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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Maybe you should judge a judge by its cover.

I have never been a watcher of American Idol. I only ever really see it if my wife is watching it and I am in the room. She loves the show and watches it religiously, so that does happen often enough.

I admit that Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood did come from the show,  so it is not all bad. I don't know much about Daughtry, but he seems okay as well. Jordan Sparks was okay, but she is ordinary and her career seems to bear that out. 

Otherwise, it seems like a show to crown an idol who will end up a nobody. The show is about the show,  not the actual becoming an idol. The process seems backward and always has to me. You are supposed to start out as a nobody and become an idol, not be and idol and become a nobody.

Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood would have eventually found a way to make it. That is my assertion. The rest don't make it because they are not that talented or interesting and they revert back to the mean and become nothing special because they aren't anything special. The show props them up, reality brings them back to what they actually are. The hype tries to smother that reality, but it can't in the long run.

Whatever happened to Tayor Hicks, Ruben Studdard, David Cook, Kris Allen, Lee Dewyze and Scotty McReery? Exactly. I had to look a lot of those up and I bet you would too if you wanted to know who won those seasons. And...those were the winners!

For me, the most interesting part of the show has always been the judges. More specifically, Simon and Paula. More significantly, Simon. Any minor interest I had in the show was lost when Simon left. Paula was only interesting as long Simon was there to play off of her. Anyone who knows me knows that I am very "Simonlike" and his tell it like it is style always registered with me. I find Randy to be repetitive and only a caricature of himself, but not interesting otherwise.

Since Simon and Paula left and Randy has had to carry the ball and be "the man", the producers clearly understand that he is not up to that task and have tried to fill the Simon void. A merry go round of others have come through the door, but they leave as fast as they come, because they are simply fill ins for the real deal, which was and always will be Simon.

The latest attempt was J-Lo and Steven Tyler. While I admit that both of them are entertaining, they are not judges per say and that was obvious whenever I happened to catch the show.

However, I will grant them this: Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler are established musicians with a lot of success and talent. They know musical talent and it could be argued that they are capable of judging it. 

 The fact that they didn't do that most of the time is another issue. Randy Jackson has also been in the business for many years and worked with and produced the best. He knows musical talent and is very capable of judging it. The fact that he used the lame phrases "dawg" and his universal critism is that every bad singer was "pitchy" doesn't detract from the fact he does know better than most.

A few years ago in a ratings grab attempt Ellen DeGeneris was added. While Paula was a ditz and only a marginal musical talent in her heydey, at least she was a professional singer with some success.  She had been there and knew music. Ellen was a comedian, pure and simple and it showed in her judging, or lack of judging as the case may be. Since she now hawks Justin Beiber as the next great thing every chance she gets, I think my case is proved there.

All of which brings us to the point of this blog. Now that Tyler and J-Lo are leaving Idol, they are once again left with just Randy Jackson. So, in a lame attempt at getting ratings,  the judging position has been offered to Charlie Sheen. 

Charlie Sheen,  Really? Besides the fact that he is a marginal actor at best and a confirmed degenerate, the fact is he knows zero about music. I think if you are going to get a judge, even if they end up not being very good at it,  that person should have some musical ability and knowledge.
At this point, Charlie Sheen is just a sideshow freak that gets attention not for what he does creatively,  but for what he does outrageously away from the art he might participate in. He is tabloid fodder and that is it. He was very good on Two and A Half Men, but otherwise he has done very little in his career other than make tabloid headlines, be drunk, be stoned, be in rehab and have sex with hookers and whores. 

So, lets call this what it is. It is simply another way to get ratings and cover up the fact that the talent level of the contestants is so weak that show leans heavily on the personality of the judges. If they don't actually have judging ability, that doesn't seem to matter.
Now, not only do the contestants have little ability,  so do the judges.

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