Sunday, January 14, 2007

My Plea to America

This is a break from the normal spoiler posts that I write to talk about something that I feel particularly strong about. Please humor me by reading the post below and know that we will get back to spoilers very soon. Thank you in advance.

Unless you live under a rock you know that America Idol starts next week. And in order to prepare the masses for what is sure to be a very popular season, I am here to enlighten the television viewing audience and put in a plea to save our collective dignity.

Please do not watch the audition shows. Its as simple as that. If you love the show or are just a casual viewer please do not tune into the American Idol until at least the Hollywood round starts. I can't believe that 30 million of my fellow citizens continue to tune in and have a nice big laugh at other people's expense. I am disgusted that as a society we continue to act this way and I am here to do my part to put a stop to it.

This is the sixth season for American Idol and the audition round and seriously it is not funny anymore. We have all seen the bad singers, the ones with delusions of their singing ability and we have all heard the judge's comments, particularly Simon's. Do you realize that these contestants have been chosen to be put in front of the camera? There is an initial audition round that everyone must go through that is just in front of producers and those that are really good and particularly bad make the cut. So when Simon, Randy and Paula roll their eyes and expasperate about how their time is being wasted, its all a come on. The judges know what's coming and even have insults prepared. Its all a set up to get you to tune in and boost the ratings. Also at this point most the people who are getting made fun of on TV know what's coming. Its all an act to get their face on TV and their 5 seconds of fame. The ones who really do not understand that they do not posses any talent at singing are clearly delusional and will get their hearts broken in front of millions of people. Those are the people who make my heart hurt because their dreams got stomped on in front of the world.

Those of you who profess that you watch the show only in the audition period, just to get those laughs at someone else's expense and choose to skip out once the cheesy competition begins, you are the worst offender because it is you who encourages FOX and the America Idol producers to continue this disgusting charade and not just get to the point of the show which is supposed to be a singing competition.

Some of you are going to tell me you watch the auditions for the good people, to perhaps pick out the eventual winner of American Idol, and I do respect you position. But I have to tell you that they hold back audition clips of many of the 32 final contestants and you will see everyone good at the Hollywood rounds. You will not be missing a thing by skipping 5 weeks of humiliation.

Others are going to tell me you just don't take the show that serious and that you just watch for fun and its ok to laugh everyone once in while. I'm not going to lie and say I'm above all this, I'm a curious person and I'll check something out if everyone is talking about it, I'm not a saint and I do not profess to be. But seriously, none of this is new or even remotely interesting or funny. The shock factor is gone and people are seriously looking forward to unwinding in front of the TV and making fun of someone else for two hours. You are not going to hear one comment you have not already heard or miss out on anything noteworthy. By continuing to watch the audition rounds you are telling FOX and all the the television industry that this is ok and that putting this type of crap on television is what will get you to watch and increase ratings. Think about all the scripted shows you liked that were cancelled and part of the reason is because this type of television is being watched and is very cheap to produce. FOX has built their entire network and strategic plan around American Idol as well as showing weeks and hours of meaningless and pitiful audition rounds. When in its place could be more episodes of a show that was cancelled or a new pilot that might catch on a become a big hit. You can't be an ignorant viewer and think that your viewership doesn't mean all that much, because it means a great deal in the grand scheme of things.

Are we going to tell the world this is who we are as a society? Is this as low as we are going to go in the name of entertainment? Please tell me that someone else out there feels the same way as me. I can't be the only person who is embarrassed to be an American Idol viewer. Who is going to help me step up and be a bigger person and inspire change? And who is going to put their foot down and tell the networks that our time will not be wasted on this? I hope I hear from someone else who refuses to watch the audition rounds.