April 26, 2005

ABC vs. "American Idol."

Drudge is reporting that ABC is going to run an exposé revealing how Paula Abdul is somehow "cheating" on "American Idol" by picking favorites and "nurturing" them. Losing contestants will whine out the info. That Paula loves some of the contestants more than others? Not news. Anyone watching the show can see that on full display. Hearing the complaints of the sorest losers? That's only going to provide more fun for "American Idol" fans. "American Idol" is often at its best in the early shows of the season, when they go on location and reject nearly everybody. They select the most expressive losers and entertain us with their free-swinging charges. ABC doesn't seem to understand the charm of pop-trash TV. ABC is an idiot.

14 comments:

Michael said...

I don't see it as a takedown of "American Idol" as much as I do a ratings grab. Linking the words "American Idol" with "expose" is guaranteed to pull in big numbers even if most of the show's fans walk away saying, "I knew that." It will do huge numbers which, for execs, means it's the least idiotic thing ever.

Patrick said...

I am very disappointed. I mean, what is the point of being Matt Drudge if you can't tell us who these loozars are and how much ABC is paying them?

Please, can one of the whiners be Mikalah?

SteveR said...

I basically agree with Michael in that its a ratings grab. To the extent that they may play favorites, it could be argued that exposure from the early try out shows helps people like Anthony and Constantine, and hurts those who get little or no coverage. If your only shot in life is becoming American Idol you got bigger problems than Paula Abdul. "I'm just trying to keep it real"

Amandita said...

I think it's digging deeper into the muck than just giving a forum to the whiners. There are allegations of a sex scandal with Paula (I feel sheepish knowing that...how many brain cells do you think that information has claimed? I kind of want them back.)

Ann Althouse said...

Michael, Stever: You may be right. I'm influenced by hearing Rush Limbaugh rail about it on the radio. His take was that ABC is desperate to destroy Fox, etc.

gyc said...

I bet the "expose" will end up a disappointment to most die-hard Idol fans. It's pretty clear that through things such as singing order, themes, ability to clear songs for the contestants, and judges' comments that have little relation to how someone actually sang, that the Idol producers are trying to manipulate public opinion.

price said...

It's like when during sweeps periods, local news shows run scare stories about teenagers wearing thongs to school or partial nudity in Abercrombie catalogs. Is anybody fooled that the reporters are actually trying to thwart these practices? Like with ABC, they're reporting on it because they love it.

SteveR said...

I think Occam's Razor applies, May Sweeps set ad rates.

SteveR said...
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Adam said...

I'm wondering if enough data exists yet to determine which judges have impact on the voting totals, and how much.

Suppose we could go through four seasons worth of tapes and categorize each judge's comments from 1 to 5 -- "that was wretched", "I've seen better from you", "you did your thing", "that's one of the better performances you've done" and "you will win this competition", say.

And from that, look at who placed in each week's bottom three and who was eliminated. Does a diss from Paula kill someone? Does one from Simon save them if unaccompanied? Is a general hug from Paula meaningless, and is Randy's praise the most important of all?

Someone can figure this out.

Ann Althouse said...

Adam: Funny that they are even called judges. If voters decide, they are just spinmeisters. I think it's pretty complex. It depends what they say and who says it. Generally, I think only Simon's comments have much effect, but often people react against what he says or just realize they must act now to save their person. But since Simon knows this, he shapes what he says to try to trick people into doing what he wants. It would be really hard to count. I think being called the frontrunner ("This is your contest to lose") by Simon is very dangerous. Yet he knows that, so does he even mean it? He said it to Carrie this year, and caused me to dislike her rather than just ignore her. His antagonism to Clay made me like Clay. But weirdly, I also think he's the only judge who's honest.

Adam said...

I think that both Randy and Simon are fairly objective; it's just that Randy's comments hover closer to the middle, while Simon will go to extremes on either end.

I think the worst thing that can happen to a performer is a Randy diss. If Paula's disappointed, it's just duplicative (because it's so rare).

Ann Althouse said...

Adam: so then Carrie's in trouble tonight? I hope so!

Dean said...

Even though it's the next day, I just heard Ryan Seacrest saying on Fox News :^) that he's looking at the expose as essentially an hour long promo on another network for the show.