I was reading this article about American Idol and it made me realize how fucked up that show is.
My inability to watch others get cut down is well documented. It’s one of the main reasons I don’t watch TV. (For new readers, I have not watched TV in about 10 years or so.) I get embarrassed for the person being torn apart and it makes me really uncomfortable. Anyway, a few years ago when I was dieting and going to the gym regularly I caught parts of a few American Idol episodes while trudging along on the treadmill. I was usually able to handle about 1 minute of one audition before I ended back on infomercials.
I don’t want to come off as some weepy idealist, but why is America watching this show? I’m guessing a lot of people will say for the music or whatever, but how many of you own an American Idol winner’s CD? People watch it cause they get a kick out of seeing people getting hurt. It’s kind of fucked up. How is it different from watching someone get flogged and laughing about it when they scream, or break into tears? Aside from physical wounds not lasting nearly as long as emotional ones, I mean.
Whatever though, that’s not really what bothers me. The thing that bothers me is that the judges, instead of being useful and using the chance to maybe help someone, have become the entertainment. They are expected to tear someone down completely, instead of correcting them or helping them on their way.
“You look like one of those creatures that live in the woods with those massive eyes,” infamous judge Simon Cowell told one “Idol” hopeful.
Comon, is that really necessary? Now, I am all about not coddling people. The world is a rough place and you have to grow a few millimeters of skin to manage it but I don’t feel like that gives people a license to be cruel for entertainment’s sake.
What if the American Idol judges told the people they didn’t like what was wrong with their act and gave them some ideas on how to fix it without resorting to personal insults? Would you still watch it?
For fuck’s sake, can’t we just be a little nicer to each other?