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?