Volume 96, Issue 69
Friday, January 31, 2003

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Some kids just aren't American Idol material

World Wide Wong
Brian Wong
Web Editor

Gazette file photo
AMERICAN IDOL. Despite her somewhat frightening new look, Christina Aguilera's powerhouse vocals have made her an enduring international superstar.

Most budding superstars flock to entertainment meccas with the hope of becoming the next big thing. The plan is to make some high-powered connections, get "discovered" and make that first million.

Then there's Simon Cowell – the man who coldly crushes the dreams of those fame-obsessed people, who just have way too much ambition for their own good. Finally, someone who exemplifies the nastiness of the cutthroat entertainment business, while giving every one of us culture consumers a speck of hope that we won't have to put up with any more crap.

OK, so maybe the music put out by American Idol is crap, but the crap I'm referring to is the really obvious crap.

Think about that tone-deaf girl in your science class who thinks she's the next Christina Aguilera, or that ugly cousin of yours who wants to be in a boy band – these people must be stopped.

Take Edgar from Miami, for example. In last week's second season premiere of Idol, Edgar truly seems to believe he is the next Enrique Iglesias. Although Simon and co-judges Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson refuse to let Edgar move on to the next round in Hollywood, Edgar somehow convinces himself that the judges want to see him again. When guards escort him out, Edgar still believes he's going to Hollywood.

Or how about Terra? Terra's idol is Mariah Carey, and she even brings a snapshot of her posing with Mariah to the Idol audition; Terra even has that long, wavy, Mariah hair. But just because you look like Mariah, doesn't mean you can sing like her.

Enter Simon. His mocking criticisms might seem harsh, but sometimes deluded people need to be brought down hard. Simon's stinging words may be the necessary wake-up call to those ordinary kids who get suckered in by the bright lights of Hollywood.

Sometimes our kids need to be told that they won't make it big, they shouldn't even try and that Hollywood is filled with drunks and junkies who still think their script about the talking hippo should've sold.

Despite American Idol's promotion of superstardom and fan worship, the little quips provided by Simon help bring thousands of people back to planet Earth. Fantasies are fun, but once you've left the blinding glare of the cameras, it's time to drop the denial and get a reality check.

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