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Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

Idol worship?

Posted Thursday, January 17, 2008, at 8:21 AM

"American Idol" has a split personality.

I have heard parents talk about how the Hollywood portion of the annual talent show is one of the few things that the whole family sits down and watches together, something that's a rarity in today's society.

But at church last night, my pastor was complaining about an incident from the tryout portion of the show in which a competitor mooned the judges and assaulted them with a barrage of obscenities -- bleeped, but still obvious to anyone paying attention. My pastor noted that since the show's producers have to choose from among many thousands of auditionees when putting together these tryout episodes, they had to have specifically selected that outrageous tantrum, just to titillate the audience.

So, readers, which is it? Is "American Idol" a wholesome family show, or is it an offense to society? Or maybe a little bit of both?

I am not a huge, every-week "American Idol" fan, but there have been some years that I've casually followed the competition. I don't care for the tryout shows, however, because they seem focused on humiliating the people (some of whom seem mentally unstable) who are completely talentless but have somehow convinced themselves that they are the greatest entertainers of our time. It's almost like exploiting the mentally ill, in some cases.


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yeah, i was just kidding about Sanjaya, although last season was kind of boring. I watched just to see what Sanjaya would do next. Remember the ponyhawk? LOL. I agree that Daughtry should have won that season, but he was better off losing. Taylor Hicks didn't do so well winning. His CD flopped, and he was dropped from his record label.

-- Posted by Richard on Wed, Jan 23, 2008, at 1:12 AM

mary i agree there are more auditions before the ones we see and they pick certain ones to show jus cause they are trying to get a laugh and ratings.

but richard i have to disagree with sanjaya, he wasnt that good , the best was chris daughtery and he should have won hands down , cuz has anyone heard of that other guy that won since the show, was it taylor hicks?? i think

-- Posted by someonecares on Tue, Jan 22, 2008, at 11:01 PM

I'm still upset that Sanjaya didn't win last year. That guy rocked, lol

-- Posted by Richard on Tue, Jan 22, 2008, at 12:30 AM

I think that the majority of people trying out do have "it" coming. They go in there, knowing they can't sing.

Also, the try out round that we see on TV is not the first round. There are, I think, at least one or two before the TV audition. Those judges weed out the majority of people that are not good singers or good entertainers. I think we need to blame them more for letting the mentally unstable people through.

I LOVE all parts of American Idol, and tend to agree with Simon's critism most of the time. Paula is too nice, but balances the judges out. I think she has an eye for someone who is not mentally stable. I loved the episode from Tues, when she and the other judges hugged the female football player that had the mother in the wheelchair. That was one of the sweetest things I had seen them do.

-- Posted by Mary on Mon, Jan 21, 2008, at 10:33 AM

I use to watch the "tryout" parts but when they started making fun of the people that you can tell have mental problems that was to much for me.

-- Posted by happymama on Sat, Jan 19, 2008, at 12:12 AM

I don't watch American Idol but I have caught glimpses of the show during the "tryout" sessions. I'm not into making fun of people. I try to teach my children that it's not okay to make fun of someone AND it's not okay to laugh when others are doing it either.

-- Posted by pleasebenice on Fri, Jan 18, 2008, at 8:02 PM

those people that go on the show and humiliate themselves have it coming. they know as well as anyone else that they are not talented, but they just want their 15 min of fame and they get it. william hung made lots of money humiliating himself.

-- Posted by someonecares on Thu, Jan 17, 2008, at 8:43 PM

I like the try outs. I guess I am sick minded also, Laura.

American Idol is one of the few reality shows that I do like. America's got Talent is the other one.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Thu, Jan 17, 2008, at 8:01 PM

I watched the 'trials'. I won't watch anymore until it goes to Hollywood. I don't like that they make fun of folks who have social and mental issues.

The show called them to come try out after viewing them in a video clip and then filmed them in part of their eveyday life. I guess they understand those people believed they had a real shot at being on the show, just to show up and be humiliated. It was sad. I cried after they burst out laughing at the big guy who sang "Go Down Moses(?)". He said he was encouraged by co-workers... what jerks.

-- Posted by Jacks4me on Thu, Jan 17, 2008, at 1:59 PM

I feel terrible.I do watch the tryouts because it's "funny" ,but I've never really thought about how some of these people look mentally ill.Thank you for pointing this out to me.I'm going to be more cautious of what I watch.

-- Posted by christiangirl on Thu, Jan 17, 2008, at 1:30 PM

It eventually showcases good talent, but I do not watch the tryouts or the actual competition, so.....

-- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Jan 17, 2008, at 11:11 AM

I like the tryout portion, matter of fact that's all I watch of the show. Just call me sick minded =)

-- Posted by LauraSFT on Thu, Jan 17, 2008, at 10:48 AM

I think that watching these people behave like fools on camera shows others how dumb acting like that can make one look.

-- Posted by nathan.evans on Thu, Jan 17, 2008, at 9:24 AM


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John I. Carney is city editor of the Times-Gazette.
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