7

I think American Idol jumped the shark when Simon Cowell left the show.  We’re now left with Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson who are nothing more than cheerleaders with limited vocabularies.  I’ve often thought of sending them a thesaurus because Steven’s raves are limited to, “you’re beautiful, man” and Jennifer knows no other descriptive word other than “amazing.”

That being said, I’ve watched the show since season 4 and love the fact that talented young people are given an opportunity to make it big, something they’d never have back home.  I also watched this season’s auditions.  However, despite host Ryan Seacrest’s usual annual bold statement that “we’ve got the best group of talent ever this year,” I couldn’t disagree more and decided not to bother watching this time once the finalists were selected.

A story has recently emerged from the show and it concerned a young man named Jermaine Jones, who has a silky baritone voice reminiscent of Lou Rawls.  He was really the only contestant I liked and had he made it to the top five, I would’ve started watching again and voted.  But, he was removed from the competition recently because he lied to the producers.

Yes, there are rules and you know how I love rules.  Apparently, he had some scuffles with the law and some outstanding warrants and didn’t disclose his criminal history to the producers, so they axed him from the show.

I don’t have a problem with him being removing from the show because he knew the rules going into it.  And, remember that lying doesn’t pay.  (Old people like me who watch the show usually know the rules in life and the consequences that result from breaking them).

The problem I have with the show is the double standard that AI applies to its contestants and itself.  If you’re trying to set an example for young people, then why does it continue to honor certain celebrity jerks, year after year?

For example, I know for the past couple of years, AI “honors” Michael Jackson by having a week dedicated to his songs.  Well, what kind of role model was Michael Jackson?  I remember (although none of the kids on the show are old enough to remember) when he was a little black kid with great hair and a cute nose and a wonderful voice.  All these contestants know of Michael Jackson at this point is that he turned into a freakish white Latoya (have you actually ever seen the two of them together in a photo?), wearing straight black haired wigs and prosthetic noses, who was so screwed up he couldn’t sleep without hospital-level anesthetics.  And if you’re going to tell me that he was never convicted of any child molestation charges, I’ll respond and say, “did you think OJ was innocent, too?”  Whether or not MJ was convicted doesn’t take away from the fact that he settled civil suits for millions of dollars for his “innocent” behavior.  And my final question to you would be, “would you have let him babysit your children or grandchildren?”  And, yet, AI has a “Michael Jackson” week.

AI also featured Chris Brown a few times, even though he pled guilty to criminal charges for assaulting his then girlfriend, Rhianna, and now AI is even talking about them coming back on the show and doing a duet.  Let’s not talk about how dumb Rhianna is if she agrees to it, but what kind of message is AI sending out when they feature a woman-beater like Chris Brown?

If AI is going to set standards for the young people appearing on the show, then it should set standards for itself when it comes to who they’ll feature on the show.

I don’t get it, but if you do, God bless you.

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