An ode to Idol from San Antonio

by Jon Peter Lewis, posted Feb 7th 2007 10:42AM
Jon Peter LewisAll day, I've been excited to write about tonight being the last audition episode, so imagine my disappointment at finding out I have another night of this stuff to endure. I'm done. I see through you Ryan Seacrest! Don't think you've got me fooled with words like "exciting," "new" and "special."

You could just say, "stretching," "for" and "programming." Still, I did see some exciting moments, glimpses of humanity and heartlessness from the judges, plasticine princesses and the end of the "door" joke in tonight's stop in San Antonio. It was all the things I love and hate about Idol.

I finally heard a voice I was into -- from an unlikely person. When they started the segment on Bruce Banner and the Incredible Hulk, I was sure it was a joke. Who wouldn't think that after all the odd couples they've thrown together over the season? I was even more convinced after the Incredible Hulk sang "Amazing Grace" like the love child of Barry White and William Hung.

But when Bruce Banner, or whatever his name was, started singing I thought, wow. He started off a little shaky but had a really cool, unique voice. Finally, man! I hope he does well, even if he is goofy. So, hugs, love, xoxoxo, OMG and that crap to you, buddy.

I was a little surprised at the judges tonight. For having next to no sleep, Simon seemed pretty chipper. All of them seemed upbeat, actually. So happy, I guess, that it was hard for them to stop laughing at people when they shouldn't. It was pretty rude they way they snickered at Jasmine Holland as she started singing. It's true, she shouldn't pursue a career in music, but for the first time I was actually nodding my head while someone was mouthing off to the judges.

Every episode, they've shown clips of that stupid door and the even more stupid people running into it. Finally, I saw an end to it. It wasn't that funny really -- mostly annoying. I kind of wish I'd seen Baylie Brown hit the door full steam like everyone else, though. I know, I'm supposed to like the hot girl who claims she's not a country singer and chooses to audition with a Faith Hill song, but the fact the she's everything the record labels look for makes me want to see her crash and burn immediately.

I guess I'm tired of people trying to recreate something that should be spontaneous. In this case, I don't want to see someone who's studied magazines and has cultivated a look that is identical to so many others I've seen before. Poor, poor girl... She says she'll fit right in in Hollywood and she's probably right, but at 16, I wish she knew what she was getting herself into. She'll be 45 by age 20, wearing her hips on her lips and making a semi-annual pilgrimage to the best rehab centers that money can buy.

Thanks, Idol, for helping people find what they want in life -- even if it is fleeting and unfulfilling for some. But, that's what I like about you. Making dreams come true. The exposure and success is what you make of it, I suppose. I wish you didn't spoon feed me a formula that was cool the first time but every time after that is tired and an insult to my intelligence. I hate that. There's got to be a better way.

[Jon Peter Lewis was a contestant on the third season of "American Idol." He has just released his debut album, "Stories From Hollywood." Visit his Web site, jonpeterlewis.com.]

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Samantha

I love how you qouted one of your own songs to get the message about plastic surgery in Hollywood across. Nice Touch;-)
And for not doting on that Bailey character- Go You! Way to stick it to da Man, and the System. Who needs to Idol-ize someone who thinks they're too good for horses??

Good Blogging.

February 10 2007 at 11:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
artslvr

Jon, this was your best blog so far. It's funny as all get out, yet the tone still shows compassion for the people involved and an awareness of the audience reading your blog. I too felt very sorry for the poor girl who seems to have sold her soul to Hollywood. She seems to be in it for the fame, not for the sake of the music. How can that approach produce anything lasting and worthwhile?

Your comments make clear what kind of music you stand for--honest, genuine, unique, rich, and intelligent. I wish more of these contestants had both your solid foundations and vision.

When you declared, "There's got to be a better way," it made me wish that you could be part of the solution somehow. For instance, though I don't particularly savor the prospect of you re-entering the belly of the beast, you would make an excellent guest judge for the show. But what I actually would love to see is this--maybe you could design the better way and take it to some smarter-than-average tv exec who would see the merits of breaking the formula. You could be the Seinfeld of music! Now that would be fun . . . as long as it didn't cut into your ability to give greedy me more of your music.

And finally, it makes me laugh that you called this an ode, which is a form of verse that usually praises some lofty subject. Your irony makes AI's artistic deficiencies all the more clear. Well done.

February 09 2007 at 1:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kat Okon

You are so weird it's cool. I liked the same guy you did. But then again any man with a half decent voice that sings "Let's Get It On" gets me going... It is sad what that song does to me and I even wanted to ask you to sing it. Then I thought better not.

Wow JP! That is love for the hot girl. So exactly how many people do you want to see run full speed into a locked door? =o Before you bust out your undoubtedly long list "Mr. Heart Throb of Season 3" imself, just think, she's hot, young and dumb. She is more then just a record label favorite, she is every straight man's dream come true. Yes I liked her, so back off! =P
I'm only too sure you'll see that last remark as affirmation of the influences at work when it comes to imposing its opinion on what we want. To be honest, I have work in marketing for years. Everyone preaches how they want something new and different "out of the norm", but when we try and give people just that, it is rejected time and time again. Here is the only fix to this persistent problem, when it comes out, BUY IT! Either that or wait until everything in this world becomes free and you now longer have to pay 3 mortgages to own nice things. Ok rant done.
As for everything else you said, I agree with you. I love watching American Idol. I do not have to watch this part of the season but I do anyway. I don't even love the Hollywood round but I still watch it because it is my "Can't miss show of the year". I just like to vote for the best singers. Too bad I couldn't have gotten into "Bones" or "Lost", oh well.

February 07 2007 at 5:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
William

I have difficulty with the criticisms on this show, especially Simon, one who in my opinion, is living proof his mother should have been required to take birth control pills. He is certainly a no class act, using personal jabs to the contestants, when he should access their ability. Unfortunately I think he can only make personal jabs. That is why I made the one I made earlier. So he may feel the heat if he reads this response.

February 07 2007 at 12:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
\"Gidget\"

As always, you say it like it is and make me laugh in the process. Your take on blondie was right on and hilarious, yet sad. LOVE LOVE LOVE your blogs jon!

Oh and I agree...I think the "Hulk" was the "warm up" for Bruce Banner. He was definitely the comic relief before the good stuff. Nice set up by those two by the way. Props to them.

February 07 2007 at 11:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Denise in Louisiana

Well, I kinda knew the Hulk wouldn't be great, but I had no idea his cousin would be so good.

I'm glad tonight will be the final night of the garbage.

I still think the little girl with the crazy facial expressions should not have been let through. It's a habit that she's not going to be able to break so easily, and I found myself making horrible facial expressions with her while she was singing. I think the judges were right the first time, the expressions do take away from the singing, but who knows she may suprise me.

Further back, Sean Michel-GOOD for you. Don't back down off that beard and hair. This is America we live in, the land of the free. AI wants unique, so they say, and you just don't get much more unique than Sean Michel. He has a unique voice and a unique look, he gave them everything they asked for and now they disqualify him??????? I have a feeling he'll be getting some calls from some record labels, and I hope he blows this years winner slap off the charts!!!! It'll serve Idol right. I am absolutely furious over this issue. America is supposed to decide if he's our "IDOL" Nobody asked Bo Bice to cut his hair. And look at Clay Aiken, he looks like a rat on crack. Fantasia, with her bucked out gapped teeth, sounding like fingernails on a chalkboard when she sings. For that matter look at Marilyn Manson, OMG dude is way out there, but he's got a fan base that is unbelievable and undeniable. All of these artists I have mentioned have a huge fan base, whether you and I like them or not. Sean Michel could have gone far in this competetion and it's a shame that because you look a little different, you are robbed of that opportunity. Shame on Idol!!!!!!!!!!!!!

February 07 2007 at 11:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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