American Idolatry: Confessions of a Heretic

Our long national nightmare has begun again, with the return of the tyrant’s reign of AMERICAN IDOL. For roughly the next five months, the national religion will be IDOL-ism. Well, call me an apostate.

The biggest impression that this season’s two-part premiere leaves is how utterly unnecessary it is to actually watch the show. The season nine debut was exactly the same as last year’s premiere, which was just a clone of the year before: a parade of lost souls; human oddities hellbent on garnering attention in the most outrageous way possible. One could check off the boxes as the “hopefuls” streamed through the Boston audition room: The rockers, the hipsters, the adorable youngsters, the nerds, the hotties and, of course, the “What the Hell Were They Thinking?” train-wrecks. Cue the sob stories and assorted sympathy ploys, and sprinkle liberally with the all-important “challenge Simon” ploy. Even the episodes themselves are cut and polished to frame a “story”: The judges entertain masses of losers, hinting that a venue city won’t provide any potential winners. Then, boom! Suddenly, they uncover a few nuggets of talent! Wow, what are the odds? How exciting!

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