Thursday, May 27, 2004


Reuters, Elton John, and American Idol

First of all, let me state categorically that I do not watch American Idol. I'm not a much a fan of reality TV, though I have confessed to watching The Simple Life here and elsewhere.

Apparently there was some controversy over the voting off of a black, woman singer, either last week or the week before. Charges of racism, either against the American public or against Fox for somehow rigging the vote were quickly leveled.

One such charge was leveled by Elton John, apparently an American Idol fan, understandable given the absolute pop crap he's produced over the years.

Here's the Reuters headline from last week, carried over Yahoo! this morning because in the end, a black woman DID win the contest. I'll fisk it a bit at a time.

Okay, so these singers are good because John says they're good, and because John says they're good, they belong in the top three, not the bottom three. Because they are all black, racism can be the only possible explanation, and, since John comes from a country where race relations are terrible, he must know what he's talking about, eh? How many "Pakis" would win on British Idol?

But I'm just being snippy. The fact is, there are other possible explanations for why one black woman was voted off, and for why the three black divas were in the bottom three. One might be that people are simply tired of black divas. I know I am. Nothing racist--there's a lot of pop music I'm tired of, primarily because once the music industry gets on a kick, they are determined to make us listen to the same, vapid crap until we just can't stand it anymore. How many Whitney Houston clones can we be forced to endure? Because honestly, there hasn't been a substantial change in the sound of the black diva since Whitney Houston.

Another explanation could be that this is rigged. But for racism? Bullshit. If it is rigged, it's rigged to make it more suspenseful. One of the bottom three did wind up winning, and the whole thing made for better television because she was the underdog.

Finally, the whole thing dismisses the fact that a black man won last year. Am I to take it that unless a black wins American Idol each year that we have a racist situation? Because that seems to be what Elton John is suggesting. Perhaps Mr. John should just shut the hell up. Maybe he'll get lucky and another famous blonde woman will die so he can resurrect his career with yet another rewrite of "Candle in the Wind" instead of trying to get attention by making ill-advised political comments.

Yes, even the host believes America is racist, and makes a veiled comment on the air admonishing the American public to vote talent, not skin color. Well, dipshit, looks like they did. Perhaps voting the woman off last week was so that this Fantasia woman would have a clearer shot? But, no, that explanation wouldn't fit with the preconceived theory of American racism, would it?

And now we come to my favorite parts. It is always necessary to bash Fox, and always necessary to write articles that contain the suggestion that some evil, conservative (because all racists are conservative, of course) plot is somehow either being engineered or facilitated by Fox.

Thanks for reminding us. Perhaps you could have mentioned this earlier in the article, or at least before the Fox crap, so that readers could make a clear connection between John's bullshit allegations and the truth of last year's contest.

And my favorite line of all. Is this information even necessary to the article? Why is it here? I'll give me readers three guesses.

Big problem, one that my high school in Las Vegas protected against, was that if you have too many of a particular type of entrant, they will split the vote.

Or how Nadar beat Gore and helped Bush win.

Imagine what would have happened with six divas ...
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