Wednesday, April 16, 2008

When Idol Becomes Hazardous To Your Health

I have to say that last night’s show was the most excruciating episode of “American Idol” I’ve seen.

To be up front about it, I can’t stand Mariah Carey's music. In fact, I’ll take it a step further than that – I think Mariah Carey's body of work is the perfect representation of what has gone wrong with American music in the past twenty years. But having said that, there is one thing she does very well – what I would call “vocal acrobatics.” That is not to be confused with “singing,” but it has spawned an entire generation of stars, near-stars and outright duds who don’t do it as well as she does.

I will also note that she was very good working with the contestants, going to much greater effort than many previous “mentors.” She deserves much praise for that.

But what was going through the minds of the producers? How many times have the judges chastised contestants for trying to do Mariah and Whitney songs? And then they devote an entire night to Mariah songs? Whatever.

And please – “Without You” is not Mariah Carey song. As most people over the age of 40 will remember, “Without You” is a Harry Nilsson song. And he actually SANG it, and it actually went to #1 on the Billboard charts in 1972, something which Mariah has inexplicably done more times than Elvis Presley. Did Harry get mentioned once last night? Of course not. Because this show isn’t about art or craftsmanship.

And boy, Carly – I may have picked you to win the whole thing, but what a horrendous, awful performance. I hope to see you around next week, but if not, it's been nice knowin’ ya.

Is there really any reason to keep on watching? Is there any doubt that one of the two Davids is going to win this thing?

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