Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The George Bush of American Idol?...

I have a confession to make: I voted for American Idol tonight. But I didn't vote for Kris Allen, who was the cutest contestant of the night, or even Allison Iraheta, who the judges agreed was hands down the best vocalist of the night—and please don’t even get me started on everyone’s wunderkind Adam Lambert; he is a musical theater cartoon, and that’s all he’ll ever be! Instead, I cast my vote for the contestant with a split personality. The reason Nick-or-Norman, whoever he is, won my vote is three-fold:

1) I genuinely had fun watching him slide and writhe and serenade his way around the stage. When he "vamped" during the song, altering the lyrics to fit his life and this competition, I chortled with glee.

2) He reminds me of Nick Swardson, who provides me with some of my favorite moments on RENO 911! week after week, season after season.

3) The show has become an increasing joke season after season of its own, sending through the likes of Sanjaya and Jason Castro, both of whom were just as weird (looking) but had less vocal chops than the clown that performed tonight.

I know diehard American Idol enthusiasts, like my friend Amanda, hate Nick-or-Norman They think he ruins what the show is supposed to stand for and runs the risk of giving the show, and anyone involved with it, a bad name. But personally, I think he has the right attitude: this is just a TV show, people! And Nick-or-Norman is just having as much fun as he can with it; he's not taking it too seriously (Mishavonna, I'm looking at you!!). The show can change lives (and surely for some it has), but more often than not, the contestants fade to obscurity as quickly as they shot up during their fifteen minutes, and Nick-or-Norman is just going with the odds here. He is not buying into the whole philanthropy side to American Idol-- which means he is too much of a liability for Idol Gives Back week, but that is waaay off from now anyway-- and he is not allowing us to either. He is taking us back to music in its rawest form: he is there to entertain. We are given far too many sob stories every season (as much as I love Danny Gokey, I do think the show has exploited his wife's death a bit, and unfortunately I think that is going to cloud public opinion of him for the long run), and it's just nice to laugh for once!

Besides, in seven seasons of Idol, the best singer has really only won once...maybe twice.

If Simon, Randy, Paula, and the new chick thought Nick-or-Norman was making such a mockery of their precious institution, they didn't have to put him through in the first place, but they did, and he makes for entertaining TV, and that is something the show has lacked recently. So call it supporting the "Vote For The Worst" (who, perhaps not so ironically, are pushing for votes for him, too) conspiracy if you want, but personally I'm curious to see just how far Nick-or-Norman can get in this competition...and if he'll ever change his shirt or lose the 80s workout video sweatband!

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