When You’re Not An American Idol

Count me as one of the tens of millions who watch American Idol. I just shake my head. American Idol started a new season in January and quickly became the top rated TV show. Again. As it was last year, this year’s early season displays few of the potential Idols and most of the Idol wannabes. 15 minutes of fame is reduced to 60 seconds, but it’s on national TV.

For those of us watching, it should be obvious that many Idol contestants are not expecting to be selected for the trip to Hollywood, despite theatrics and choice phrases directed at the judges.

Cursing, threats, boasts, promises, tears, and fingers, and a once-in-awhile polite, “thank you” is what you hear from the Idol losers.

Their 15 minutes of fame is just 60 seconds of bewilderment, astonishment, surprise, and disappointment. I’m bewildered. The judges are surprised. The Idol contestants are disappointed.

Fortunately, the whole thing lasts only 60 seconds. We get a laugh, shed a tear or two (“how can anyone sing that badly and get that far?”), and watch again the next night.

What amazes me is not that some Idol contestants really want to get sent to Hollywood, it’s that some think they should go because they think they have talent when they clearly do not.

That’s remarkable, though the self righteous indignation of some contestants may explain the whole Blue state, Red state thing.

Seriously. If you can’t sing, you can’t sing, but someone needsd to tell you that before you get to the first round audition. Otherwise, the more colorful of the Can’t Sing Crowd become water cooler fodder (that’s a mixed metaphor whose time has come and gone) the next day.

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So far this season we’re being entertained more by those who can’t sing than by those who can. American Idol’s ratings are up over last year.

What’s that say? It says we love winners. But we love watching losers lose.