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Monday, 30 May 2011

The Commercial Wave and American Idol

Haley Reinhart started slow, uncertain, like a scared child in front of a large mountain of ice-cream. But she scraped and crawled and ate the stage (bad metaphor much?) until she reached a point where outstanding performances rolled out of her sleeves and into our open hearts, warming us with her talent, professionalism, and unique rasp of a voice.

And that’s what I was talking about all along. She had all three tickets (gift, style, and craft) and was headed for the win, as it should have been. Naturally, she was shot down by the ‘Scotty and Lauren’ blob of zombie fans who wanted nothing more but to be further amused by the show they had forgotten was for talent, and not appearances or likability. 

Now, Lauren Alaina illustrates perfectly how far you can go with a very generous genetic streak, unpolished and sweet, but a little short of greatness. I admit, her voice is spectacular. And for a while there, I thought it was enough.

But. She started mumbling thanks in the mic instead of wrapping up the songs properly. You might think it’s endearing. Fine. But I think it’s a) unprofessional and b) childish. She had the perfect recipe for success handed to her from God himself, but she let her low confidence in her talent cost her the title. Although, the title was barely anyone’s to take, as the producers simply turned the whole show into a glam fashion program, instead of a proper talent show. Well of course they had to, seeing as it was all done to get more votes and more money. More votes. More money. More votes. More money.

Talent? Yeah, that too. And celebrities. But mostly, votes and money.

Half-amused, half-peeved, I followed the #americanidol tweets every week to find out that most people were basically voting for their favourites based on: appearance (Paul McDonald), sense of humor (Scotty McCreery), reaching high notes (as if reaching them was enough to make us forget about pitch, James), favoritism (Lauren Alaina’s supporters-to-the-end, including Steven Tyler), and scandal (the ones outraged by the judges’ attiture towards Haley).

It’s obvious that the results would be somewhat twisted if America is voting based on these alone. I mean, can you really say that Scotty has a stronger voice than Haley, or Lauren, or even James? His tone is clean and wonderful and unique, yes, but it lacks POWER. He cannot go high enough or even surpass the band! Lauren, on the other hand, did not push enough to be in the top two, yet there she was. The Idol babies on stage, competing for the big round candy-slash-trophey.

Ultimately, the world today proved to be unprepared for true talent. Our senses being numbed from endless Lady Gaga ‘hits’ and house-party-mixes, could not appreciate the rare gift that American Idol provided in the dim of commercial music.

I think we can all agree that the ONLY exception to this current trend of mind-numbing commercial depravity is…

...wait for it...