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'Idol:' Red light, yellow light, green light

Posted by Joanna Weiss  January 14, 2009 09:18 PM

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My chief question after watching two more hours of "American Idol" on Wednesday night: Was there some orange light hanging over the contestants as they sang? Something was casting a freakish glow on everybody's head, particularly that big, bald welder with the gritty bar-band voice. It made all of the auditioners, even the good ones, look strange and sallow and yellow-toothed, compared to the gleaming La-La-Land folks who sat at the table in judgment. (And we even got to see the judges getting makeup. The lipstick seemed especially purplish last night.)

That's what this stage of "Idol" does to me. The singers blend together in a mush of mild goodness and ear-injuring badness, and apart from the colors, I start to forget what I've seen. But I'll try to remember. I was glad they didn't save tonight's Heartwrenching Story of Perseverence to the very end. (I have no problem with inspiration. I just hate predictability.) As it was, the guy was really good, not to mention a ringer for Robert Downey Jr. I liked the last good singer, Lil, and I didn't mind Downey Jr.'s best friend, and I think the orange-headed welder could be a real crowd-pleaser. I suppose Jason Castro's kid brother has a decent voice, but does this competition really need another space-kadoodle? I wasn't so moved by the girl with glasses who lives with her 93-year-old grandmother; but maybe she'll give herself a makeover by the time Hollywood starts. And speaking of makeovers: Let's talk about Anoop Dogg, the folklore and mythology grad student with the surprisingly soulful voice. Give the "Idol" hair team and stylists a few weeks, and he'll be the hottest geek in the nation. Mark my words.

Otherwise? Strangely creeped-out by that backwards video of David Cook, though it proved the skill of the makeover team. Happy that there weren't so many children. Sad that the crazies keep on coming. When I look at Simon, he seems to agree. But I think he feels this way every year.

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23 comments so far...
  1. Im not racist...but is it me or Randy seems to ALWAYS give black people a yes vote even if they suck...

    Posted by tim January 14, 09 10:22 PM
  1. The crazies keep coming only because the initial screeners send them on to interview with the judges for "entertainment" value. The producers, including Simon, could eliminate them in a heartbeat if they were so sad about it.

    Posted by pats fan January 15, 09 12:27 AM
  1. Mr. Heartwarming Heartbreaking Story (legit thought it was) can sing and my initial impression was that he looks like a lot like Robert Downey Jr. Wondered if anyone else saw what I saw and you did!

    Some got through based on begging, pleading and turned on the tears for sympathy. If AI is a talent competition, anyone with true talent should not have to beg. Perhaps the judges pass them figuring they'll never make it past the first Hollywood auditions so give them a free ticket and then be done with them.

    Posted by A Dingo Ate My Baby January 15, 09 07:23 AM
  1. Tim, you certainly sound like a racist to me. At minimum your comment is laced with prejudice. In fact, a red flag always goes up whenever someone starts a sentence with, "I am not a racist but..."

    How long have you been watching the show? Do you think you have keen observational skills? If so, why didn't you point out that Paula says "yes" when there is a good looking guy up there and Simon does the same thing when he see's a good looking woman (for example, bikini girl)?

    You chose to omit obvious trends from all of the judges and concentrated solely on Randy's perceived bias towards African-Americans. Therefore, I would deduce that you are, in fact racist.

    Posted by dannysal January 15, 09 07:29 AM
  1. Randy does not give them a yes vote based on race. He has for sure given no's, while the other judges say yes.

    Posted by janice January 15, 09 07:42 AM
  1. Bikini girl had a decent voice, i just hope she stops shaking her head as she sings. it was really annoying, and took away from her talent.

    Posted by Mel January 15, 09 07:49 AM
  1. Last nights auditions were by far the more successful of the two. The whole Bilikin girl debacle was a shear pathetic push for the ratings! Randy's comments are STILL predictable and I hold a likeing for the newest judge. Nevertheless, I am a huge fan and will continue to follow this show for as long as they keep it on!

    An IDOL woulda coulda shoulda...

    Posted by Tdawg January 15, 09 07:52 AM
  1. Randy definatly does not say yes to every African-American who walks through the door, for example, the guy dressed in the pimp money suit did not get through.

    Like dannysal said, you obviously missed the other judges and their picks because they thought they were pretty, hot etc.

    I would have to agree and say that you are a racist...

    Posted by airocks January 15, 09 08:17 AM
  1. Well said, dannysal.

    Posted by dtreble January 15, 09 08:25 AM
  1. Joanna - as always, you are spot on. I, too, thought the music teacher looked like RDJr. and agree that Anoop and the glass wearing care giver will look great in a couple of weeks with the Idol stylists. I loved the welder and thought his voice was very good. I forgot to comment yesterday, too, like you did about the number of 16 yr old contestants. Wow, now they all seem like they will handle it better than Archie but they sure did turn out in numbers. As for Jason's brother, I was LOL at how he is such a stoner too. We just thought Jason was baked all the time but it looks like it is a family trait. Jason is still adorable and was unique with his voice. Not sure the bro with have the same charm. Finally, how many more weeks (2?) of auditions do we have to endure?

    Posted by Jason is a Riot January 15, 09 08:53 AM
  1. Tim - you're wrong. You are racist.

    I think that's the definition of racism, come to think of it.

    Posted by Wundah January 15, 09 09:11 AM
  1. Joanna - so glad you're back to blog on Idol! I hope that the family is getting some sleep and that Ava finds someone to *love* this season!
    We watched last night, flipping back and forth between the Celts game because this stage annoys us if we watch too much. I was pleasantly surprised by Danny (Downy, Jr.) and the welder. I think glasses girl with the grandmother has potential, and her makeover potential is big for the producers as well.
    I like Kara so far, and was trying to figure out who she reminded me of, and it didn't hit me until this morning when I was reading the CSI entry on the blog - she looks a bit like Jorja Fox. Anyone else see that?
    Looking forward to Hollywood!

    Posted by Wednesday (and Thursay) Morning QB January 15, 09 09:32 AM
  1. Everyone seems to be overlooking Simon Cowell's incredibly antisemetic comment. He used the term "Jewped" to describe how the other three judges were tricked into allowing the black contestant to plead his case and continue to Hollywood.

    Posted by Mignight January 15, 09 09:44 AM
  1. I look forward to AI every year, but isn't it time to stop and ask ourselves where else it would be acceptable to openly mock, despise, and make fun of people who are clearly mentally challenged? These kids have gone through 1-3 auditions by the time they get to the Randy/Paula/Simon/Kara group...which in itself makes the whole first two weeks of shows a sham. Are we really feeling good about supporting this show when they still practice this kind of prejudice? After all, some FOX producer made them think they could sing by letting them get a number in the first place simply to have that dream trashed on TV. Do the kids show up to audition? Yes. But, there is a difference between some cocky, ego maniac that can't sing and someone with mental disability who cannot sing.

    Also, the bikini chick...she was really not good. Not even a little. A couple seasons ago they said no to this military girl who had great pipes. Maybe she should have worn a bikini.

    Posted by qdome January 15, 09 09:57 AM
  1. So if you say Randy has a bias but you don't point out other judges possible biases that's racisim? Oh come on. Give me a break.

    Posted by ATLidolFan January 15, 09 09:58 AM
  1. Honestly, if it weren't for the entertainment value, they should just do blind auditions! Then nobody could call the judges on their biases. This is AI, though, so it is a necessary evil.

    Posted by buzzkill January 15, 09 10:12 AM
  1. qdome - you're right on. It's uncomfortable and heartbreaking to watch the judges skewer mentally challenged Idol participants. Hopefully the producers will gain some sensitivity and stop this distasteful practice by next season.

    Posted by rachel January 15, 09 10:17 AM
  1. qdome: Thanks for providing badly-needed perspective on the exploitation of mentally challenged folks by a show that markets itself as family entertainment. What's most appalling is the fact that the producers and judges mock individuals under the age of 18. It's abusive and cruel and targeted at some of the most vulnerable people in our society. It's one thing to be irreverant and dark. It's an entirely different thing to place defenseless and impaired people at the center of an internationally broadcast show, portions of which end up immortalized on UTube. Why do we tolerate such cruelty?

    Posted by Footballcrazed January 15, 09 10:33 AM
  1. These people are just chasing their dreams. Stop acting so high and mighty. I'm sure they'd love to know that you consider them to be retards.

    Posted by Idolfan January 15, 09 10:40 AM
  1. With the exception of those who know they have no talent but are looking for their fifteen minutes of fame, the majority of these people are mentally ill, not mentally retarded (although some may be both).

    Posted by footballcrazed January 15, 09 10:57 AM
  1. Did anyone else think that Anoop Dog's "Bill Gates/geek wardrobe" that was so maligned by Simon was pretty much what Archuleta wore all season with nary a word from the judges, including the summer tour? It also would not surprise me one bit to learn that the producers advise some of the good auditioners that get passed up to the four judges to come "geeked up" in order to furnish the first installment of a potential make-over story line. The small town Kansas girl with the flannel shirt looks like another make-over in the wings.

    You can't tell me, for instance, that David Cook's Omaha outfit was one he and his brother -- both obviously intelligent savvy guys who did NOT practice singing in a closet -- picked out of the closet to make a good first impression. It's entirely possible that someone whispered in his ear, Dress like a nerd and get the "I DID NOT EXPECT THAT" from the judges.

    Posted by Margaux January 15, 09 11:44 AM
  1. No, they did not geek up Anoop. He dresses like that all the time, I go to school with him. Personally, I don't think it's geeky. I'd define it more as preppy.

    Posted by Tar Heel January 15, 09 02:15 PM
  1. Midnight, just an FYI regarding your post #13:

    (And I hope that you were kidding...)

    The word Simon used is "duped."

    noun, verb, duped, dup⋅ing.
    –noun 1. a person who is easily deceived or fooled; gull.
    2. a person who unquestioningly or unwittingly serves a cause or another person: a dupe of the opponents.

    Posted by Idol Fanatic January 15, 09 08:39 PM

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