May 19, 2004

What, no opinion about American Idol?

Hmm... yeah, I said last night that I watched it, and then I didn't say a thing about it. I'll say: that was the longest sustained note ever on AI at the end of All By Myself, and, since it was also the last note sung on the show, I think Diana will get the most votes, even though Fantasia did everything that a woman possibly could do to thrill everybody. [ADDED on reading the Television Without Pity recap: Actually, the song was Don't Cry Out Loud. Jasmine sang All By Myself. Do those two songs have exactly the same melody and attitude?] The show isn't about rational judgment about who is the better performer, but a test of some sort of irrational love, made so because multiple voting is permitted. It tests fan intensity. If everyone watching the show had one vote, it would be an entirely different show. You have to call, and you can call all you want. Who does that? Maybe the same people who buy CDs. Look at the pop charts: no way those people are the best singers.

Is Fantasia in danger of leaving the show tonight? Of course! It's the Hawaii factor, and the show has only itself to blame. It went out and did auditions in Hawaii, a very unusual thing to do and apparently a big thrill for the little state that must feel left out a lot of the time and so separate from the rest of us. Hawaii responded to AI's attention, and now its excitement has converged on one person. Hawaii's voting for Jasmine is unlike anything that has ever happened on AI. At least by last night, all the nonHawaiians were aware of this and could put a little effort into compensating. Tonight's show should be quite thrilling. But however it comes out, Jasmine will be the queen of Hawaii, and AI will put its starmaking machine to work on both Fantasia and Diana, who are this year's Ruben and Clay/Kelly and Justin. Two people always win, and the person in second place may be better off (as long as the person is a good enough singer).

So who did you vote for? I don't vote! I just blog. Does that make sense? Sure! I don't buy new pop CDs. Let the people who'll buy that stuff decide. I prefer to observe.

UPDATE: Nice interview by Virginia Heffernan with Simon Cowell in today's NYT. He says bluntly that Diana will win. Funniest statement: "Could I sit there and listen to these kids sing in a concert? I couldn't stay there for two minutes. I couldn't think of anything worse. [Even a Clay Aiken concert?] Are you kidding? I wouldn't last a minute." Also, I love the cynicism. He thinks the contestants invoke religion only to gain votes, and he thinks that's obvious, and you're a bit of an idiot if you don't realize it. And he thinks dragging out one's child is a "gruesome" maneuver that's more like a politician than a pop star. (Yeah, politicians are gruesome, compared to pop stars, aren't they?) Then there's this priceless interchange:
HEFFERNAN Maybe Fantasia's cynicism adds to her serpentine appeal.

COWELL I'll try to think of it that way. With Fantasia there is an element of unpredictability about her, in how she performs, in what she says when she answers you back. There's a hint of madness there, which is good.

"Serpentine"? Yeah, I'll try to think about what the hell you might be trying to say there too. Fantasia is somehow snakelike?

1 comment:

Crazy Dan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.