The Five: Reasons I'll watch American Idol

by Anna Johns, posted Jan 17th 2006 9:32AM
aiAs I mentioned yesterday, I have a love-hate relationship with American Idol. I hate Ryan Seacrest, product placement, crappy singers, and the cruelty of the whole thing. I bitch and moan about the show and roll my eyes, yet I can't turn away. I MUST WATCH AMERICAN IDOL. So, to follow up yesterday's post, here are The Five: Reasons I'll watch American Idol (even though it pisses me off):
5. Simon. While I think some of the aspects of this show are cruel, I dig Simon. Sometimes I swear Paula and Randy are deaf. I know that, when I'm at home berating someone's performance, Simon is going to say something that will perfectly sum it up. He won't sugar-coat it. And I like that. Yes, it's being mean for the sake of being mean, which totally contradicts my contention that the show is cruel. And that, my friends, sums up my love-hate relationship with AI. I hate the cruelty. But I love it.

4. The auditions.  I love to judge people. It makes me feel better about myself when I can laugh at a person who truly thinks he or she is a superstar and they really, really suck. No need to tell me so in comments, I am well aware that I am a very bad person.

3. Emotional attachment. They suck me in. During season two, I was a huge Clay Aiken fan (not so much anymore). I loved to watch him grow and improve with each performance. And, who didn't cry when Kelly Clarkson had to sing that "One Moment" song? I love that chick. The emotional attachment is probably why I hate to watch the results show because I can't take the pressure!

2. Watercooler chat. So many people watch this show that, when I miss an episode, I feel like I've missed out on some major event in Americana.

1. Bo Bice.  Ok, I'm not watching specifically for Bo Bice, I am watching for the great, undiscovered talent that can't help but stand out in the competition. People like Bo Bice, Clay Aiken, Kelly Clarkson, Fantasia Barrino, Carrie Underwood and Ruben Studdard would never, ever get a fat recording contract because they don't "fit the mold".

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Dee

Our family has not missed an AI show since the second season when Clay Aiken first sang. He is still our favorite- all time, but we keep watching so our favorite list can grow. Wish they would not spend so much time on the no talents and let us hear more from the truely talented kids. They are the ones that deserve more airtime.
Please do try to get to a Clay concert. He is a great showman and his shows are something you can take your kids, your parents, and your minister too! How many entertainers can you say that about?
Thanks for your articles - keep watching, at the end of the competition you will be glad you did! January 25,2006 Dee

January 26 2006 at 12:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mike

Idol at its best, is what reality TV should be about; talented people overcoming their fears & their lack of formal training and rising above it all to emerge as potential stars for years to come. Without a doubt, Clay Aiken's complete transformation from being a really quiet, shy, nerdy guy with a great voice, to a truly great performer with a great voice, is the stuff that makes us want to watch. Clay (like his style or hate it) has got one of the most pure and incredible voices I've ever heard. The biggest black mark on the 1st four seasons is that Clay completely dominated Ruben and everyone else & yet got 2nd (Ruben won 1 or two weeks and Kimberly won 1 or two & Clay won all the rest). I think Kimberly Locke (3rd place) has considerably more talent and marketability than Ruben, but it was clear from fairly early in the competition that Ryan & Randy were over-promoting Ruben with the "Ruuuben" chants. It was heartfelt & even accurate a couple of times but most of it was over the top.
At its worst, Idol is a trashy and sensationalistic bunch of garbage. The auditions could be so much better television than what they are, by allowing us to watch more of the people who nearly made it to Hollywood. Watching the judges berate or laugh at talentless contestants is just childish.
Last year was a great year because of Carrie & Bo. It was a nice contrast. Bo the consumate performer and a great human being, against the shy country girl with a ton of raw talent (and another great person).
Possibly the best performance ever on Idol was Fantasia's 'Summertime' performance, and the best copy (& one of the most right-on performances ever) was Costantine's Queen imitation. Bo has been the best performer so far and I agree with Simon's ridiculously improper & premature assessment that Carrie will outsell them all (well maybe not more than Kelly but the jury is still out). I don't like Kelly's singing as much but she seems to be the most professional & clearly the most driven of them all (& her song writing may help her become the biggest ever).
All I've got to say about Simon is that it is a good thing he's so honest & wise about talent, because he is one of the most obnoxious & classless people American TV has ever seen "But I'm not trying to be rude".

January 25 2006 at 9:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Emily

Tuesday night was the most fun I have had watching TV in a long time. I only started watching AI last year after the auditions. I can't believe I have been missing this! I wouldn't care if they never showed the competition - the auditions are the best.

I can't decide which I find the most humorous; the male Judy Garland wanna bes or the people that storm out of the audition hall declaring that "those people just don't recognize talent." Yeah, sure...two music producers and a commercially successful singer/dancer don't know squat because your momma said you could sing real good. Priceless!

If you think Simon Cowell is bad then you will probably think those of us in the AI chat room are evil. Simon couldn't hold a candle to the funny, rude and irreverant comments that were flying around.

Denver was mild compared to Chicago in the freak department. I fear NC will be boring too. They need to go to New York, LA, Atlanta and Dallas to capitalize on the best weirdos our country has to offer. Bring 'em on!

January 19 2006 at 1:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Meghan

Interesting thoughts on why you watch AI. I tend to agree. I do like Simon telling it like it is though he can be a bit too caustic for my taste. Your #1 reason is right on. There is so much undiscovered talent out there, it is nice that these artists get a chance to shine. It does not surprise me that a few Claymates have posted their disdain for what you said. I was a huge Clay fan myself and though I still follow his career, I also enjoy the other Idols. The Claymates in this thread attacking this blogger are precisely why I backed away from his fandom.

January 19 2006 at 12:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ruth

I guess I'm opposite to some of you. I love the auditions. After that I get bored. I'll watch it now and again but it's not compulsive for me. IMO there have only been two standouts. Clay singing - well anything - and Bo singing that acapella number towards the end of the series.The rest are all just OK.

January 19 2006 at 11:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gladys Leeper

I loved Rochelle Elaine---- We want to see more of her. She has alot of talent and will represent you well.

January 19 2006 at 9:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Withheld to protect the identity of the innocent

Yeah, I was a huge AI Clay fan. I have seen him in concert 10 times, I'm embarassed to admit now. I spent a lot of money on a guy who has more interest in being a humanitarian than a musician. Lordy, I'm asking for hate mail for that. Thankfully my e-mail remains anonymous...right?

At any rate, he should spend more time focusing on becoming an artist and not some guy who uses singing as a means to an end. I respect him for the charity work he's done, but I don't feel like he has the same passion for music. If this is the case, he's made enough money now he can quit torturing me with mediocre albums which don't showcase his voice and spend his time hanging with the Dahli Lama.

January 18 2006 at 1:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
g. holton

AI is fun entertainment---our family gets involved over the phone during commercials. We all agree that the early shows[those before the real talent start competing] are a wastee of time and none of us has been as enthused as we were during AI 2. Clay Aiken was the reason for our enthusiastic response.

January 18 2006 at 12:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tammy

Love that article. Dead on. And Grace, I hear you-it will definitely never be the same without Bo. No one else will ever come close!

January 18 2006 at 12:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Christa

I love the passion American Idol inspires from everyday people. Kelly, Clay, Carrie & Bo fans are really amazing! Their voices bring us Beautiful music. That's what's also wonderful about American Idol, they are bringing the viewing public, singers who can actually sing! Not some madeup blond who's daddy runs her publicity and they make her sound okay in the editing room. I'm so tired of people who can't sing, getting radio time or grammy nods. I'm also tired of bowing down to rap.
We should be happy that Idol is bringing us this singing talent. I think the fans are so amazing!
In my opinion: Year two had the best top 12. AI2 Almost everyone could be a star that year.
They also had to dance and do group numbers each week.
Last year was the second best year of Idol. The talent was diverse and Carrie and Bo could both really sing.
The only problem I had with this top was they couldn't
harmonize together. They could sing alone but not together.
Year 1 would be my third choice. There just weren't that many great singers in year one.
And year 3 to me was terrible!!!
My hope is that instead of fan groups fighting each other, they will work together to make all the idols famous. Then it would be idol fan groups taking on the record industry. This is the industry that gives us the cookie cutter singers. Hopefully, we can keep all great music and let the idols with their amazing voices
conquer the charts. Work together people and make the American Idols the hottest Singing stars.


January 18 2006 at 12:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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