Judging ‘American Idol’

Man alive! My comments on “American Idol” opened the floodgates.

Whether they were thoughts on the lousy vocalists, the mean-spirited judges, the delusion of talent, the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat, subscribers expressed their eye-opening and wide-ranging opinions.

If you missed the Buzz Factor issue that started it all, read it online here: http://www.bob-baker.com/buzz/zine/012303.html

Now let’s dive into those responses. First off, Amit K actually auditioned for “American Idol” in Austin:

“Since I was number 1,200 or so, I didn’t even get to sing for the judges. I was turned away by a producer but heard some of the others they chose to return for the last day of auditions. Those kids were dreadful and delusional about their goals. They thought ‘American Idol’ was their one-stop shop to fame.

“I just get mad when I watch the show because I spent the night in the cold among tons of teeny bopper kids who thought they would be the next star; hearing parents egging on their daughter to hike up that skirt or put on some more makeup. At least I learned my lesson about going to those things.”

Darci Monet (http://www.darcimonet.com) had her own inside scoop:

“Simon Fuller is looking strictly for ‘good television.’ He announced to a room of hopefuls here in Los Angeles (a friend of mine was there), ‘If you stink you have a better chance of getting into that room with all three judges than if you’re good because MY job is to get ratings and THEIR job is to find the next idol.’

“There were several audition rounds before they even reached Mr. Fuller, let alone ‘the big three.’ So I’m sure quite a few terrible people were passed along to several callbacks who thought they were chosen because they were talented, when in reality they were simply ‘good TV.’

“I find it pretty despicable, honestly, to make spectacles out of people who don’t seem to know any better. Sometimes it seems ‘American Idol’ is nothing more than a televised version of the school bully beating up the school geek while the whole class watches. And I’m part of the class — still watching, doing nothing. It is after all, ‘good television,’ isn’t it?

Diana Tyler (http://www.dianatyler.com) had some thoughts on doubt vs. confidence:

“You echoed my speech to my husband the other night as we sat watching that horribly fascinating show. Like you, I bemoaned the fact that many shy, yet wonderful, musicians/ singers tend to doubt themselves too much and give up; while, too often, the truly untalented are the ones who embrace the ‘don’t let anyone step on your dreams’ philosophy. I was once again smacked in the face by that confounding truism: The smaller the talent, the larger the confidence.

“Yes, I am embarrassed to admit that I was glued to the TV. But still, I have to applaud the courage of those hopefuls. I would not stand before the very scary ‘Simon et al. to await their judgment.”

Chris Morrow chimed with a perspective on criticism:

“First, I think that being positive is the most important thing to bring to any labor of love, but criticism is important for anybody who wants to improve and take that labor to the highest levels in quality. Good criticism helps the artist realize their weak spots and shows what needs improvement.

“However, for any amateur who doesn’t want to improve, any criticism is taken as a knock on them personally. Some of the contestants don’t really want to put in the effort to improve or believe that they need to. That’s their problem and I would be asking why they want to pursue a professional career by auditioning if they don’t want to get their act together. If they want to be pro, they should have already accepted some ground rules that all professionals deal with everyday.

“Most of the bad contestants have ego hang-ups. These hang- ups keep them from seeing themselves for what they really are while denying any negative feedback. The drama these hang-ups cause also happens to make for some great television.”

Jamie Wearing had an opinion on the “vocalists”:

“I don’t mean to sound mean, but some of those singers are more nasty than sipping on week-old beer with cigarette butts in it. I sure hope I don’t have that same vision about myself.”

Read six more great “American Idol” observations at:

Thanks to everyone who took the time to respond. Next time, I’ll try to make every comment available online. Have a great week!


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