Monday, May 18, 2009

Media Friday - An American Idol Disgrace


Yes, I know it isn't Friday, but seeing as it is the long weekend, I hope you'll forgive my tardiness this week. This season of American Idol has probably been my favourite, and the final three contestants are terrific singers and seem like genuinely good people. This past week also marked my favourite episode of the year, the Homecoming. While I think it's a bit insane that so many people turn out to see these young performers, its always a treat to watch their responses, especially with their respective families.

A few notes about last week's shows. First, the GOOD:

Homecoming: Very moving watching Chris interact with his family, especially his dad. I've been impressed by Chris this year, more his humility than his talent. Here's hoping he remembers that even as his adoring young fans propel him to stardom. It was interesting watching Danny's homecoming, and as he said later, it was bittersweet. (Remember, he lost his wife just last year.) More on danny a bit later. As for Adam, it was weird, because the family homecoming wasn't really there. Adam's been performing for years, and there seemed to be a disconnect between his homecoming and the other ones. I went online to try and find some answers, and all i could gather was that somehow his sexuality seems to be involved. (Would American Idol show him going home to his boyfriend on homecoming day? No, I don't think so either.) Still, that bit with him and the kids at the MET seemed like it meant quite a bit to him.

Results: I think the results were about right. Danny's a brilliant vocalist, but Chris's rendition of Heartless was just too good, along with his "cute/humble" attraction. Adam is a star. Period.

Tears: I have to admit my eyes started clogging up as Danny sang for the last time. I was sitting with Bethany, wondering what would be going through my head if I lost her, knowing that the amazing journey propelled by my wife was coming to an end. Touching moment that should make all of us appreciate our loved ones.

The BAD:

Anyone who follows this blog knows that my fiance, Bethany, grew up in Africa, so I usually turn to her when it comes to things like having that Rwandan teenager perform for Idol Gives Back. Let's be straight, that was a total disgrace. It was racist, plain and simple. "Everyone text five dollars. See, we have a monkey to perform for you." (Racism intended.) I get tired of hearing people say that Africans need the money, so what diffference does it make. Those of you who say that are acting like nobility does towards peasants.

First of all, Africa is not a country! And American Idol, a billion dollar behemoth, is not simply being generous. They use the "good will" to further their own reputation. People say that I am cynical. Really? What on the show IS NOT A COMMERCIAL? The whole show is a commercial. Yes, it's well done, and yes, I enjoy it, but don't be blind to the advertising dollars it gets even from programs such as "Idol Gives Back". This idea that we have more money and they need it doesn't wash with human dignity. If you wanted someone to perform from Rwanda, then get a seasoned performer who is actually good. That would show respect, instead of just getting some kid to bounce around with twenty back up singers. It amazes me how we think we are so superior simply because we have money. That was perhaps the worst moment in American Idol history, made more so because most people (all of whom will be white) will shrug their shoulders and say things like, "Well, we're giving them money, what's the big deal."

"Great. Thanks 'mas'ser. Drop a quarter in my hat, won't you? Maybe one day I'll be rich and noble like you. Oh wait, that probably won't happen, since Western Europe raped our continent. Guess we'll just have to eke out a living on the "Dark Continent" and pray for you Americans to save us, espcially since we can't seem to stop having sex with everyone and spreading AIDS."

-Sorry. Just threw up in my mouth.

Other Media:

Still haven't seen the latest Star Trek. Wedding plans have picked up, but next week I promise I'll review at least one movie.

-Steve