When faux-hawks frustrate the 'Idol' system

by Jon Peter Lewis, posted Mar 28th 2007 1:19PM

Jon Peter LewisIt's amazing what a great set of songs will do for the show. I use the word "great" loosely since most of the songs sung on Idol were chart-toppers at one point or another. I suppose The Police, The Pretenders and The Cure are more the kind of thing that I'd go pay money to see in concert. So, for me, tonight was a good one. Thanks Gwen for having great taste in music.

Musical taste can't save some, though. Just when I thought what's-his-name was finally going away, once again he's found a way to set office break rooms a buzz with his faux-hawk worthy of the West Village on Halloween night --not that there's anything wrong with it. There's a future in freakiness -- just not in singing. Not for him anyway.

I feel bad for the guy in some ways. He so young and still formulating who he is. It's obvious that he feels almost as awkward performing as we do watching -- like he knows he has no business being on the stage. Then week in and week out, he faces increasingly harsh criticism from the media. Is it any wonder that he's morphing from awkwardly introverted to weirdly extroverted? The kid is cracking.

Still, it makes me laugh that he remains in the competition. There's a part of me that likes to see the system frustrated. So often you hear Simon saying something like, "This is a singing competition" or "We're here to find the best." Moments like last week's boot to Stephanie and tomorrow's likely boot to Chris R. show that idea to be painfully wrong.

I wish the show's element of the unexpected did more to shake Idol's lockdown on pop music, though. If anything the reverse is true. When you've got everyone talking about "that kid who can't sing but everyone still votes for," you're just drawing more people to the show to see what happens next. If it weren't a federal offense I'd think it was the show creators behind VFTW.

Now, if only the music were as unexpected as the results. Not even Gwen's song catalogue can do much for that. If Elvis were alive, I'm sure he'd be able to swing his hips on stage, but not if Idol we're set in the '50s. I'm also convinced AI would never have let The Who bash their instruments around like the Smothers Brothers, nor allow the Chili Peppers to perform in only socks. Well, no network TV would, I'm sure.

Maybe with Idol growing into more of a musical variety show than a competition, we might see more of that, but not from the contestants. Not with the kind of hold the show has over them. It's bad news for those budding stars, but great news for the celebrity guests. It's the perfect recipe for a shocking TV moment.

Jon Peter Lewis was a finalist on the third season of "American Idol." His newly released debut album, "Stories From Hollywood," is available everywhere online and can also be downloaded at americanidol.com. Visit Jon's Web site for more.

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Joan Fine

I could take this blog/article more seriously if JPLewis had any talent when he was on the show. He couldn't dance or sing, had no presentation and if Sanjaya is bad, JPLewis is worse.

March 29 2007 at 3:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i think that everyone should stop picking on SANJAYA, HALEY
should have been bumped off, she can't sing for nothing
her song true colors was horrible. The judges should have kept CHRIS SLIGH.

March 29 2007 at 11:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

TESSA, PLS stop watching idol!!
i am SURE you really matter in the idol universe,
you useless, irrelevant drop in the ocean!

you and JPL should start the has-been / never-were club!


March 29 2007 at 4:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Every week I watch Idol, ( I used to really like the show), now I just watch in despair to see when Sanjaya will be voted off! He definitely has "issues", I am not sure he is gender secure! That aside, he is wierd and the dude CANNOT sing!!!! When are the good people of this country tire of his foolishness???? Soon, I hope, otherwise, I will become a 'former' idol fan.
By the way, I think Simon is the only judge with 'a clue'! I happen to be a Simon fan.........

March 28 2007 at 10:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

chris got the shaft tonite...ALL the idols can sing better than sanjaya.....this is suppose to be about talented singers,not weird hairdos.........

March 28 2007 at 10:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought this show was about singing? Not a stupid so called fashion show . The sa called Sanjaya kid SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!! Lets get back to the best part SING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

March 28 2007 at 9:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Thank you Jon for writing these blogs it's good hear your take on things as someone who was there as a former contestant. Cheers

March 28 2007 at 5:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought Phil did a good job on the Police song just thought I should mention that. I think a lot of people like to see the system frustrated as you say.It's kinda fun. I don't think Sanjaya is nearly as weird as he's made out to be. His hair stylist for last night on the other hand should be shot for sending him out like that.

March 28 2007 at 4:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

As always, your reflections captures a side of Idol I either hadn't thought about or which I subscribe. And very well written, compared to other Idol alumni bloggers. I always recommend your blog (and CD) to fellow Idol fans as I am loyal Jon fan. Best wishes and God bless.

March 28 2007 at 4:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kat Okon

I don't think "that one kid" is stupid or talent less. He is just very lacking as far as talent is concerned. He has to know that over all he has been this years longest running joke. I think he bombed
last night on purpose. Like saying "Can't you guys see I suck???"

If not then I really DON'T like the kid. Because otherwise he was saying "Look what I can do and still be voted to stay on this stage."

I have to ask the parents out there, What are you thinking letting your little teen girls watch this other child? For one thing, he is SO proud of himself for getting a GED! Not something I want my son to think is the standard and since I am the one that makes the money to buy the CDs... Well as parents that would mean 'What you say goes.'

As far as Idol being a "singing competition," the way I see it, there are artists from years back that we know to this day because of one or more of three things. The song(s) that made them famous, they can/could sing or they were natural born performers. Those that will be remembered after centuries have gone by will be able to do all three.


I almost forgot to tell you.

I love this new picture of you JP. =D I also preferred last night's music over the choices they have had the last couple of weeks.

March 28 2007 at 4:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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