Did you watch any of the first two installments of this year’s American Idol?  I don’t really watch the tryout episodes with much interest.  In fact, I’m not sure why I watch them at all other than the fact that it’s like a train wreck that you just can’t NOT look at.  Paula Abdul gets weirder and weirder every year.  Simon Cowell gets ruder and ruder.  And Randy Jackson gets Dawger and Dawger.  And the contestants get more and more bizarre.  Oh, sure, there are serious contenders but they are eclipsed by the untalented, narcissistic, delusional idiots, some of whom truly believe they have what it takes to be “the next American Idol.”

How about the arrogant bikini-clad wannabe who told judge Kara DioGuardi that SHE didn’t have what it takes?  Sadly, this brainless twit hasn’t figured out that she won’t make it, either.  Hint: If you have to wear a bikini to distract attention from your mediocre ability, it won’t get you far in American Idol.  Try a screening for Larry Flint — he’s more likely to think you have “talent.”

While I understand that airing these idiots for some reason brings in the ratings, I still think that there should be a “preliminary” tryout someplace to weed out the freaks and geeks.  Maybe have them send demo videos someplace for screening and, if they pass a very LOW-STANDARD muster, they get a confirmed registration number so they can actually audition in front of the judges.

Speaking of Idol, did you see that Jennifer Hudson will be performing the national anthem at the SuperBowl this year?  She’s someone who has really done well as a “non-winner.”  What’s really interesting is that winning the show doesn’t really guarantee anything besides a recording contract (other than the fact that they OWN you for x number of years).  Look at the winners:

  1. Kelly Clarkson has done very well for herself with four albums and three #1 hits.  She works hard, puts a lot of energy into her work and has stayed out there as a believable artist.
  2. Ruben who?  OK, sure, he won some “lesser” awards early on and has a couple of Grammy noms, but that’s it.  One album that peaked at the #1 spot on Billboard.
  3. Fantasia Barrino has had some pretty decent successes in film and on Broadway and is set to release her third album.  Nominated for Grammies, but no wins.  No #1 hits.  Her $1.3 million mansion was recently in foreclosure, however.
  4. Carrie Underwood is arguably the most successful American Idol contestant to date.  She has won “best” awards (Grammy, Country Music, Billboard, American Music, etc.) and has three Grammy Awards.
  5. Taylor Hicks, to date, has the lowest selling numbers of any American Idol winner.  His numbers are also lower than some runners-up, third and fourth place winners (like Daughtry whom Hicks OPENED for).  He was dropped by Arista AND Sony.  No hits, no awards, and no nominations.
  6. Jordin Sparks — #3 hit, but the rest?  *Yawn*
  7. David Cook — so far, mediocrity.  One #1 hit but many songs not getting anywhere near the top 20.  He’s a “user.”  Someone who takes other peoples’ music and sings it.  No originality.  His runner-up (David Archuleta) had an entire ALBUM hit #2 — Cook has only placed a song in the top 10.

Successful NON-winners?

  • #8 place Bucky Covington puts an entire album in the #1 spot on the Country chart
  • # 4 place Daughtry — three hit singles and a hit album.  Numerous billboard awards, People’s Choice Awards
  • #3 place Elliot Yamin — album hits #3
  • #2 place Katharine McPhee — and album that peaks at #2, some television
  • #2 place Bo Bice — a single at #1 and an album at #3
  • #7 place Jennifer Hudson — Academy Award and Golden Globe for Dreamgirls.  A solo album that peaked at #2, collaborative albums that reached #1 and #2.
  • #2 place Clay Aiken — FOUR albums in the top 5 of the charts at #1, #2, #4 and #4.  A smash hit single which hit #1.  Several singles in the top 20 from those albums.

I think that often American Idol voting is less about who has the best talent as much as who can garner the most voting support because of their age group or gender or looks.  You might be able to walk away with a victory on the show, but the real proof of you star power is in the American Idol afterlife, wich has not been kind to some.

My favorite, out of all of them is a draw between Clay Aiken and Carrie Underwood.  Yep, I’m a “Claymate” but I can still get tired of “schmaltz” from time to time.  And Carrie? Well, besides the fact that she’s HOT, she’s talented in every possible way and always seems so down-to-earth.

And I STILL get all warm and fuzzy when I watch this!

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