Thursday, May 21, 2009

Idle Thoughts on American Idol

We haven't watched American Idol and we wouldn't have seen last night's finale, either, except that She Who Rules The Roost insisted that we need to keep up with contemporary culture.

"You're still rooted in the Fifties!" she snarled.

"No, we're not," we insisted.

"Oh yeah? Name one composer since Mozart," she challenged.

"Bach," we answered.

"That figures," she muttered. "Okay, name a twentieth century composer."

We had to think a moment. "Sibelius."

"But he was born..."

"Died in the fifties," we interrupted. "The nineteen-fifties."

"No fair! His best stuff was done in the 1800's. Name some one who was born in the twentieth century."

"Billy Strayhorn." We knew we had her.


"Take the A Train, Satin Doll, Lush Life -- "

"Exactly! That's my point! You're in a time bubble! You know nothing about music since the duck-and-cover days."

We cheerfully admit it. Last night, though, it gave us an advantage. We knew Adam Lambert would lose. He's too good. Lambert has a strong, exciting voice with a wide range and nearly perfect pitch. His competition, Kris Allen, by contrast seemed weak, a little flat, and rather boring. So, we were sure Allen would win.

We were only mildly surprised that Fox TV Network declared him the winner without ever disclosing the actual vote totals. The host, what's-his-forgettable-name, said something vague about the winner getting 'about a million' more (paid) phone calls. MSNBC reported today that an anonymous "source close to the show revealed the final vote wasn't even close."

How very, well, Bush-Gore of them. Okay, folks, move on. That's all you get. Don't look behind the Fox curtain.

One thing about being frozen in the culture of the 1950's is that we remember the Payola Music Scandal and the Television Quiz Show Scandals. When you have a ton of money flying around the music business or commercial television, it's a safe bet that something is fixed. When you combine the two into competitive music on television, it's a sure thing.

Remember, you heard it here first. If American Idol isn't fixed, somehow, some way, then you can call us "Ella Fitzgerald."

1 comment:

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