May 25, 2006

Amateur Hour

I didn't see "American Idol" last night or whenever it was on but have watched two episodes in the past so that I wouldn't be completely clueless concerning the pop cultural phenomenon.

One was an audition show and the other between semi-finalists.

I liked the audition show better.

I found it more entertaining because, in the style of Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest , it was deliciously bad. I was also hyp-mo-tized by the fact that they seemed to believe they were actually good if not even great.

The show involving the semi-finalists was less interesting because I thought: "why would I watch them on television when I can hear professionals as good or much better on the radio or via my CDs?". My attitude was: "when you get to Carnegie Hall, phone me." This was disturbing because, as a blogger, others can - with great accuracy - say the same thing of me!

Update: Steven Riddle makes an excellent observation:
The point of American Idol is that none of these people would have a chance in the ordinary system, and some seem quite deserving. I am also frequently reminded that Carrey Underwood was last year's winner. The point being that in many different disciplines there are people of professional caliber who are too numerous to be recognized by the very restrictive system that allows for larger publicity.
I always tend to think that great talent will always rise to the top and I think it normally does, but it's true the system doesn't always work. Cerainly with major league baseball, if you were black or Latino you couldn't play until 1948! Definitely a case of talent not rising to the top. That is obviously just one example among myriad. Besides that my post was ridiculously elitist. Count me rather with Chesterton who always defended the amateur.

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