Legendary country singer and flotation device Dolly Parton recently declined an invitation to act as guest judge on FOX’s American Idol. The reason? She’s too nice. American Idol will apparently be producing an episode next season that will pay tribute to the music of Dolly Parton. She was asked by FOX to help judge the singers on this episode, but Parton politely declined. Dolly said, “I won’t be a judge. I couldn’t do that. I can’t tell people they aren’t doing a good job even if they ask me. To tell someone if they’re good or bad, or if they suck isn’t me.”
At first glance, that kind of seems like a fake quote. Dolly Parton doesn’t seem like the kind of lady who would use the word ‘suck’. Anyway, there’s a couple of issues this situation brings up. One, hasn’t Dolly Parton been known as a lady who doesn’t pull any punches, is brash and tells the truth? Why is she so against hurting people’s feelings? And, second, does Dolly Parton have enough songs to fit a whole tribute episode? Would American Idol stop stifling the contestants by forcing them to pick from a stupidly narrow spectrum of songs?
I don’t necessarily believe that Parton is all that reticent to drop the verbal hammer on Idol contestants. I’d bet that she just didn’t want to deal with the hassle of judging and since she had to give some reason for declining FOX’s offer, she chose the “I’m too nice” route. Can’t blame her. For the record, I don’t think she’s too nice to play judge on Idol. Look at Paula Abdul. She’s nice to everyone. It makes her look stupid, but still.
There is exactly one (1) song by Dolly Parton that I know (“Jolene”) and that’s because The White Stripes covered it. Needless to say, I’m not looking forward to American Idol’s Dolly Parton episode next year. I know that Dolly has led a long and prolific career, but I would venture that almost all of America’s youth is oblivious to her discography. Stop this, American Idol. The celebrity guests/tributes are really, really unnecessary. Give the contestants a big pool of songs to choose from. Everyone will be happier and the singing will be better. It’s an easy, simple fix that needs to be made. Step it up, FOX.
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of LATimes)