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Josh on American Idol


It has come to my attention recently that record producers and television executives aren’t actually working in our best interest. I know, I know. I was shocked as much as you, but it has been revealed recently that the main purpose of these two groups of people is making as much money as possible from a buying public that apparently will buy anything that looks good or will help prevent hair loss. This was made apparent to me in a statement made recently by the judge of a popular television show called American Idol who felt that if the winner of the show didn’t sell a huge amount of records then the television show would be a colossal failure.


Oh wait. It’s crossed my mind recently that some of you may not know what it is that I am talking about. Now I understand that those of you that are fortunate enough to know me in a personal sort of way might remark that this sort of thing happens all the time, but just in case you are unfamiliar with the television program entitled American Idol, let me sum up. Boys and girls who can sing good, and can look good, can get on television and get thousands of screaming 12 year old girls and their insane parents to adore them and buy their records, and can become major television stars who will soon get large sums of money for recoding contracts where they will sing songs written by mostly balding older men. This in turn causes what is commonly referred to as “a huge profit for the television executives and record producers who would otherwise have to keep on selling shows with former Seinfeld members and pushing Britney Spears to the moon because she is cute.”


I also understand there are some of you who may feel that Britney Spears is not cute. I am very sad to inform you that you are wrong. Yes, I understand it is only your opinion and all, but this is one of the rare cases when an opinion can actually be wrong. Britney Spears is cute, and she has a pretty good voice I guess, therefore this equals a huge bankroll. So the thinking goes what if we could find more older teenage boys and girls who look good and can sing good to sell our products, then we could move a huge amount of merchandise and sell a lot of things and make a lot of money so we could continue to get thousand dollar haircuts anytime we want.


What’s that you say? You don’t believe me? You want to hear from the people involved themselves? Well then….. I have actually done some research for this issue and have come up with some fascinating quotes from some of the people involved in and around this worldwise media phenomenon sensation known collectively as “American Idol”™. These quotes may enlighten and amuse you. They may shock and offend you. They amuse and upend you. But just remember that American Idol is designed to make an awful lot of money whilst displaying the smallest amount of creativity possible, in other words, logical thinking need not necessarily apply, and if it did, could it fill out the proper forms?


First up, we have the star of the hour herself, Kelly Clarkson, the winner of the now inaugural American Idol tv show. Here is a quote from her before she was actually declared the winner - "The competition part's kind of getting old," Clarkson said. "We're just waiting, we want to get started with our careers," she said. Call me crazy now but where I come from when you want to be an international media sensation and a diva, starring in a popular television show is a pretty good place to start.


Here is a brilliant tidbit from one of Kelly’s old friends - "Oh my gosh, I was so overjoyed. This was her dream," one of Kelly's high school friends, who only gave her name as Mary, told reporters at the gymnasium after Clarkson was declared the winner. I’m not sure what exactly is being said here. Does she mean that Kelly Clarkson dreamed about being the winner of being a television show when she was little, or does she mean that Kelly does not normally dream when she goes to sleep, but the one time in her life that she did, she dreamed that she won American Idol?


Here are some words of wisdom from the winner (Clarkson) and also from the runner up of American Idol, Justin Guarini: Guarini, for his part, insists, "I don't think the goal is to be a star. I think the goal is to do what we love. And what we love just happens to be something that can be very glamorous." Kelly Clarkson, 20, another finalist, concurs: "I want to be a performer. I want to have a job where I come home at night and I love what I do."


What kind of illegal substance was Mr. Guarini on when he said this exactly? I’m having a hard time translating his words to some form of rational content, but let me attempt to explain what he meant. Ahem. Presumably he was referring to American Idol when he said “I don’t think the goal is to be a star”, possibly this could be the dumbest thing I’ve heard all year. The show is called American Idol, in other words, something that people worship and pour money to. Now maybe I’m confused, but could it be possible that if you’re an idol you’re also a star?


The last Kelly Clarkson quote was sent to us from the institute of Duh, the college that tells you what you already know. In other words, who doesn’t want to enjoy life and get paid for doing so? Thanks Kelly, for filling us in on a closer view of your important life, and for making the rest of us dumber.


"From the moment that Kelly sings the first line of 'Before Your Love,' you are completely captivated," he says. "She has a triumphant grandeur in her voice that establishes her firmly as the new Queen of Soul." These brilliant words, which would make Aretha Franklin, the former Queen of Soul, the second best Queen of Soul, are actually stupid. They are also from Desmond Child, who wrote the hit Kelly Clarkson song, “Before Your Love.” He also looks like a Cuban pimp of some sort, and not in a good way. I’d link you to a picture of him, but I don’t want your computer screen to catch a disease of some kind.


Child has more “interesting” quotes; here’s one of them: “I think that I have a special gift of being able to almost psychically hear what the artist is dying to sing about or say to the world and when people hear this, they feel that it's real, that it's truthful. And it thus becomes credible and worthwhile to buy.” – So, in other words, if it isn’t truthful, it isn’t credible or worthwhile to buy? Geez, I wonder what he’d say about Rod Stewart and “If you think I’m sexy”?


Here for some enlightening commentary on Desmond Child is Michelle from “And why is it that two of his biggest hits both start with the word livin'? (ed: he wrote Livin La Vida Loca) Is it his lucky word? Or is he out of ideas? That's just great. Just when I thought music could not get any worse, Desmond Child has started borrowing ideas from Desmond Child.”


One of my favorite quotes on the American Idol subject comes from Richard Sanders, head of RCA Records. Here he is being interviewed.


American Idol has been criticized as being far too pop and of the moment.


Sanders: Yes, it's of the moment and, yes, people can look at it as "What does it really mean?" But you can say that about a lot of pop music right now. It is really of the moment. If this is a vehicle that can expose it and develop it quicker, that's even better. As a label, we have to balance "American Idol" with the more traditional developing artist plans that we have in place.


In other words, what he’s saying is that pop music has no lasting value, and that they are merely trying to make a quick buck off it. You know what? I have absolutely no problem with anyone making a legitimate quick buck off people with no musical taste whatsoever, but let’s be honest and upfront about it shall we? Come on people, who are we trying to fool here, all this American Idol stuff is about feeding the bottom line – making everyone involved with the record industry very rich until the next good looking star comes along that they can market to the hilt. Other than that I have no clue what this man is saying, but he sure is bobbing and weaving away from the question.


The End: There is much more that I could say about American Idol and Desmond Child and co. but it would take up far too much time and would cease to be interesting to most of you. I initially tried to actually talk to Desmond Child or anyone connected to him to find out what they thought about the new Queen of Soul but no one would take an unsolicited interview over the phone with a humor columnist they’ve never heard of before for an obscure internet site. In other words, too bad for me. But, that doesn’t mean that you can’t get the interview!


Desmond Child’s home phone number is (305) 867-7983, and his office number at Deston Song’s (his own company…) is (305)867-9000. If you cause any trouble make sure you direct it back to me since I can’t really get sued for this since I found his number elsewhere on the net, and I’ll take all the free press I can get.