Skip to comments.Will "American Idol" Sink?
Posted on 02/26/2010 4:14:11 AM PST by Kaslin
Fox is having its usual smash with "American Idol," with this season's latest offering beating the Winter Olympics in the ratings. Paula Abdul walked off in a money dispute, Ellen DeGeneres is unexpectedly flat, and the show overall is starting to sag, but it's still just about the best thing on TV. Now there's a buzz about the best judge, Simon Cowell, leaving after this season.
Cowell is constantly booed and attacked as the nasty judge, the one who crushes young singers' dreams with his patented cutting remarks. It's also true that he is painfully honest.
Almost every "Idol" watcher looks forward to hearing Cowell offer those blunt and honest opinions every bit as much -- or even more than -- the actual performances. The other night, he responded to boos after one stinging analysis by shooting back at the audience, "I'm only saying what you're thinking." That's instantly a classic line, and very true.
It's common now to hear viewers suggest they might just stop watching the show once Cowell is gone, that the quality of the judging just will not be the same. That is definitely true if one believes the rumors circulating about the sewer where Fox is fishing for Simon Cowell replacements.
First, news reports surfaced that Fox was considering the has-been satellite radio shock jock Howard Stern to be a judge. "Yeah, I would do that show for $100 million," he said on his XM/Sirius radio program. "I can't imagine anyone else but me replacing him. ... How else are they going to make that show work?"
This Stern idea would go over like a lead balloon with parents who like "Idol" as family entertainment.
Most recently, Stern told "American Idol" Season Three winner Fantasia Barrino that she wasn't succeeding in the music business because she didn't sexually arouse teenage boys: "Hey, Fantasia, you're not getting little boys (aroused). Nobody's (masturbating) to you. You look like you stepped out of a cartoon."
A few weeks ago, Stern (age 55) wondered out loud which Disney teen favorite would provide better oral sex: Miley Cyrus (age 17) or Taylor Swift (20). Stern and his friend "Pittsburgh Pete" marveled over Cyrus' "natural" breasts. The comments spilled out on a YouTube video, but Stern supporters got it yanked.
A more common Stern segment is the porn-star interview. Stern's website highlights a recent chat with Taryn Thomas, a porn star in an X-rated parody of the MTV reality show "Jersey Shore." They discussed how Thomas had to take a two-year sabbatical from porn after her intestines were "torn open" in an anal-sex scene. Stern could only announce that the man who ripped the woman's bowels must have been proud of himself. "I've never hurt a woman with my penis. I've tried. It just doesn't work," he lamented.
Before his satellite show, his over-the-air show had lowlights like this one. "Have you ever had sex with an animal?" Stern wondered. "Don't knock it. I was sodomized by (the sock puppet) Lamb Chop."
And Fox had "no comment" about the prospect of hiring this man.
There are more fish flapping around at the bottom of this barrel. The scurrilous gossip blogger Perez Hilton -- who's echoed Stern by calling himself "Queen of All Media" -- begged for the job on MTV News. "Basically, I'm shamelessly looking for work. I'm available and I'm cheap."
Hilton is best known as the beauty-contest judge who ruined Carrie Prejean's chances at the Miss USA pageant by demanding she endorse gay marriage as the price of the crown. "She lost, not because she doesn't believe in gay marriage, Miss California lost because she's a dumb (B-word), okay?" The next day, Hilton issued a fake apology: "I was thinking the c-word and I didn't say it."
Hilton prides himself on being a "dangerous" figure of controversy. "I'm dangerous because I have no censor button and I speak the truth. And people are afraid of the truth." This is a rather ridiculous claim for a gossip who loves to draw vile sexual objects around the faces and crotches of celebrities on his blog. He drew a penis on a photo of Prejean holding a microphone.
He recently boasted of his newest blog obsession -- a large, fat, white man exposing himself in women's clothing: "(Wo)Man, an amazing wannabe tranny, who enjoys riding his banana seat around Beverly Hills with his banana out!"
Simon Cowell has that endearing kind of "meanness," the kind that comes with a wink. Howard Stern and Perez Hilton have persistently demonstrated that their nastiness is real and unmitigated by any notion of decency. If Fox wants to take an ax to the golden goose of "American Idol," putting either of these men in front of millions of families as judges on this program would be just the place to start.
Setting up Cowell as morally superior to Stern or Hilton is like setting up Tiger Woods as morally superior to John Daly.
Oh, they did that and see where it got us.
I’m not sure I understand your point. I’ve never heard Simon talk trashy on the show. Perhaps a few times there was some innuendo, but nothing compared to Stern.
With the exceptions of Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood, can anyone tell me what the other winners are doing?
After watching this weeks batch of “new” idols, I can’t imagine that this show can continue. There is not a star among them (although I love Casey James).
The point is that just because one person talks trashy and another does not is not indicative of who is morally superior.
Cowell's private life could be filled with pedophilia for all we know while Stern is an act.
Tiger Woods was viewed as "clean-cut" until a couple months ago.
I can’t believe more people are watching this crap show than the Olympics, but maybe that’s just me. I tried watching one season of Idol and came away convinced it does much more harm than good to American music.
We can only hope. Sorry to the people who like the show, but I can't stand it. I don't watch it, and the only reason I know Kelly Clarkston won is they can't introduce her with out say "Idol Winner".
More people aged 18-35 know who won idol the last ten seasons, then know who represents them in congress. People will pay to vote for an American Idol, but will not bother to vote in a local election.
Simon’s the only judge on the show. The others are sycophantic ego boosters striving to avoid offending anyone.
Ellen De Gegeneres is “unexpectedly flat”? I dont watch American Idol but Ellen is the most bland, unentertaining comedian in the entertainment industry.
Doesn’t matter to me and I haven’t a clue what they’re talking about.
I don’t watch.
I’m pretty much anti-reality type shows.
Peruse the Billboard 100 sometime and you’ll find quite a few of them. Not just the winners, but the runners up as well. David Cook, Chris Daughtry, Adam Lambert, Kris Allen and Kelly Pickler all have had songs there recently.
They are definitely screwing the show up though. Ellen is terrible, nothing to say beyond echoing the others. Paula made the show interesting with her incoherent rambles and occasional memorable phrases (”you dare to dance on the path of greatness!”). And Simon is right, he is able to tell what the average person likes, and is brutally honest about saying so. I can’t imagine the show working when he leaves.
Never watched it; never will.
That Hilton guy sounds like he belongs on a back ward somewhere.
Do you really want them to vote in your election?
Also I was afraid the show was going gay, first you have Doogie Howser, now Ellen.
American Idol ping!
You have a point my FRiend.
I’m in agreement, but frankly, ever since I started watching (late second, early third season - somewhere in there), the winner has not been my focus. I’m just looking for new talent to listen to. Thus Daughtry and Kellie Pickler, both of whom I like a lot. Also liked the Iraheta girl from last season. Just have to wait for her second album (album 1 = AI run = pure pop, album 2 = more adapted to individual artist).
Still, you are correct, Clarkson and Underwood are most definitely the two who have made the absolute most of their victories. I wonder if Carrie has had to add on to her house to hold all her CMT awards?
If it is then there doesn't seem to be any reason to own a TV anymore.
I saw Carrie Underwood twice in Nashville. Once immediately following her idol win and then a year later. She is phenomenal. A real powerhouse.
To me, the best talent to come out of a lame show.
How many times have you watched Idol? Your condescension could mean you’ve never really watched and probably don’t understand, like liberals who criticize Rush but have never really listened.
Idol should be approved by conservatives because it is about America at a very basic level...... personal responsibility, desire to suceed and excellence. There is a democratic element in that the eventual winner must truly excel and convince enough folks to provide roughly 18,000,000 votes within just over 2 hours.
It is about wackos who have no real talent but do have enough motivation to escape the bounds of opinion and put it all on the line just to see.
It is about some genuinely talented people who strive for excellence and gain a fantastic opportunity to rub shoulders with the most talented artists, managers, and producers in the country.
Idol is about being an American, taking a chance, seizing an opportunity and running with it. I suppose that among some stuffy types it is fashionable to put Idol down but to do so is to miss observing real America very close up.
Idol is perhaps the best rated show on TV. It has maintained the support of Ford Motor Co, Coca Cola Co and AT&T, all American giants who do not throw away money. They continue to sponsor Idol because it is pure Americana There is a live FRee Republic thread that follows the success and failure with wit and applause and scorn. (and pure fun)
At the most basic, on the surface, Idol is pop culture with a lot of hype. Just under the surface though, one can observe the depth and theory applied to being a star performing singer.
This year the girls are great, the boys are mediocre. There will be a star emerging from the girls
Idol is a singing contest
And the contestants must work, very hard, especially after the first auditions, with the Idol supplied coaches and even each other. The pressure is intense and increased by a terrific pace. The change is visible as those who were nervous and fearful work with professionals and gain confidence and skill.
I have long thought that the public voting for American Idol is manipulated to boost ratings.
Call me old school, jaded, just plain old, whatever. But I have played with people far more talented than any of those you mention. The thing they lacked was a lame tv show, huge dollars, tours related to the lame tv show, professional songwriters, stylists, and the mega-apparatus of a star making machine.
Idol makes me barf.
My wife loves it, though.
You know, it’s the old “one man’s garbage is another man’s art” thing, I guess.;)
We didn't have cable. Then they changed to digital transmission. We didn't buy a converter.
Now we do a lot more as a family, and enjoy each other's company. We work more in the shop, build electronics gizmos, and make our own stop-motion videos. Some of us are now taking spectacular photographs and working miracles with photoshop. We have engaged Life!
Turn the stupid thing off. It makes an obnoxious sound and interferes with having a real life.
“I cant believe more people are watching this crap show than the Olympics, but maybe thats just me. I tried watching one season of Idol and came away convinced it does much more harm than good to American music.”
I can’t believe it’s outperforming the Olympics, either. The only thing I like about Idol is the very beginning, when these truly horrible people go on—it can be funny. (”Pants on the Ground,” anyone? LOL!)
But when it gets to voting from the public, I find it boring.
Fixed it. :D
Agreed. Stern is a walking, talking sewer whose shtick appeals to wanabee sluts and impotent men..............
Absolutely correct. Simon is an expert at musician discovery. That twerp Secrest makes me sick the way he baits him. Patty LaBelle recently called them all out, said Simon is the only one who knows what he is doing. Said Randy is a has-been bass player for Journey, Ellen is a some time comedian and Kara is...what? Simon probably has to take a shower when he gets home. Now they are griping about his quarters on the set. Apparently he has a 2 story trailer in the parking lot that was once ownerd by Will Smith. Simon is a billionaire for crying out loud, earned in the music business. Can’t wait for The X Factor to start.
The Stern rumor is the only one that bothers me though, just because Idol's response to it is so vague.
They may be keeping the rumor alive to make Tommy Mottola (zzzzzz) look good by comparison.
The OLympics are actually beating AI in the ratings. Eight of the top ten programs were Olympics. American Idol came in seventh and eighth. It was the first time American Idol has been beaten in several years.
Maybe they should have a bunch of people audition to replace Simon, and let Simon decide.
I agree with your comment about moral superiority. But, I was thinking more about how "moral" he comes across on the show compared to how Stern would come across if he were allowed to be "himself."
I know nothing about Cowell's life outside the show, but on the show he's decent and all that's all that matters to me when I watch it.
By golly, I could not have put it any better.
And to make matters worse, when they finally do get to Simon, you have to wade through the boos of the crowd and smarmy remarks from Seacrest to make out what he says.
I agree, most of this years contestants are talentless and very boring. Ellen Degenerate is lame, why even have the fourth judge? When Simon Cowell leaves I will too.
What I really, REALLY don’t understand-what’s even more bizarre that using a comedienne to judge music-is the way Ellen DeGenere’s plain face is being used to sell makeup. She may or may not have comedic talent, but she certainly is not remotely pretty, having neither attractive features or a glowing complexion, and her natural plainness is made even worse by her keeping that awful “tossed salad” short choppy hair style from the early 1990s. But her plain , aging face is now the face of Cover Girl cosmetics : Not just in O magazine (she’s a friend of Ophrah) but in the more staid women’s magazines my MIL reads. Why???
AI is a glorified Karaoke contest. I just can’t watch more contestants screw up the same songs over and over again. Give me a live songwriters’ show anytime. That is where the talent lies.
I cannot watch anymore. ED (no, not erectile dysfunction, although she certainly could be a cause) is someone that I just cannot watch. Aside from her failure to be funny or intelligent or relevant or give any indication that she ever passed music appreciation, she always looks like a giant strobe light has just flashed in front of her face. I think, if Simon leaves, the show collapses. Word is, if he leaves, he will do an American version of a somewhat similar British show that he will have an ownership interest in. I guess having a kajillion dollars already is not enough.
Hicks was a great entertainer but as a recording artist, he’s a joke. Exactly as Simon predicted.
I agree with you though that he made Idol that season and the entertainment factor has been low since.
It’s painful to watch her. She has no idea what she’s doing.
Kara is an idiot trying to snuggle up to Simon since Paula left. The crying last night didn't work, either.
Agree on all counts.
Watched tonight. Bowersox looks like she’s drugged out of her mind.
I disagree, Loved Taylor he is doing great!