After last week's travesty, I kept my vow not to watch American Idol ever again. Technorati seemed on fire with a million bloggers also saying they were never watch the show again, that Chris getting voted off was ridiculous, etc. One of my co-workers, a formerly huge fan of the show, said he too was giving up on it.
I will admit that I would have made an exception had the finale come down to Taylor and Elliot. Yeah. Taylor and Elliot. Could someone tell me what rational universe I think I'm living in?
Tonight at 10:03 Eastern, I started checking for American Idol results. SHEESH! Then I called one of my oldest and best friends to talk about the results, but the show had just begun in Steve's time zone. I find it more than strange that the show wasn't being broadcast live in the Mountain Time Zone, or at least Utah. Steve was just as disappointed as I was to see Katherine survive another week.
If it already hadn't, AI "jumped the shark" when Chris Daughtry got voted off. That was just...unforgivable. At that point, it was evident that the show has become a farce, pure and simple. Tonight was nothing more than reinforcement.
My co-worker wanted Taylor gone weeks ago, but ever since I started watching (Rod Stewart), I've really enjoyed Taylor for his versatility, style and sheer fun value. I think any two out of Taylor, Chris, Elliot and Paris deserved to make it to the end. Katharine? No way. For heaven's sake, she forgot the words two weeks in a row! But it's even worse. As I said last week, she screeches through every song to make her range appear greater than it really is. She has no excuse for that too-frequent guttural tonal quality, particularly since her mother is a vocal coach. If those notes were in her real range, she'd be hitting them with purity and clarity.
Linda Stasi of the New York Post had a simple plea on Monday: "PLEASE, NOT MCPHEE." And I think she's right. Elliot was guilty of this a time or two, but Katherine couldn't stop staring into the current camera. Paris, Chris and Taylor, by contrast, just got out there and sang.
Conservative columnist John Podhoretz had a superb editorial in New York Post last Friday. He discussed why Chris got voted off, which after skimming I initially deemed pointless and a waste of his talents. Then I read it again and realized how insightful Podhoretz is. It has everything to do with American voting patterns, and I'll wager that the man understands the political economy of voting better than most poli sci professors. However, Podhoretz was sadly incorrect to predict Elliot would win in the end.
His piece attracted a bit of criticism from readers. One blamed Chris' lack of support on home viewers' laziness, but that would have had to affect more of his supporters than the others. There's no evidence supporting that; Podhoretz's explanation of appeal is more credible. Another letter said, "It's all a bunch of nonsense and not worth writing about by a person of Podhoretz's level of intellect." That's what I thought at first, but Podhoretz gave us an important political lesson. Sometimes Americans can't understand how things work until they're put in more familiar terms.
One reader wrote that Podhoretz's "major flaw" was ignoring that one reader can vote multiple times. "In the political arena, it's one man, one vote." First, is she really naïve enough to believe that? Maybe, since she's from Houston, not Chicago. Second, the phone lines are busy enough that even if someone were capable of voting 100 times (a more realistic number), he'd have tied up the lines and deprived 99 others of voting for the same person. In other words, because there is a practical maximum number of votes, the end result would be the same. Multiple text messages could definitely "stuff the ballot box," but so few people would resort to that.
Another letter said that Chris "looked as if he was either staring off into space or reading cue cards," which "turned off his fan base - a sure way to lose any election." I disagree. From the start, I thought Chris has a real rock star presence on stage, especially in the way he grips his microphone and then goes down to work the audience. I think Chris has a long and great career in front of him, and I was so happy to hear that he'll be Fuel's new lead singer. I'm not really into grunge, but I will definitel buy that album. Chris deserves no less than the album going platinum on the first day.
The final letter that was printed accused the show of being "fixed": "I firmly believe the executives on the show were determined that three male finalists would be bad for mass-market ratings." Point well taken.