I can't stand American Idol.
I've barely watched, but it's impossible to avoid the hype.
Despite an audience that at one point averaged more than 30-million viewers, I could never get onboard. I didn't understand the draw.
I tried during Season 6. I chuckled at some of the people who made fools of themselves. I had the required arguments with co-workers. Even enjoyed some of the music.
After watching one season of Idol, now it's clear. The show is old. Predictable. Or as Simon would say: It's something you would see on a cruise ship.
Like an old Ford I used to have, Idol's engine is sputtering.
The field is stacked with people who could have nice careers as background singers. But a star?
Not one in sight.
The same goes for the judges, who used to provide plenty of sizzle.
Dawg, listen up, everyone knows what Randy, Paula and Simon will utter before they open their mouths. Sorry.
Idol just hasn't produced. Two winners have good careers. Others are struggling. How many would you recognize if they walked by in downtown Tampa or St. Petersburg?
Taylor Hicks? Sure.
Kelly Clarkson? Possibly.
Carrie Underwood? Toss-up.
The other three. Nah.
But the reason I avoid watching Brooke, the Davids or Syesha perform is you, the fans.
Remember the uproar after learning Carly Smithson had once had a recording contract. Idol is for unknowns, you screamed.
Then we learned David Archuleta had won a division of Star Search as a 12-year-old, and the uproar waned.
You've made it a popularity contest. How many of you sit at home each Tuesday, dialing over and over, dreading the thought that your fave won't be there next week.
David Archuleta. He forgets his lyrics, a certain kiss of death in earlier competitions, but sails along. Why? Maybe a couple of million love-struck teenage girls who have a different kind of kiss in mind?
It's obvious people are starting to see the light. Ratings have slipped some. A counterculture's efforts to subvert the voting is working.
So stop being lemmings. Break the chains that bind you to Fox on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Find something better to do.
Heck, even the Tampa Bay Rays are more entertaining.
Idol has lost its way. It's a lounge act. It's karaoke at a bar.
It's become the thing Simon despises — forgettable.
If I could mimic Simon's sarcastic, snippy, British accent, I'd say the truth hurts.
Times staff writer Kyle Kreiger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.