Monday, January 14, 2008

Taylor Tuesday


I hate to quote a Katharine McPhee song, but that's how I feel about American Idol. I'm over it. I get no joy from the show anymore.

I'm obviously a Taylor Hicks fan, so my perception of the show is tempered by how I think he's been treated since winning AI. I have no inside info and I don't know much about the music industry, but I can speak from my perspective as the average Joe viewer.

During Season Six, the year after Taylor won, a contestant walked into auditions with gum in her mouth. Simon told her to stick it on a picture of Taylor's face. And later, when we moved on to the part of the show where America votes, the exit song was sung by the guy who placed FOURTH the year Taylor won. If any former contestant deserved that priviledge, it should be the winner of American Idol, not Mr. 4th Place.

After enduring a season of blatant disrespect towards their reigning Idol, we Taylor fans were looking forward to his appearance on the finale. Let me remind you that the year before, the reigning Idol opened the finale show. Carrie Underwood was presented like royalty as the curtains parted to wild applause. Taylor, on the other hand, was given a spot somewhere in the middle of the finale show, without an introduction.

Then there was Clive Davis' embarrassing speech about how lucrative AI has been for him. OK, that wasn't exactly what he said, but it WAS all about numbers and how many more CDs Daughtry had sold than Taylor.

From my seat here in consumer land, it seems Taylor got no help from Clive Davis in the promotion of his CD (perhaps because he was too busy figuring out how to promote Daughtry). Taylor's first single wasn't released until AFTER the CD had already been out for a while and it got little radio play.

I read an article recently which said that the single is everything. Get it out there, get it played and people will buy the CD. Makes sense to me. Radio play is EVERYTHING. I can't really address the rumors that swirl about payola, but when other Idol contestant's songs have been played and replayed on the radio and Taylor's never is, it kinda makes you wonder.

But, back to American Idol. I was never a huge fan, but I did get hooked on Season Five. Taylor Hick's story was (supposedly) what the show was all about: giving an unknown singer a shot at a music career. But I think it went even deeper. It became a story about giving the unknown misfit a shot. Though Taylor's a good-looking guy, he was the underdog because he doesn't fit the traditional image of a pop star.

Let me stop right here. I'm confused. Is that what we're looking for on American Idol? A pop star? Maybe Ryan should make it very clear when they flash those phone numbers on the screen: "Remember, folks, the phone lines won't be open until the end of the show and be sure to vote for the person you feel is most marketable!"

Those silly producers have been telling us to vote for our favorite. I'm sorry, I misunderstood! Maybe they should just tell us the actual person they want us to vote for, then we viewers won't waste our time putting our hearts and souls into backing someone the music label doesn't believe in.

Ow. My stomach hurts. That happens every time I think about that show. Taylor won American Idol. Fact. He brought the goods. The night he took the prize he yelled, "I'm living the American Dream!" Yeah, well, not so fast. When it comes to American Idol, you're living it if you're willing to conform to what music executives think you should be.

American Idol has been an education and a sobering disappointment. I won't be watching tonight or any night in the future. I can't get that invested again, only to have the harsh realities of the music biz kill the joy of discovering a great new talent.


Kenzie said...

I'm with ya girl! The ONLY reason I'm gonna watch anything worth of five mintues of the show, is because I want to see if I made the camera panning the crowd when they came here in Omaha.

I didnt make it front of the judges, but I SO wish I would've even more now. I would've gone in there kicking and screaming!! I'd have given them a piece of my mind.

hickifino said...

It's been sobering to see the machinations carried out by AI to promote Chris (who deserves all the good that he's worked so hard for) and to proactively diminish Taylor. I support Taylor now and in the future.

caryl said...

Right, hickifino. I'm not bashing Chris, I'm angry at the suits who seemed to have decided that Taylor was not going to a big money maker, so why bother?

Chicken & Waffles said...

I actually did put the show on tonight (in truth, I stumbled upon it while looking for the political debates) and after ten minutes of the most horrific cauterwaulering I have ever heard in my life eminating from the cake holes of some rather ratty looking people I had to think "There's a reason I don't watch this."

I like Hicks, but only because I know what he's capable as a live performer. A.I. itself is rubbish and the end is not doubt commercial and callous. Hicks won because he is such an amazing live entertainer. I don't think the record companies or Clive or 19 Entertainment did him any favors, that's for sure, but he also wasn't allowed to exercise that performance charisma on his record. I hope that will change now that he's going indy.

Kenzie said...

I didn't get to watch the show last night, thank goodness. Wasn't planning on it. BUT!!

I heard that Melanie... you all remember her right? His back-up singer? Tried out last night. Julie told me about it. I guess she was the third one on there. She made it to Hollywood too.

So are we going to attempt to watch now for her sake? And vote for her if she continues to make it? I might actually try and vote. I tried last year, I've never been able to succeed in voting at all. :(

caryl said...

Yeah, I heard about that, Kenzie. It would be interesting to watch someone that you "know". But, I'm still boycotting the show. You can watch it and tell me how she does.

Bluesgirl said...

Hey everyone, I think Melanie was actually the 2nd person. Glad she made it throught to hollyworst rounds -she does have an excellent voice. I heard her on the tour with Taylor. I watched about an hour of the show last night and haven't put in on tonight. I don't plan to either. As I watched last night I kept thinking how stale the chemistry was. It was like some big dysfunctional family with assigned roles. Simon is the resident jerk as usual. He rolled his eyes and did a pretty good job at insulting everyone that came on. Did we expect anything different? The only reason I watched him was because the ONE picture they had of Taylor was behind Simons fat head. So I kept staring and hoping to get a gaze. Then there is Paula. Does someone know a good speech therapist? Everything just seemed to be in sloowww motion for her. I can't say too much bad about Randy as I've always had a soft spot for him. However I do challenge him to get throught a sentence without waving those hands around. And they made fun of Taylor's moves? Ryan does his job well and I like him. But, who can take the ultimate cheerleader for 7 seasons? After the way the show treated Hicks I realize that Clive and 19 Entertainment have lost sight about what the show was originally intended to be about. It was supposed to be the Rocky Story not another way to pad Clive's pockets or pay for his weekly Botex injections. Oh geez ladies, I'm rambling. I think this subject might have hit a nerve with me. Ya think?? It's time for me to go to bed because I'm sure as hell not going to watch Idol. Maybe I can have a dream that it's 2006 and and some gray haired misfit with a kick-ass voice is serenading me with "I Was Born on A River".

caryl said...

blues: that's what I'm talkin' about!

I wish I were smarter and braver. I'd do a whole expose on that show and wake up America to the sham that is AI. (Oh, crap, did I say "sham"?)

Anonymous said...

I agree with you every single word.