Editorials and Articles Archive
A Modest Proposal
Tired of the producers' rampant favoritism? This idea ought to set AI7 right.
2 March 2008
As we have written before, and although there is some disagreement within our ranks, we're mostly OK with "ringers" like Carly Smithson, Michael Johns, and David Archuleta in the American Idol competition. If they're among the best unsigned singers in America, as certainly seems plausible, bring them on. We've heard enough overmatched amateurs the past six years to last a few lifetimes.
However, isn't it...ah, let's call it "mathematically astonishing"...how the producers only cleared 50 random songs per Semifinals week, yet Johns's signature Light My Fire, Archuleta's Imagine (there are YouTube clips of him performing the song publicly since age 12), and Smithson's self-described "favorite song ever", Crazy On You, all just happened to be on the list? We're not accusing the producers of anything, mind you. We're just math nerds marveling at the coincidence. (*Whistles innocently*)
Seriously, we don't mind the pros, but like many other Idol fans, we don't think it's asking too much to demand a level playing field for everyone. The "amateur" contestants who beat the thousands-to-one odds to make it to the Semifinals deserve nothing less, as do 30 million loyal viewers who sit through 45 minutes of advertising over each two-hour episode to hear perhaps 20 minutes of actual, you know, singing.
But upon reflection, we came up with a better idea. Garrett Haley let slip in his exit interview that he submitted three choices from the list of 50 approved songs from the Sixties, all of which had already been chosen by other contestants. So, the producers simply assigned him the saccharine Breaking Up Is Hard To Do. It's inconceivable that such treatment would ever be accorded to one of the "professionals" in the competition....
...Until now, that is. Our modest proposal is as follows: The producers already have Beatles Night cued up for the first week of the Finals and an undisclosed mentor for the Final 11. We demand that the Final 10 episode be open-themed. For this one week only, the surviving contestants may choose any one song on earth they wish to perform, and the producers shall obtain the necessary copyright clearances even if it means they have to spend as much as one million dollars apiece to do so. Given the advertising revenue the show pulls in weekly, this is tip money to them.
With three exceptions. Archuleta shall be compelled to perform "Run Joey Run" in its entirety, including the girl's lines in a falsetto. Smithson gets "I've Never Been To Me." And, Johns shows America how a real Australian sings "Muskrat Love." These are not only three of the corniest pop songs we can think of, but they're the most ill-fitting numbers imaginable for those contestants. (We could be even more cruel and force them to sing My Destiny or This Is My Now, but that's just going too far.) This should get the competition back to square, and then some. And, it might teach the producers a lesson they'll remember for AI8 and beyond.
- The WNTS.com Team