During the final audition of last night’s Miami auditions for American Idol, Simon Cowell was so disgusted he got up and walked out. The performer was Brandon Black, a man who reeked of desperation to be on TV, putting on some awful comedy schtick and then singing as poorly as he could.
Certainly there’s a place on this show for people who are just trying to be on TV, but after seven years, it’s grown a bit tired. It’s not enough to just be a bad singer or to act like a buffoon. My biggest problem with Brandon Black wasn’t that he sucked (which he did), it was that he wasn’t creative.
This season, we’ve seen the melodic wonders of Renaldo Lapuz’ “We’re Brothers Forever” and even a song devoted to stalking Paula Abdul. For as much time as those two performers wasted, it was time enjoyably spent. The reason some viewers love the American Idol audition episodes is not because they want to see bad singers, it’s because they want to be entertained by bad singers.
Despite a few bright spots, these auditions have been uniformly sub-par. In Miami, much like the rest of the auditions, there was nothing to spark the public interest. The show has yet to produce a water cooler moment. In past seasons we had William Hung or Jonathan Jayne and Kenneth Briggs (the overweight, mentally challenged kid from last season’s Seattle auditions and his “bush baby” friend), who became instant celebrities. They were invited on talk shows and national morning TV shows.
This year, I see none of that excitement. Sure, people are still tuning in to American Idol, but there’s no passion. The hype machine is nowhere to be seen. Why isn’t Paula slurring words while being interviewed by local TV news anchors? Why isn’t Simon claiming one audition city is the absolute worst ever? Why is Randy Jackson wasting his time putting together America’s Best Dance Crew over on MTV rather than focusing on American Idol?
The most likely answer is that they’re all tired. The judges have been doing this for six-plus years now, and aside from the money, they have no real reason to get out of bed. Look at the track record: Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood are the only two winners with any sort of legitimate career. Losers Clay Aiken and Chris Daughtry are the next closest. When you just keep churning out mediocre performers who die out as soon as the show closes, what’s the point?
Thank God there’s only one more week of auditions. Thank God that’s followed by only a single week of Hollywood. But most of all, thank God that on February 19, we’ll get into the proper American Idol, the one where people sing, America votes, and Ryan Seacrest turns 15 seconds of information into a one-hour spectacle.
Read More Idol Musings:
#1: The City of Brotherly Love/Hate
#2: 2 out of 3 Judges Can’t Be Right
#3: The Unlikability Factor
#4: Hey, Hey! You, You!
#5: American Idol and Homosexuality
-John Kubicek, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image courtesy of FOX)