As most of you know, I have, over the course of the last few weeks, started a new job and moved to Washington, DC. You would think I’d have a lot more to blog about than tonight’s episode of American Idol. You would think that.
This was only the second installment of the new, “rebooted” version I’ve caught, and it left me wondering if either (a) they should have been doing this all along or (b) tonight’s batch of Austinites was a freakish outlier of auditioners. If it’s (a), then the producers can be accused of brutally misleading and deceptive editing (that still really worked). If not, then tonight’s show included no fewer than four people who initially came off as being complete asses (and, in previous years, were being set up for a merciless beratement from Simon) only to open their mouths and suddenly become brilliant.
The first was a 17-year-old piece of jailbait named Courtney, the type of girl more often visualized in the works of Nabokov or Proust than actually viewed in reality. In years past, her idolatry (as it were) of Ryan Seacrest — not to mention her completely brilliant, irony-free Chicken Dance –would have led into a disastrous audition. Instead, she nailed her song, told Randy (who voted against her) he was still her boy, and was congratulated by her family, including her even hotter sister. I liked her.
Next we had a young couple named Nick and Jacqueline, (initially presented as being) annoying as much for their good looks as for their complete into-each-other-ness. They even consented to be filmed doing such ridiculous stunts as the iconic “boat scene” from Titanic and the old “spinning and laughing in a field” shot. Then, they, too, went in and absolutely kicked ass — both of them (setting us up for the inevitable One-Will-Make-It-And-The-Other-Won’t scenario). And as if that weren’t bad enough, we had a shot of the guy with tears absolutely pouring down his face; things got suddenly dusty in the living room of my new, subpar apartment.
But the producers were saving their biggest rug (to pull out from under us) for the last kid, a 19-year old who came across as an autistic Seth Rogen and was told (by the FOX interviewer) that he more resembled a Fraggle Rock character (Zing!). The fact that he toted around a melodica wasn’t helping. And yet he, too, could absolutely blow, Dawg, flame-throwing some Ray Charles number and sending us hard-cores rewinding our DVR’s.
So… deceptive editing? Or just a randomly dense pack of “weird but talented” auditioners? You tell me.
– They split one audition (the blonde girl who was crying uncontrollably) over two segments to further tease us. That’s a new tactic, right?
– It was nice for the other big tear-jerker (the “real cowboy”) to wear the same lime green shirt in his “home with the family” package as he did at his audition.
– One guy’s job was “Cook at Baseball Stadium.” Not just “Cook.”
– Whoever that dude was who sang “Rusty Cage” by Soundgarden, you fucking rule.
– Two commercials had great singing as well: (1) The Dodge spot with the Ting Tings and (2) Taco Bell’s commercial for their new Quad Burrito, featuring an overzealous lounge singer crooning couplets such as “We all say WOW/ That’s, like, a hunk of cow.”