Wherein every singer is above average.
I disagree with Joel Achenbach when he says American Idol is EVERYTHING that's wrong with America - bombastic egocentrics are often harmless - but I do agree the show, the judges, and the contestants are beyond obnoxious. Also, all the singers are trying to emulate the exact same style of singing.
American Idol: Everything That's Wrong With America
The judges and the viewers were tortured by contestants whose delusions of grandeur and hegemonic vanity had led to them to think that they could sing.
Collectively they told the majority of contestants that they were putrid, and that, as Simon put it at one point, their futures would not involve singing.
This came as shocking news to many contestants, who, demonstrating one of the core weaknesses of American culture, had been told again and again that they had a talent that they in fact lacked. What we saw was the self-esteem movement exploding on prime-time television.
We saw young people raised in the Everyone Gets A Trophy culture being told the truth for the first time in their lives. Gosh it was painful to watch, unless, of course, you're a sadist, in which case it was hilarious.
"American Idol" is, on many levels, a catalog of all that is wrong with our country. First you have the pathogen of overkill, which infects all creative ventures these days and manifests itself on this particular program as extremely dramatic singing.
Imagine "Over the Rainbow" sung as though it's the national anthem at the Super Bowl. Everyone wants to sing so loudly and with so many warbles and yah-yahs and pulmonary flourishes that the judges are blown against the back wall by the shock wave.
We saw all these people of ordinary talent declaring that they would become the next American Idol because they were "unique."
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