I’m a little slow when it comes to television hype. I got into Sex and the City only after watching the series finale. I finally understood why everyone loved Family Guy when watching an episode eight years after it premiered. (I have yet to jump on board The Simpsons train.) And it was only three months ago that I finally saw American Idol.
I never needed to watch American Idol to know who was getting the boot. With each new season, a huge billboard goes up on Pico Boulevard – and I’m assuming other major streets around LA – that displays the headshots of the top ten contestants. And every week, one unfortunate soul gets a huge, humiliating, red ‘X’ plastered over his or her face. So it never occurred to me to tune in until one evening when my boyfriend and I couldn’t find anything good on TV. That’s when we caught one of the audition episodes.
Though critiquing the contestants – especially the crazies – was entertainment enough, my bf and I were fascinated by what the judges had to say… and whether or not we concurred with their opinions. To our collective horror, we seemed to be locked in agreement with virtually every assessment that Nicki Minaj gave to each singer. Also, I discovered an inverse relationship between Minaj’s outfits and her performance reviews: the crazier she looked, the saner her advice was. My boyfriend and I gasped several times at her innate wisdom. She’s like a bleached blonde Buddha.
Carey on the other hand… It’s a good thing that she can sing because that girl cannot give a decent critique to save her life. Most of the time, she simply blurts out a series of “dah-lings” and “you’re so you” and “I love what you’re wearing.” But I can’t really fault her. Though the Mariah of today is a far cry from the chick that came on the scene with “Vision of Love,” she’s still got the goods. Because she’s such a phenomenal singer, though, I don’t think she understands how to talk to someone so obviously below her. It’s like asking Meryl Streep to explain the finer points of acting to Megan Fox.
From what I hear, I missed the heyday of American Idol judging. Apparently watching Simon Cowell eviscerate contestants was entertainment at its finest. Meh…. I tuned into The X Factor once to see what the hubbub was about, but the only thing offensive about Cowell was his ridiculously tight T-shirt.
However, my boyfriend was taking great offense to a certain wannabe Idol: Lazaro Arbos. Now when we first met this shy, unassuming contestant, we were as enamored of him as the rest of America. Lazaro has a stutter, yet he still found the courage and perseverance to audition. You go, Lazaro! So when my bf and I found out that he had made it to the top ten, we were thrilled. But by the next show, we were looking guiltily at one another, both of us thinking the same thing… Lazaro had to go. For the record, Lazaro’s stutter isn’t an issue when he sings, so don’t get all in a tizzy that we’re discriminatory a-holes. Plain and simple, he wasn’t as strong a singer as the rest of the crew. In fact, he was easily at the back of the pack, vocally speaking. But week after week, just like his namesake, Lazaro would keep rising from the dead and live on for another show. And my boyfriend would get increasingly more indignant with each non-Lazaro elimination. Mind you, this is a man who graciously smiles each time that my beloved Blackhawks steamroll his broken down Red Wings, which incidentally happened during each of their meet-ups this season, but I digress… He simply could not accept the fact that America was pity-voting Lazaro to the top.
Though mildly surprised, I accepted it. Dancing with the Stars has already taught me that the American public doesn’t know its cha cha from its samba when it comes to judging good dancers. How else do you explain Kristie Alley, Rob Kardashian, and Bristol Palin all making it to the finals? I figure that American Idol voters know just as little about singing talent. (Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood are statistical aberrations.)
But finally justice was served. Last week, Lazaro got his walking papers, my bf was appeased, and sanity was restored to the American Idol world. If I’m honest, though, watching last night’s episode without Lazaro was a tad boring. Here’s hoping that Mariah and Nicki finally give America what it wants: a stiletto throwing, hair extension pulling, fake fingernail breaking catfight.
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