PLEASE NOTE: As a throwback to my previously established blog, www.twosortsofpeople.com which involved my unbalanced segregation of all people into two irrelevant categories, I’m hitting you up with a blast from the past, Brendan Fraiser style, with another “two sorts of people in the world” blog entry. Enjoy!
I’m not a huge fan of reality television. I know everybody says that while secretly filming audition tapes for “Wife Swap,” but I’m serious. Yes, I watch “What Not To Wear” on occasion, and dry heave my way through episodes of “Jersey Shore” but like I always say, if I haven’t “liked” it on Facebook, it’s not actually happening.
However there is one reality show that I
anxiously reluctantly allow into my life each January. One that breaks through my general attraction to the – anti-establishment, screw top 40 radio, involuntary mouth-foaming rage at the mere mention of Ke$ha –mentality I harbor in regard to modern pop culture:
It IS… A-MERICAN Idol
Ok, that was supposed to be written with a very obvious Seacrest-ian inflection, but I realize without the 5’2 physique and frosted tips, it sort of falls flat. So use your imagination.
Anyway, American Idol has always had some sort of a mystical hold on me. I can’t quite describe it…
…. so I’m going to try. It’s like the butterfly feeling I get in the pit of my stomach every time I see a Leonardo DiCaprio movie, particularly if he is shirtless, using an accent, or aging to the point of death throughout the duration of the film. Or the agitated trembling sensation that flows through my body when I lie in bed at night, knowing Nutella is somewhere in the house waiting to be eaten. These reactions are very similar to those that I feel when introduced to a new season of American idol, and last night at work during the season 11 premiere those panty-changing feelings returned (ewwww).
I know what you must be thinking. How could such a street-smart, happenin’ chick, with great hair and a vinyl record collection get behind the revolving factory of crap American Idol has proven to be year after year? Simple:
“It’s where dreams come true” …or go to die, depending on who you are.
It’s not just about the often over-hyped singing or the offensively hokey Ford commercials, which frankly I could do without. American Idol has locked me in because every year some 17 year old from North Dakota — who learned to overcome the struggles of being born with one eye to mute parents, by working toward a cure for childhood diabetes in between secret vocal lessons in the local church basement, that no one knew about until she begged to fly to Austin to audition for American Idol using the money earned from the sale of the single, family vehicle, — sings a rendition of a Stevie Wonder song or something from the “Hannah Montana” soundtrack, “wowing” the judges to the point of tears. Said teenage cyclops will then proceed to awkwardly cry, and explain to the camera in a candid post audition interview, that this is her dream and “dreams really do come true” and that she WILL be the next American Idol. As we pan out, one of the judges, probably Randy, will point his never-used pencil at the door and say something like “that’s what it’s all about, dawg. That’s what it’s all about.”
It’s a really beautiful scenario and if you were not moved to tears by my portrayal, get your eyes checked, son. Anyway, my point is that my love for American Idol is often more about the hopeful, inspired feeling I get while watching it, than the actual talent. At least until three years ago…(I’ll get there, don’t worry)
So, according to my limited understanding of the world, pretty much everyone has watched American Idol at some point in its 10 year run. Therefore I feel comfortable dividing all of humanity into two different categories:
People who Passively Watch American Idol and People Who Destroy Relationships Over It
Now I realize not everyone who watches American Idol does so with the same level of dream-realizing grandeur with which I do. There are some people (tools) who watch it to make fun of the talentless hacks (just keepin’ it real), but don’t actually care either way about what happens. To these people, and all other, non-voting, non-psycho viewers who fall into the former category of people who watch passively, I say bravo! You are sufficiently less irrational and cracked-out than me. Good for you. Now go get hit by a bus.
Because really, it goes without saying that I fall into the latter category; the people who destroy relationships over it. I’m not going to lie. Anyone in a category that indicates obsessive, home-wrecking levels of passion for a TV show ought to be dragged out into the street and shot. Not really. But, something to that level. After all, it is completely ludicrous for anyone to get as unreasonably attached to a reality show and its contestants as I do. But in all honesty, I just can’t control myself!
Last night while working the coffee counter I decided to watch the season premiere of American Idol. Just so you understand, this is not the kind of thing I would normally deem appropriate for being in public. Why? Because a typical evening of watching American Idol provokes a certain manic behavior in me that is not in the best interest of society. But every year, I convince myself I will be stronger. I will care less about the poverty-stricken man with a newborn and a nasty case of Tourettes, who can sing like gold. I will care less about the homeless single mother with a Janis Joplin vibe and cool back tattoo. I won’t cry during auditions, or throw pillows at the TV in angst, I will sit back like the passive viewer I used to be three years ago.
Three years ago. What can be said? I was happy, healthy, and armed with sardonic wit about the crazy Sanjaya chick and the unexplainable fandom of David Archuletta.
If you do nothing else in your life, watch this video:
But then Season 8 happened and I fell in love with 16 year old Allison Iraheta.
Ok…marathon voting and crying when she was voted off…no big deal. Then Season 9 happened and I was introduced to Lilly Scott and Crystal Bowersox…
This was a very difficult year for me. Lilly was voted off early but Crystal made it to the finale and I never thought I could be more obsessed with a contestant until Season 10. Arguably the best season in the show’s history, with the weirdest indie-style, jazzy talents ever. I am weeping just thinking of Casey Abrams and Haley Reinhart.
OMG, I need to stop. Let it be known that my need to find videos for this blog entry turned into an hour of me watching and rewatching videos, while sobbing from the tears they all moved me to. I have a serious problem. But it’s important that you see this vulnerable, disturbed side of me because my obsession with Haley Reinhart last season, resulted in several fights with family members, near loss of friends, and two hour voting sessions. The judges hated her, HATED her, and other (jealous) people hated her amazing voice, her beautiful hair, her incredible legs…OK I admit it, I’m a bit lesbianic for her. I’m out and proud.
But seriously, everyone I was obsessed with was painfully, unbelievably talented in genres I actually listen to. I don’t care how indie, or anti-establishment, or hipster you are, you cannot deny the talent of the people above, and if you do, I will likely mail you a package of anthrax.
But I managed to stay composed during last night’s premiere. While I did have a few inexplicable smiles of insanity, explosions of unprovoked laughter, and the salty taste of tears streaming down over my lips in reaction to some inconsequential audition I don’t even remember right now, I’d say I kept it together pretty well. How I will fair the rest of the season, I cannot say.
I think it’s quite obvious that I have an illness. I’m not proud of it, just simply aware that I am not alone! Since I already congratulated the former group of people for their tight grip on sanity, I am going to applaud myself and the other dangerously fanatical people out there. You are NOT alone. I am here! Which you may not find the slightest bit comforting, but let’s face it. You’re obsessed with American Idol…what else do you really have at this point?
The girl who knows it is tacky to plug her own blog, within her blog, but still hopes if you enjoyed the “two sorts of people in the world” theme you will check out her other posts under the Sh*t I Write About section: two sorts of people in the world