Friday, April 15, 2011

Reality TV: Disappointments and Confusion

I'm crushed!  How could Paul McDonald get voted off American Idol?  He's unique, he's original, he's adorable, and what a fashion icon!

The seven remaining contestants are all talented singers - can't argue that.  But there are a couple who have shown no originality or performance ability - every song sounds exactly like the original (karaoke) and exactly like last week's song.  

Scotty is a sweet kid and he's guaranteed a country music deal when his Idol run is over - but it's time for it to be over.  I'm all for staying true to who you are and I like country music, but he turns every category - including Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Week -  into country.  Time to "step it up", as the judges say, and show some versatility.  And please, work out another move besides the shoulder dip/Elvis lip smirk.

Then there's Stephano.  He's proven over and over that he has a great voice and he can stand there and belt out a song.  But I can't name you a single song that he's done because they all end up sounding identical and they have become a blur in my memory.  I just don't understand why people don't listen to me and we would all be voting for Jacob!
And while I'm railing about "reality" tv (don't get me started on my opinion of that genre.  Idol is a game show, not reality, and Real Housewives..., etc. is teen-girl drama on Botox), let's discuss The Next Food Network Star.  I've pretty much given up watching the cooking competition shows because I got worn out on the back-stabbing and nastiness.  (Didn't their mothers tell them "If you can't say something nice....shut up"?)  But I did watch several seasons of The Next Food Network Star and I've noticed a disturbing trend.  Several of the non-winners now have their own shoes on Food Network or it's new sister-station, The Cooking Channel.  Does anyone else feel slightly deceived by this?  The idea was that one person would win the prize of their own show.  So why are Tom Pizzica, Adam Gertler, and Kelsey Nixon (and possibly others I haven't noticed) hosting shows?

Yes, I know that many, if not most, top-ten contestants on Idol end up with some sort of recording deal.  But Idol doesn't advertise anything exclusive for the winner other than the title of American Idol.  The glut of Next...contestants with shows makes me wonder if the whole series wasn't a set-up to discover new talent to be used in the launch of the new Cooking channel.  If so, then I'm twice as annoyed.  It's not that I think these people don't deserve to be on TV or don't have something worthwhile to share, just change the title of the show to reflect what's really happening.  Maybe Food Network Talent Search?  Everybody and Their Dog Gets a Cooking Show?  

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