Wednesday, April 04, 2007
The Malakar Miracle
With more pressing things to deal with, I haven't been watching American Idol that much. I have, however, kept up with the ongoing drama about Sanjaya Malakar's continuing advance to the finals on the strength of votefortheworst.com.
Many people who take the show seriously are exceedingly upset that the Sanjaya juggernaut has hijacked the "purity" and "artistic intent" of the show, causing other more "talented" contestants to be sent home.
I have three thoughts on this, after I finish laughing hysterically at the above statement:
1. American Idol's top 24 contestants are not the top 24 best candidates in America. You cannot tell me that you watch that show and think, "These are America's absolute BEST singer/performers, bar none." The producers engineer the show to have a smattering of good and bad and ludicrous, all with (I suspect) an idea of whom they'd like to win, from a future financials perspective. Don't forget that AI is a cash cow for everyone involved, especially for the management of the winning singer. Even a non-cynic has to allow for the possibility that the top 24 contestants are not left to chance.
2. The producers of AI are simply reaping what they have sown. If you highlight less-talented people in order to create drama and entertainment value, you have to live with the results. If you tell America that the winner is up to them, then you have to allow for those of us who don't give a rat's a** about your stupid contest's "purity." You can't really expect us to take it all very seriously like a Berklee College audition if you're going to have inane judges alternately tell one singer that his song choice was risky and bad and then another that his song choice was too safe, if you are going to have a clearly inebriated or otherwise-under-the-influence judge talk total effing nonsense throughout the whole show, and if you are going to have another one whose primary accomplishment was working with "80's supergroup" JOURNEY telling you your performance "didn't work for me, man," as if he knows "what the kids like these days," and personally owns 3,000 phones poised on speed dial. Well, my lord, why on earth would I not treat this program as the Very Important and Crucial For Humankind proceeding that it is?
3. When did talent become a prerequisite for celebrityhood in America anyway? Don't you actually have to take some kind of no-talent screening exam to become one? I say, let Sanjaya win. He's not as terrible as people make him sound. And let's see what he does with his fame. He can't do worse than Blohan or Spears, and he has waaay better hair.