American Idol is to WWF Wrestling as…

30 Apr

…Chris Daughtry is to Nickelback.

When I was much younger, many of my male friends (and some female friends, too) LOVED to watch WWF Wrestling. They honestly believed that all of the pile-drivers and chicken wings were seriously real and that heroes like Junkyard Dog and Kerry Von Erich were truly beating the crap out of the bad guys like Afanseca.

Of course, what we all know is that wrestling is scripted….fake. Excepted as theater rather than sport. We all know that the matches are pre-determined and that the audience is manipulated into believing the script.

Enter American Idol. The parallels to WWF Wrestling are striking and last night, Ms. Abdul basically proved the point. If you missed it, here is the “gaffe” that has tongues wagging today.

Paula basically “judged” Jason Castro’s second song before he even sang it. She tried to pass off the “mediocre performance” remarks by saying that those were remarks for David Cook but then said that David was fantastic. WTF?

Now, I’m sure she’s going to say that those were her notes for Jason from the rehearsal where they sing and are taped for the end of the show snippets, but I ain’t buying it. Why would she critique the rehearsal when he could have been much different on the live show? Because it’s planned and pre-scripted. All for the benefit of manipulating the lemmings that are the viewing public.

However, Paula’s faux pas is not going unnoticed. EW has an eye witness account and if you still have doubts on if you are being manipulated, check out this article from the Dallas Morning News. The sad thing about American Idol is that it is a great concept. It would work without the manipulation. So, you have to ask why do they do it?

I know why, but that’s for another post….


Posted by on April 30, 2008 in american idol, Uncategorized


10 responses to “American Idol is to WWF Wrestling as…

  1. shrewspeaks

    April 30, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    Clive’s gone…With the winds of change in the air in response to plummeting ratings, not only is it eveident that the show has jumped the shark, can IDOL even live up to the spector it promises?

    I say, manipulation is never what I choose, but if I knowingly say heck I will watch for the entertainment factor…than it better be SHOW STOPPING. From the bland performances week after week, the all so safe guest judges (Really, is Kenny Rodgers or Barry Gibb going to set the world ablaze again?),the dry hackneyed comments of the judges (I swear I will hit someone if I hear Randy say “da bomb” one more time) to the lumbering extravaganza of Gives Back this is nothing better than telethon fodder. Please, please someone somewhere bring back the excitement, the variety to the entertainment. I am so tired of having bland safeness shoved in my face and being told I am NOT cool if I don’t buy it. Where are the unique voices that have something to say? Show me them! Even if I disagree at least I will be enlightened and entertained.

  2. music maven

    April 30, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    It seems as though the contestants are so scared to be different or really reach because IMO, they are at the mercy of the producers. It really shouldn’t be that way. I have ALOT more to say on the situation that will be coming, but I’ll go out on a limb here and say that most Americans who actually know or believe that they are being manipulated will no longer watch — which is what is starting to happen.

    I’ll also bet you a case of Goo Goo Clusters that once AI is no more, plenty of skeletons will be discovered. I bet our old friend, Taylor, will have some dish to spill.

  3. shrewspeaks

    April 30, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    Oh yeah…there are stories. Goo Goo Cluster or no…there ARE stories. Where is the whistle blower…there HAS to be one.

  4. chuval

    April 30, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    My best guess is that the producers prepare these written reviews for Paula in case she shows up for taping too strung out to string together a coherent review.

    I think ratings are falling because this is the weakest lineup of singers that AI has ever had, despite the fact that many of the contestants are industry plants.

  5. jenfera

    April 30, 2008 at 8:00 pm

    What’s a goo goo cluster??

    As with all things that become incredibly popular, the makers of AI are trying to bottle it up – keep it the same so they will keep raking in the ratings and the cash. And if that means they tweak it behind the scenes to their liking, just hoping and praying to hold on to the magic by hook or by crook, that is what they are going to do.

    It has become completely inorganic. The market is now flooded with “idols” and the people can only care about so many of them. And, as also happens with anything incredibly popular, the “cool people” backlash is in raging force. Cool people don’t watch Idol, cool people don’t think of the contestants as “serious artists.”

    None of it means anything any more. I watch it now for the water cooler value, though this season isn’t even providing much water cooler fodder. I have no impulse to vote, I won’t run out and buy David Cook’s CD. I’ll keep watching it for now but it is not and will never, ever be the same.

    (sorry for the long rambling mismatched thoughts there! I hope I had a point in there somewhere!)

  6. huckleberryfriend

    April 30, 2008 at 10:00 pm

    I think what is happening to Idol is what happens to many successful shows – when the numbers start to drop, the producers overproduce. I watched Idol the first few seasons because it was a rags to riches story – a true American Dream. Some deserving kid was getting a shot at the big time.

    For me, Season 5 was the best. It was like a prize fight, each contestant with a knockout punch. I felt like each singer took the stage with a “let’s see you top this” attitude. The singers in Season 2 and 3 also had this attitude. But now, most of the top 10 finalists get a record contract, so the level of competition has really dropped off.

    Plus the show has conflicting goals – great television characters and finding the best singer. Sometimes the fans pick the best singer and sometimes the best TV character. And in the best seasons, the best TV character and the best singer are the same person.

    I have read several posts about old mentors, but some of the best Idol moments were of old songs:
    Kelly – Stuff Like That There
    Fantasia – Summertime
    Clay – Bridge Over Troubled Water
    Taylor – You Send Me

    But the producers don’t do a very good job of selecting mentors. Many of these kids don’t know a whole lot about good ol’ rock-n-roll and are at a real disadvantage with the old stuff. I think a major reason Taylor did so well was that he was a walking encyclopedia of rock and soul. But this season, David C appears to be the only one with a historic perspective.

  7. music maven

    May 1, 2008 at 7:27 am

    Huck – I think you make a good point about the lack of “old school” knowledge that most of these “kids” have, but the producers know that if they got mentors that appeal to the ‘tweens, like Leona Lewis or Natacha Bettingfield, then the demographic that they need — old people like me — would turn away in droves.

    They bring on Barry Manilow, Neil Diamond, Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, etc., because they know it will keep or bring in the grup crowd. They know that for the ‘tweens, it’s not about music but about celebrity and AI brings plenty of that so there’s really no risk in going old school, only reward. Except that the contestants looked bad.

    It would be nice to have every other week be “open mic” and to let them do whatever they choose. I’m really not sure how the theme nights prove or disprove their talent. To me, they only serve AI’s agenda to promote those artists (i.e., SonyBMG products) and to attract the demographic they need to survive. (But are losing in droves, BTW.)

    AI is basically done. I predict that next year, they will be on again and TOTALLY change up the format, set, location, etc., etc., to try and re-capture the magic. But much like Cousin Oliver could not save the Brady Bunch, it won’t save American Idol.

    I still say that I can’t wait for the day that they are done to hear the real stories some out from Kelly, Fantasia, Taylor, Clay, Reuben, Jennifer Hudson, Kat McPhee, Elliot, etc., etc.

  8. brc

    May 1, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    I completely lost interest somewhere after the Top 10. Haven’t watched in weeks so I missed the excitement last night. Very strange.

    The production of the show has so many conflicts of interest. The people who choose and decide the fate of the contestants stand to profit from the outcome. Simon Cowell was one of the judges on the X Factor when Leona Lewis won and he is also the one who signed her to a record deal and is touring the U.S. promoting her. In the meantime he is slamming pretty much every ex-Idol winner except for Carrie and Chris.

  9. AH

    May 2, 2008 at 5:59 am

    Couldn’t resist the Neil Diamond draw so broke down and watched this week. Loved the “little bonus” and could not stop laughing – still am. Have to get over that before talk to a couple of folks – wouldn’t want them to think I was gloating or anything.
    Simon does seem to have expanded his bashing list – maybe his ego doesn’t want the show to survive his announced departure in 2009 :]

    Looking forward to your next post on the topic.

  10. Colette

    May 2, 2008 at 10:19 pm

    I like the “open mic” idea. And oh that Jason, he’s sooooo coffee house.

    The younger mentors they’ve had just don’t cut it. I mean, Gwen Stefani???

    Every year I swear I’ll stop caring about this stupid show, and every year I fall in love. This time surprisingly hard for (sorry Taylor fans) my favorite contestant of all time.. Yup, David Cook.

    Creative, adorable, word-nerdy, and a big, great rock voice and musical intelligence. What he did with “Billie Jean,” “I’m Alive,” “LIttle Sparrow,” “Eleanor Rigby”…..I don’t care if he stole the arrangements from the trunk of somebody’s car, these were really inspired and fresh performances. And they were for me a bridge from old-school material, and the best of the emo/grunge movement.

    Like all DC fans I’m now afraid he’ll actually win, and be put through the Commercial Pop Thresher….still I can’t help root for him.


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