Ed’s Note: White Men’s Week (WMDs) continues with a letter to a cantankerous Brit who influences American cell phone plans more than Steve Jobs. He receives more texts on a Tuesday night than 10 15-year-old 90210 girls do in a month. Well, maybe only five valley girls.
Anyone working with only a right brain still comprehends your brilliance. It starts with millions of Idol-wannabe Americans who think a middle C-note is a form of currency. Then you embarrass them on national television while finding real talent. And finally you allow America to vote for its Idol. An ingenious idea with almost flawless execution.
It has made you truckloads of Salmon Chase-notes. But note that I said “almost flawless.”
Idol’s ratings have been slowly slipping. I’m sure you have a team of people working to figure out why, and how to solve the problem.
You all came up with a great idea last week by giving you judges the power to veto America. Seriously, during the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections, we have learned that American voters can make costly, collective mistake. And they’ve surely made a few picking Idols.
The first Idol winner, Kelly Clarkson, was a World Series title-clinching, three-run homer. So was George Washington. And I’ll give you Carrie Underwood. I’ll even go so far as to say that I believe in my hometown’s David Cook and his abilities.
But Fantasia Barrino? She’s cool. But America somehow had the gall during that third season to pick Fantasia and throw Jennifer Hudson off the train in sixth place. Who has the Academy Award and Grammy (though I will admit there were two R&B albums clearly better than Jennifer’s)?
See, American voters flub … as do Grammy selectors. So the veto power on the show makes sense. It’s an American staple.
But I also think you need to reinvent the show itself. If you look at the artists I named from Clarkson to Cook, they all have something in common. They are artists. They’re not Idols. These people can, and do, write their own lyrics. They can create their own melodies and harmonies.
That said, it would make Idol more intriguing if the artists were working on original tracks as part of the show. Maybe there could be a week where they actually perform those songs instead of having a Michael Jackson week.
That was embarrassing. Making them sing Michael is like trying to force a bird with clipped wings to fly. It’s not fair to the bird.
Now, I don’t know if my idea will work. But I’ve noticed that Americans like real people (see: Barack Obama) and artists who create real music from their hearts (see: John Mayer or even “I’ll do anything for a blonde dike”-loving Kanye West and his fresh haircut).
Maybe it would work. Maybe it wouldn’t. I’m not the smart guy. You are. So I’ll let you figure it out. It’s an idea, though.
P.S. Thank you for not letting Kanye say some ignorant mess last Wednesday like he did on VH1’s Storytellers (watched it online). That dude really called O.J. Simpson “amazing,” and the people who run VH1 were asinine enough to air it.
P.S.S. My favorite performer thus far is Lil Rounds. But, for some reason, her name makes me think “Sexual Chocolate” from “Coming to America.”