Ousted Idol Speaks: Gina's Not Hatin' on Simon or Sanjaya
So when she faced the press during a telephone press conference today to talk about leaving the show, she expressed nothing but love for judge Simon Cowell -- whose harsh criticisms dogged her throughout the competition -- or Sanjaya Malakar, the singing-challenged contestant some fans seem to think should have gone home instead.
“I kinda considered Simon as a parent. You know, parents will kind of -- I guess maybe like a tough love kind of thing. They’ll tell you what you don’t want to hear, so you'll do the opposite. I think that he'll say that I had a bad performance just to make me stronger, because he did like me and he did see something special in me. And I just think he wanted to push me to the next level."
Riiight. This, from the guy who said he wasn't surprised that she landed in the bottom three last night and was smiling during the announcement of her ejection? Did that tongue stud she wears also pierce part of her brain?
Glocksen's equivocating was quite a disappointing change from the honesty of last week's ejectee Chris Sligh, who admitted the pressure of the contest prompted him to ask producers if he could quit.
Here's some other highlights from Gina's talk:
"He's just different. it's not that he's better or worse, he's just Sanjaya...There's no cliques, there's no resentment...I’m friends with Sanjaya. (Other contestants) know that if they’re going to bad mouth him, not to do it in front of me...He doesn’t care what anyone thinks, he does his thing...I'm proud of him."
Glocksen also said the show's two stylists model fashion choices on the personalities of the contestants. She said producers encourage them to avoid reading what the press or fans are saying about them on the Internet to limit the impact on their performances.
She also denied scuttlebutt that Idol producers pushed her into her rocker girl image, saying instead that they asked her to take out her tongue stud -- which she did for two shows -- and play that angle down when the show started.
Glocksen described an endless merry-go-round of activity for top finalists which starts with picking the next week's song on Thursday, three days of rehearsals, commercials for Ford, two live TV shows Tuesday and Wednesday (including an emotional ejection episode) and then new song picks the next Thursday.
And if she looked surprised when they called her name for ejection, it's because "at no point in time did I think I was going home," she said. "At the end of the day, you just don’t know what America wants...Your style, your hair, your clothes...You just have to stay focused on what you’re there for, which is the talent."
Glocksen also noted Diana Ross gave the best advice, which was to choose one person from all the people trying to give her advice and stick with them. And judge Randy Jackson gets the thanks-for-nothing award after noting that she sang her final rendition of the jazz standard Smile so well Wednesday that if she had done it that way on Tuesday, she'd probably still be in the competition.
"it kinda clicked after the first couple of lines that I'm actually singing about myself," she said of the song, which includes the lyrics "smile, though your heart is breaking." "It's going to be a very special song or me for the rest of my life, now."
Shister a Bit More Conciliatory in Her Final Column
In her final, regularly scheduled column for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Gail Shister sounded a more conciliatory note about her move from covering the TV news industry almost exclusively, to mixing up that coverage with feature stories on TV entertainment.
"To this reporter, it means The Inquirer doesn't have the luxury of a daily, staff-written column about TV. Other areas are hurting, too, and their need for reporters is even more dire."
True enough, Shister's move means she'll be doing what hacks like me are already doing -- writing a wide range of stories to cover lots of ground. Still, I'll miss her sharp focus on an area that seems to redefining itself almost daily.
Someone Else Judges Anna Nicole to Be News
Finally, somebody else steps in to echo my idea that the death of professional celebrity Anna Nicole Smith and the tussel over her daughter and estate is actually news. Jack Shafer -- a media critic people actually take seriously -- makes the case today that nobody need apologize for Anna Nicole coverage.
"Guilty pleasure, my ass. Nobody who reported the Anna Nicole Smith story or viewed it on TV need apologize. The Anna Nicole Smith death trip didn't catch fire on cable just because she was a bosomy, semifamous blonde who checked out at the age of 39. For 15 years, she had been gathering chunks of fame the same way a successful World of Warcraft player gathers gold, armor, and potions: again and again."