Posted by Tony Guerrero

I'm conflicted by American Idol. The 'cool musician' in me thinks its a travesty, and yet I watch it every week. The 'paying your dues' part of me believes that stars shouldn't come from cheezy talent shows like this. But then again, many past greats (Ella Fitzgerald & Billie Holiday for example) were discovered at talent shows just like this (albeit it much simpler versions). I see contestants on there who I know are nowhere even close to being among "the nation's top 24" singers, as they are introduced, especially when people I know who showed up to audition and outsing the heck out of many of the contestants never made it past the 'stadium'. But then, the show has churned out some truly talented artists - who can deny Chris Daughtry or Carrie Underwood or Jennifer Hudson or Kelly Clarkson or...? And while I tend to agree with Simon about 99% of the time and appreciate his honesty (which I believe is the only real helpful advice the contestants get), I find myself grateful that Paula is there because I feel so bad for these kids - even though her comments are useless, she shows them some sympathy. I'm confused by the show's (and the judges') insistence that the singers show constant variety (50's, 60's, 70's, 80's, Beatles, Rock, Country, etc) when once these singers get signed the industry will not care a lick about their ability (or lack thereof) to cross boundaries and will pigeonhole them into the one style that can hopefully be marketed.

I must admit, I do see more actual 'artists' in this season than in previous runs. Maybe the worst part is that these days, with the industry as bad as it is, even talented artists have resigned themselves that opportunities like this are all that's left. (Although I do believe we have only scratched the surface of what the internet has made possible to artists.)

Maybe I'm just jealous they don't have a flugelhorn player's category. Although I have no doubt Simon would hate me.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 12, 2008 at Wednesday, March 12, 2008 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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