Wednesday, January 17, 2007

There's strong, and then there's American Idol strong

I watched American Idol last night. I don't normally watch it, but one of my friends IMed me with, "omg, AI* is on right now!" so I figured what the hell. This is the part worth watching. The bad auditions - the "horrible wannabes," as the commercials put it. I don't understand the democraphic that watches the show for the people who can sing. I have CDs full of people who can sing, I don't need to tune into Fox for it. I guess it's sort of like one of those Choose Your Own Adventure books, but since I won't buy the album of whoever wins anyway, I really don't care.

* Maybe she meant Artificial Intelligence?

But I do love those bad auditions. These people who get in front of national television and absolutely embarrass themselves. Who cannot sing and must endure the humiliation of this startling revelation. I find it hard to believe that this many people truly think they're good singers when they so clearly can't sing. Actually, auditioning on American Idol reminds me a little bit of being called on in law school. You try to sputter out some response and then...

Long pause.

"That is the absolute worst answer I have ever heard."

I also wish people would come up with more creative responses. "Samantha, why are you auditioning today?" "Because I am the next American Idol!" Granted, it's a pretty stupid question. It reminds me of one time when I went to a Howie Day concert, and this kid from class came up to me and said, "Oh my god, what are YOU doing here?" Um, I'm here to see the Ringling Brothers Circus. Why do you think I'm here?

I was gonna talk about how last night's auditions were from Minneapolis, but what I really want to talk about is all the troops who performed. First of all, we all knew the guy from the Reagan was gonna go to the next round. Even before he performed. They introduce him, and then they cut to a whole bit where we get to see the aircraft carrier he serves on. We got to meet his C.O. Was I really supposed to think Fox would bother doing this whole bit just for a guy who failed the first round?

I also found the National Guard woman a little annoying - the one whose husband is in Iraq but who she knows will be okay because he's "strong." I gotta say, that statement reflects a borderline offensive ignorance about the death count. I think death in Iraq has less to do with being "strong" and more to do with being near a car bomb when it goes off. Were all 3,000 of those poor schmucks who already died weak? Is that why they died? And why was she dressed in her camoflauge uniform for the audition? Unless she was on her way to building a bridge or, you know, not helping Katrina victims, I really don't see the need.

Mostly, though, I want to draw attention to something I talked about a few months ago. Are our troops really as selfless, sacrificing, and self-sacrificng as we pretend? We have at least two examples last night of troops who said, "Hmm...I could dedicate my life in the service of my country...or I could be on American Idol!" Doesn't exactly make me want to break out into a rendition of "God Bless the U.S.A."

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