrast to all the fluffy nonsense spouted by the judges. STyler, JLo and Randy Jackson seem so hopped up on goof balls all the time, it’s a shock — a shock! — when they say something critical, and even more of a shock when their criticism is actually accurate.

I don’t always agree with Jimmy’s analysis, but he’s the pro, with real actual insight into what makes an artist a star. He criticized 16-year-old phenom Jessica Sanchez for “pulling the rabbit out of the hat” too much (i.e. overusing her growl she started developing at the age of 7), but went on to reveal that she’s basically already got a contract with his Interscope label (along with fellow top-three contenders Joshua Ledet and Philip Philips).

So Jimmy, speaking of leaving the rabbit in the hat, what’s the deal with signing the top three to Interscope contracts when the grand prize of this whole contest is… a contract with Interscope?

At this point you may be asking yourself: What the hell is Steve doing paying all this attention to American Idol? Yeah, I’m asking myself that too. In three hours a week, there’s about ten minutes of entertainment, the rest being fluffed-up group numbers, ginned-up reality TV drama, embedded Coke and Ford ads, and listless (and/or overwrought) performances by past Idol losers (and a couple winners).

But I’m funny that way. If I’ve committed to half an hour of a crappy film, I’m in it to the end. We’re a few weeks from the Idol finale (featuring that aging hippie lady and her rock band Aerosmith, and probably not Mark Anthony and Sheila E., darn it), so I can’t quit now. We’re not going to the live show this year, however.

You gotta draw the line somewhere.