I tried watching American Idol last night with my son Josh and I just couldn’t keep myself from flipping the channel. He was getting very frustrated with me but I just can’t sit and laugh at people who put themselves out there and have the death of their dreams (or mental illness) used for my entertainment. I could watch the dude in the Princess Leia bikini. He was clearly just an attention whore who would do whatever it took for a few seconds on the show (including getting his chest waxed – ouch). But there were people in various stages of some kind of mental illness or ‘challenge’ that was just too disturbing for me to watch.
The part of the process that bothers me most is that these people (the painfully bad, weird and certifiable) have been selected by the production pre-screen to come in front of the 3 t.v. judges along with those who can obviously sing. Last night’s most frightening moment came for me when a “39 year old social worker” and singer/songwriter was allowed in, despite the rules (hey, screw the rules, we’ve got a live one here!) to sing his original song, “No Sex”. Josh, my 17 year old, turned to me and asked, “Do you think he’s really a social worker?” I hope he’s not, it would be a little disturbing if it was his profession but it would be even more disturbing if it wasn’t and they were happily putting people on who were delusional about more than their singing skills. I hope it never comes to the “Jenny Jones moment” where a contestant kills themselves after feeling humiliated by their appearance on the show but it could be just that kind of tragedy before it stops. Simon, the supposed bad guy, was stunned when Randy and Paula wanted bikini guy back after a wax and then even more stunned when he actually did it just for a couple more seconds of T.V.
I’ll take the brutal, F-bomb seasoned rants of Gordon Ramsay on Kitchen Nightmares where it appears he’s trying to get viewers AND be a help to people struggling in the restaurant business for my reality T.V. experience this year.
P.S. The photo above is of the body waxing, Princess Leia metal bikini wearing, a.w. from last night. I hope he’ll use his new fame for the good of all manking.