Monday, April 09, 2007

The one where I cave into popular culture

One of my favorite movie and television review sites, Pajiba, weighs in on that whole American Idol Sanjaya brouhaha, with typically scathing and insightful results.

Although I only watch American Idol when there's nothing else on and I'm waiting for House, M.D. to get started, the 10-second-per-contestant wrap-up snippets at the end of the show have given me more than enough (as the article puts it) "17-year-old borderline-retard Sanjaya" than anyone needs, and, yet, he persists. Having hardly watched the show, though, I definitely agreed wholeheartedly with this (big quote... just read the article, it's good):

I’ve never been a fan of the way Simon, the drunk to his immediate right, and the guy from Journey tend to Breakfast Club the contestants — sizing each one up in an instant and branding him or her with one of a handful of generic and recyclable designations. (“The Soulful One,” “The Little One with the Big Voice,” “The Modern One,” “Justin Timberlake,” etc.)

This season, Gina Glocksen was “The Rocker.”


As much as I was still fully behind The Sanjaya Agenda and wanted nothing more than to see Stern put on a Guy Fawkes mask and detonate a pound of Semtex under Ryan Seacrest, I was secretly pulling for Gina to at least nab a place in the top four or five — an achievement that would all but guarantee her a record deal somewhere.

Last week, she was eliminated.


But as the axe came down on Gina Glocksen, as the stunned crowd began to shout in protest, and as she began to cry uncontrollably, and, in a tragically ironic coup de grace, as she was given the stage one last time and was forced to perform the same song she had sung the previous night, which happened to be Charlie Chaplin’s “Smile,” I found myself shaking my head — amazed at how the entire scene was just so perfect.

It was the perfect object lesson.

It was as if God himself — either as an “Idol” enthusiast or simply in keeping with his longstanding practice of crushing the insignificant for the hell of it — had come down from on high and engineered the ultimate ruthless comeuppance aimed at all those who dared to fuck with the natural order of things.

Having watched the clip of her getting voted off (embedding disabled? Boo!), I can't say I disagree with his assessment of its perfect irony. Keep watching the clip, though, because it gets better:

Once again, in an act of seemingly divine inspiration, the shot of Gina’s tear-streaked face as she toughed her way through the lines, “Smile, though your heart is aching,” and, “Though there are clouds in the sky, I’ll get by,” slowly dissolved to show the face of — him.

And I found myself suddenly filled with rage, and the overwhelming need to rip every fucking ridiculous hair out of Sanjaya Malakar’s stupid little head and shove them down his fucking throat — the one that had failed to produce one decent goddamned note all season.


Perhaps the only thing left is to once again invoke the words of H.L. Mencken:

“Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”

Damn you, Pajiba, for applying such grandiose writing to a weepy girl on a shitty reality TV show and making me feel legitimately bad for her. Damn you.

1 comment:

cher cher said...

Dude, I was mad that Gina went home instead of Haley. I've kind of come to accept the fact that Sanjaya is going to be there for a while, and I'm okay with it because I know he's not going to win. Obviously there are a lot more people not voting for him than are voting for him, and when it gets down to the last few, there won't be enough votes carrying him because all those who were voting for people who have gone will start voting for the talent.

And Haley is only still there because she has nice legs and keeps wearing short shorts. I hope she goes home this week, but she was dressed in short shorts, so that might buy her another week.