Why I Hate American Idol - An Essay by Harryoke
I am not a snob. I can appreciate the crappier things in life. Sometimes crappy things can be good...often a hamburger is better than a steak, you can enjoy a cheap beer now and again. Sometimes the simple things can bring you the greatest pleasure. Sometimes riding a moped can be more fun than riding a Harley.
What I don't appreciate, is someone trying to sell me moped and calling it a Harley. Don't present your crap beer as premium, when it really is crap.
America is being sold a bundle of crap called American Idol, and the American public are flocking like lemmings, innocently falling over the edge. Some are aware, some don't care, some enjoy it for the crap that it is, and I can respect THAT. What I cant respect, and detest, are the myriad viewers who think that it is real, who think that nothing is planned, that their vote really counts and that the average TALENTED person on the street has a chance of making it on that show.
American Idol is nothing more than a cash cow for Mr. Simon Cowell. Simon has his fingers in each slice of the pie that is American Idol. It is in his interest to milk as much cash out of the machine as is possible. Can you blame him? Absolutely not, it is free enterprise. Who I can blame are the blinded members of society who think that AI is actually a talent contest, and who buy into it, just as Simon predicts they will. Simon wants into the pocket book of the everyman...Joe and Jane six-pack in the double wide. The type of people who thing wrestling is real...the type of people you see at Wal-Mart, or at McDonalds feeding their 2.3 snotty nosed kids, LOL! The average working class citizen.
Who is Simon to be a judge...what are his credentials?
He was born into a stable family, and took a job in the mailroom of EMI records. At 17 he pestered for a better position, and started an in-house vanity label called Fanfare. In 1988 using his credentials as a bonafide producer, seduced a disco dancer named Sinitta and to sleep with her signed her to the vanity label. Fortunately this was a good move as her single (So Macho) sold millions and he reaped about a 1.5 million reward. Not bad, but he lost it all to a financial error...including his house and car. He went back to live with his parents.
He then took a job with Arista records as an A&R man. Keep in mind, Simon is not about finding the talent, he is about making the money, so he took Arista from the noble task of signing talented acts, to being a vehicle for the sale of crap acts to the general public...novelty acts or fad acts that would appeal to a broad audience of middle America and households with children. Some of his coups were signing The Teletubbies, Power Rangers and WWF Wrestlers. For his efforts, the US press dubbed him "The Antichrist Of The Music Business". He made a move to RCA records. His reigning success was the promotion of the cheesy Irish boyband Westlife.
Britain had already had its own Idol show, and they had another show called Popstars. Simon came up with the idea to one-up it by adding the element of the public vote. He teamed up with Simon Fuller and created Pop Idol in 2001.
Now Simon Cowell was a star in Britain...for his acerbic tongue. He came to America in 2002 to sell his idea to US TV, and sold it to Fox because Rupert Murdoch's daughter was big Pop Idol fan. The rest is American (Idol) history.
Every contestant on the show sells their soul to Simon in exchange for contracts. Any piece of tripe sold after the fact Simon has a piece of. There is a format to who they will and will not let on Idol...those who think it is open to the public are sadly mistaken. Any one of you who have tried out for Idol know what I am talking about. Even the BAD acts on the show are calculated. The voting is open for rigging...the net is rife with info on how to multiple vote. The last winner received more votes than the last president did. That may mean more people voted, or it may mean fewer people know how to vote more often. Like the votes would matter anyway...and no matter who wins, Simon gets the money and the back end.
I will not take anything away from those who have won and gone onto greatness. I just cant buy into the hype machine that takes you to that point.
I cannot take anything from Simon. He deserves credit for being an astute salesman and knowing how to get the money. As a package though, I am resentful at the large number of viewers who think that it is real...those who come to my shows and say that my better singers should go to American Idol. I would not wish that on my friends, LOL! Many of my friends have tried out and been rebuffed for not falling into the profile of who they think an Idol should be. Because, remember, the Idol has to be sold. American Idol is a soap opera. The more the public can relate to the winner, and empathize with the winner, the more records will be sold...and that means more money in the machine. And of course Chris wasn't going to win...he was apparently a star in his own right, and the contracts were already pouring in, so exit Chris...who Simon already owns a piece of...and allow Taylor aboard. Now that is more cash cows! Ca-ching! It is all business baby. And it is all about getting into the melons of the lemmings, keeping the water cooler talk going, promoting and selling those records. But it is not real.
So if you view it, view it for the crap it really is, and understand that there is no basis of reality. More power to you if YOU find it entertaining. Don't believe the hype.