Thursday, February 26, 2009

will Norman save or sink American Idol?

Yes, I watch it, get over it. I will admit that I started watching the show after an evening of cruising past my 100+ channels and coming up with absolutely nothing to watch. When I flipped for the third time past "the singing show," my then two-year-old started to squeal with delight and dance. I can't hide behind her anymore, however, as I'm still watching and I control the remote, at least for now.

Last night, as Norman did his cabaret act, I was wondering, not for the first time this season, if he had an agenda to bring the whole juggernaut to a screeching stop. He was hardly the only one from the auditions this year whose motives seemed suspect. Besides the usual goof-offs who just want to get shown on television, Season 6's "vote for the worst" Sanjaya debacle may have also spawned numerous folks just dying to vie for this year's anti-votes.

Watching Simon cringe as Norman performed was as amusing and entertaining as Norman. Although Simon claims that his resistance to Norman's charms stems from the fact that he doesn't think this contestant is taking the competition seriously, I think it is more that Norman doesn't fit into the pop product mold for which this show is designed. Norman is actually more on point than Simon, who has ceased to realize that ultimately, the judges opinions mean nothing when America votes for such diverse people as Taylor Hicks, Clay Aiken and Carrie Underwood. America doesn't seem to care about musical style (rock versus pop), or sometimes even talent, as long as it is entertained. So maybe Norman will have the last laugh - if he gets the votes. Two of the judges, Randy and Kara, are at least willing to be entertained. And maybe Norman is just being true to himself, with his disco-ball shirt (although he should ditch the shorts.) Maybe this isn't about his fifteen minutes. Maybe he just wants to be a star.


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