American Idle

In all these years, I have never been able to force myself to watch “American Idol”. Hearing about it was enough.

So, finally, this year, I am forcing myself to tune in to this truly frightening show. It epitomizes all in America that I despise, and all of what passes for “experts” who “judge” singers, when, in point of fact, they have no wisdom of any kind.

Clearly, in the pre-screening, the panel choosing the contestants who will go before the “judges” makes an effort to pick people who can’t sing and think they can, just to give the “judges” people to pick on. It’s like watching the gladiators face the lions and tigers in the Coliseum, with the audience waiting for Caesar to do “thumbs down”. Mixed in with these pitiable aspirants are some people who can actually carry a tune and an occasional talented person. These people give the facade of “try-outs” just enough credibility to keep the show from being even more of a travesty than it is.

And, if the contestants don’t sing everything as if it were an R & B song, regardless, that’s it. My word!

Twenty years ago I was on “10,000 Pyramid”. I know how contestants are chosen and what the game show people did with them because, me being me, I asked a lot of questions. Contestants were placed on the show, not just for how well they could play the game, but by their looks and personalities. Lively ones were held to counter sullen or quiet ones.

Perhaps, when the “finals” are on, and most of the people singing can actually sing, there is justified reason why the show attracts so much attention, but these preliminaries are disgusting. Let me say that again, DISGUSTING. If I rail against lack of respect for singing and singers, what could be worse than to have to watch poor sorry folks who don’t know what singing is in the first place be put on national TV to display their ignorance, be humiliated, and have the “judges” laughing and gloating over the contestants’ flaws.

If there is a hell, the people running “American Idol” (behind and in front of the camera) surely deserve to be in it, no matter that the past winners and runners up have gone on to become successful professional singers and even stars. It would be appropriate to call this waste of time “Idle”, as that is what it is.

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3 thoughts on “American Idle”

  1. Everyday i remain an enthusiastic advcate and yet anonymous reader of Jeannie’s forefront postings. (thanks J, I love them!)Today I am compelled to applaude Jeannie on her ever-so-true, and yet bold comment on the pitiful displays of ‘Caesar in the ampitheatre’…ah yes, this is the ever popular American Idol! As a Voice Specialist myself, running a studio.. i am constantly bombarded by the young and impressionable singer, who are now only interested in training – so they can be ‘the next Idol’. Thanks to this phenomenon, untrained and impressionalble CCM singers have been brain-washed with the new attitude…, ‘I dont NEED training, i already KNOW how to sing’.. Perhaps just a few lessons, and then i’ll be truly ready. Thanks American Idol (and EVERY other Idol across the world..!). THANKYOU for depreciating the value, importance and vital necessity of Voice training. (and spitting in the face of singers that train a lifetime to perfect the voice and RESPECT the music industy) THANKYOU for using the Unfair power of international broadcasting and advertising to ‘tell’ the world..that true undiscovered talent can be found in the ‘untrained’ singer from trailer-park-town. THANKYOU for birthing an era of the worse contemporary singers in music history. Thankyou.. God knows, CCM singers Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston didnt take the REAL road, so why should they? I am truly amazed, and yet so very saddened that the vocal arts have come to this. We can only applaude and truly respect the voice specialist who brave this unfortunate up-hill battle. In particular, people (or should i say leaders) like Jeannie – who speak out, and ‘Tell it like it is’.. Thanks J. Keep up the Great work!

  2. I can’t tell you how deeply and passionately I agree with you on this subject. As a voice teacher in Nashville you can only imagine. I tell people who come in wanting to prepare for those contests that 1. The contests are rigged. They are looking to fill charactor roles, not just the best singers. 2. If they win they will have to sign a contract with percentages that could only have been written by a lawyer from hell itself
    3. They can’t take anything the judges say personally or even as the truth. (As you say, the judges are usually clueless, too)
    4. I bet Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Curt Cobain, etc. would never have made the finals had they auditioned. Most real artists, as I define the word, aren’t out for competition, anyway, except with themselves.

    If these people still want to audition, I tell them only to do it for performance experience. But never to judge their voices by the outcome, and if possible to do something kind for some poor heartbroken soul who loses by sharing these thoughts.

    I know it may be informal to say this, but from my heart, You go, girl!

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