Look, I watch it. I’ll just get that out of the way right now.
I’ve tried not to discuss this, but I just can’t bottle it up inside anymore. And before you get carried away, no, I never watch the competitive shows down the stretch run. But I do think the production of the first few shows, with the mass auditions, is excellent.
It’s only partially about talent (or the outright lack thereof), because a show created solely for the exposition of talent is no fun. Ditto for the personal snapshots of people and personalities, as interesting and marginally inspiring as they may be.
No — you can chalk my interest up to voyeurism. I love seeing train-wreck performances by self-deluded starlets who run smack into the reality of their teenage mediocrity. Since these kids should already know better, I feel a certain glee at seeing their confidence crumble beneath the withering criticism of cackling judges.
They emerge from their auditions, shell-shocked and bewildered by those preceeding moments of lost poise. They know that we know; as their failure resonates for all to see, we watch as they face not a camera, but rather, a mirror.
As much as the masses yearn for the uplifting and inspiring selection that will inevitably conclude this series, we love to see conceited and narcissistic people fail even more. But as much as we love to see the vain fall, even moreso are we enthralled by those portraits of people who are too full of themselves to even realize how fucked up they are:
“This person can’t really think they’re any good. God, that rendition was horrid. Yeah, they actually do think that sounded good. Wow. Now look at them get a dose of reality from the judges. That must be humiliating. But this person still really believes they were great. The next Michael Jackson / Madonna…huh? Wow.”
So yeah, I watch American Idol. Fuck you, okay?