Thursday, January 25, 2007

He American Idoled Through the Windshield at 90 mph

For the first time in its six(?) glorious seasons, I watched the television juggernaut that is American Idol this week. I use the term watched loosely here, because while I might have been watching when it first started, I was reduced to staring incredulously by the end of the hour. Only one comparison comes to mind – rubbernecking by a horrifyingly bad auto accident.

Really. Truly. Do those people honestly believe that they can sing? Shame on their parents who encouraged them to go ahead and make fools of themselves on national television. Or should I say thank-you? A chorus of boos goes out to the friends who quietly turned their heads away to laugh or cringe whenever these poor kids started the karaoke machine. Or should I give them a hearty pat on the back?

My confusion is thus: The youth of America grow collectively more asinine by the second during this show, and yet, I couldn’t look away. Throughout the screeching, the moaning, the vocal quavering using grossly over-strained neck muscles, I found myself drawn in like maggots to rotting meat.

When you see the red and blue lights flashing up the road, you are instinctively drawn closer to see what happened. Traffic slows to a crawl as people crane their necks around the rescue vehicles, striving to see a pile of broken glass, a crushed front end, or maybe even an entrail or two. And then, after you’ve passed by, a little shiver goes down your spine and you think, “There but for the Grace of God . . .”

What if your parents told you year after year that you were the greatest singer they had ever heard? What if your friends encouraged you to perform in public every time you went out for drinks? What if you were injured at the local mall and, while moaning in pain as the EMT resets your tibia, a Hollywood producer gives you his card and says you have wonderful tone to your cries and would you please try out for American Idol? We are all just a few kind words away from making complete fools of ourselves.

That thought didn’t seem stop me from taking pleasure at the ineptitude of others.

I don’t really care about the actual competition. I don’t think any of the American Idols are good singers, so why would I care who wins this time. It takes years and years of proper vocal training to become a good singer. These idiots, especially the guys, have no clue. Most boys don’t achieve their full adult vocal tone until they are in high school. That means that some of the guys trying out have only really been singing for five years. Ha!

But I digress. The simple fact was that these auditions are scary and awful and hilarious and excruciating and painful and disgustingly amusing to watch.

I must stay away.