989 American Idolatry Blinds the Ear
This year’s “Idol” probably is the worst shriek- fest in all eleven of its seasons. But from under this vocal toxic waste dump emerge two contestants with more talent than a human being can have a right to expect.
First is the huge voiced, huge bodied Jermaine Jones of New Jersey. He’s 25 and they’re comparing him to Barry White and Luther Vandross when they should be comparing him to Paul Robeson and James Earl Jones. When this guy sings on his porch, his bass-baritone rattles windows all the way to Delaware.
Jones got voted off the show, but through some quirk of rules, the “judges” brought him back. And had they not, a good chunk of the Vast Television Audience would have cried “foul.”
The second major is Jessica Sanchez, the huge voiced, tiny-bodied Filipino-Mexican 16 year old from San Diego. 16? Yeah. And she knows how to use a song to tell a story. Singing Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You” in much the same way as Whitney Houston’s huge hit cover version, she made you believe.
The rest of the contestants constitute a screaming slag heap. If neither Jones nor Sanchez doesn’t win this competition, either the voters have the worst case of tin ear on record, or there’s something wrong about the way the votes are counted.
Of course, it’s “Idol” so screamers are always more welcome than talent. And this year, they have their usual retinue of standard types: The chubby blonde girl who couldn’t get a date to the prom, the thin black song-and-dance man channeling Sammy Davis Jr. (except you always understood the words Sammy was singing,) the Justin Bieber wannabe, the Motown aspirant who forgot everything about Detroit except the sound of a car horn, the third carbon copy of Reba McIntire (except you always understand what Reba is singing,) plus the token Hispanic and the token Asian neither of whom can sing and neither of whom will be around much longer.
After two hours of this -- even with Jermaine and Jessica -- your ears glaze over.
--The Bloomberg terminal now includes a “countdown clock” to time breaks taken by employees. The company says it’s to “encourage punctuality.” But you have to wonder if the information gathered is stored in a database somewhere for future use by supervisors to decide whether an employee is “punctual” enough to remain on the payroll.
--Sue Simmons is history at WNBC. Good run, 1980-2012. Comes from the Comcast school of fire the good help and use her annual $5 million salary to hire two dozen well paid 21 year olds who don’t know collectively what a Sue Simmons knows all by herself.
--Latest in “NYPD vs. Terrorists”: Cops are said to have kept files on businesses owned by second and third generation Muslims based on religion alone. The AP reports some of the spied on “terrorists” are “American citizens whose families have been in this country for the better part of a century.” And the FBI doesn’t like the NYPD snooping around off the reservation... jurisdictional conflicts, evidently.
I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2012