The First Rule of American Idol: What Simon Wants, Simon Gets
First, unless they're totally self-delusional, they gotta know they don't have what it takes to win. This year, there are three or four top contenders, and everybody else is just taking up space until Sanjaya's next hairstyle captivates us all.
Second, as the bubbly Mr. Seacrest keeps reminding us, THIS. IS. AMERICAN IDOL. -- and the name of the game is that almost everybody gets cut eventually. So suck it up, remember your lyrics and sing your last song so well you make that bastard Cowell take back every snarky thing he ever said.
She's the first one this season who got jacked by the Simon Effect. Put simply, judge Simon Cowell, who also happens to be one of the record executives the Idol winner will work with in releasing his/her first record, seems to decide early on which singers he'd rather not work with. (given that he's an astute judge of talent. he's usually right, by the way)
Said unfortunates get to be the show's whipping posts, constantly derided no matter how good their performances are. Besides Glocksen, Phil Stacey's been getting that kind of love from Simon almost since the first 12 finalists began the competition.
There's a fine line between picking the strongest singers and constantly stomping on performers you find unmarketable to ensure you don't have to record them in the future, and it seems to me that Cowell is crossing that last bridge a little too often these days.
Which doesn't mean he's wrong. Just means he's kinda being a jerk about being right.
Pointless side thought #1: I liked last night's decision to rank the singers by groups, letting us know how everybody ranked in broad outlines. I also liked the fact that -- other than Sanjaya,whose charisma points are shooting him through the stratosphere -- all the singers seemed ranked pretty accurately in terms of ability. America, it seems, can pick out talent when it wants to.
Note that, even with all the media hubbub about Sanjaya, he only scored in the middle ranks (my faves, Melinda, Lakisha and Jordin were ranked tops -- i'm still hoping its Melinda and Jordin in the Top Two). I'm betting that, once Phil and Haley are gone, Sanjaya will be in trouble.
Pointless side thought #2: Didn't watching copycat Michael Buble, pressed to fill in for an ailing Tony Bennett last night, kinda feel like going to a Jay-Z concert only to find Vanilla Ice waiting in the wings...?
Songwriters Looking to Sign Their Lives Away for Stardom, Step Right Up
Perhaps in some odd acknowledgement of how lame the recent Idol singles have been, the honchos at the show have developed a songwriting contest to pick the anthemic first single for this year's winner.
Starting now, aspiring songwriters can register and upload their submissions at the contest web site here. Of course, there is a $10 entry fee, to be paid by credit card. So even as producers tap the general public to write the next hit single from which they will earn millions, they also ensure that the entry fee produces millions more -- these guys are absolutely, deliciously diabolical.
If the contracts for the songwriters are anything like the singers, songwriters will also be signing their lives away; producers expect to pick 20 top entries which the public can then vote for online beginning May 2.
Don't be surprised if they soon figure out a way to turn the costuming and makeup into an online contest. Then, at least, Sanjaya will have a good excuse for this: