It may surprise you to discover that I have any pet peeves about American Idol. After all, it's one of my favorite shows and I watch it religiously. I thought I'd have to do without this year, but then I was led toward www.ch131.com and my world has come back into focus.
But yes, there are some things that bother me about the show. Because I'm not known for keeping my mouth shut on any topic whatsoever, I shall now share them with you.
1. Contestants who say, "If you'd just give me a chance!" They've actually been given several chances. Randy, Kara,Paula and Simon aren't their first audition - they have to sing a snippet when they sign in so the producers know what to do with them. And if they make it to Hollywood, they've sung for the judges a number of times. It's not fair for them to bellyache and complain that they weren't given a chance. They were given a chance, and if they didn't make it to the next round, it's because they goofed up or can't sing. (Also in this category are contestants who claim they didn't get enough camera time and that's why they didn't make it through ... as if the judges are even aware of who's getting camera time at this point in the show.)
2. Female contestants who feel that their bodies or their cuteness should see them through the entire way. Case in point, Bikini Girl. Her attitude was beyond belief. She had no respect for anyone on the show, she mouthed off at the (female) judges, (female) contestants, and spent her time flirting with anything male that moved, including smooching Ryan a bit beyond the normal "I'm so happy, let me smooch you" sort of smooching. I don't blame the female judges one bit for having issues with her. And at the end, when she decided not to rehearse with her group on group day and then showed up right before it was time to perform, her excuse for not doing better? She had been wearing high heels all day and was exhausted because she has scoliosis. Well, I have scoliosis. In fact, I have double scoliosis. (I'll take your spinal deformation and raise you one.) I happen to know for a fact that persons with scoliosis had better not be doing any such thing as wearing high heels for longer than, oh, an hour at a time. If she wore them all day, well, of course she's going to be in pain! No brainer. She knew better before she ever did it. She threw away her chances because she wanted to be cute. That's what it all came down to.
3. Contestants who blame others for their failure. Bikini Girl wasn't the only one in her group that messed up. Rose was freaked out that they'd tank because of Bikini Girl, but Rose forgot her lyrics. You can't blame that on a single other person but yourself. Your group might be off key, and they might hate your guts and they might even trip you as you're walking on stage, but if you forget your lyrics, that's on you. Don't even try to pass that off on someone else.
4. Contestants who insult the judges when things aren't going their way. The four judges are professionals in the industry. You may not like what they have to say, but to tell them they don't know what they're talking about ... is just dumb.
5. Contestants who forget they're on television and that what they say and do will be replayed over and over again. Let's say you auditioned and it went badly and you freaked out and cussed and acted like a shrew and kicked over a few garbage cans. Now let's say a year has gone by, and you'd like to audition again. You're calm now, you've seen the error of your ways, and you think you've got a good chance this time around. You walk in, and the producers pounce on you. "It's that crazy person from last year!" and they dig up all the footage of you and your little manic episode. You may not ever be able to live that down, even though you no longer feel that way. And even if you don't go back to American Idol, how will your public display of wacko-ness affect every other thing you do, the rest of your life? If you interview for a job, and the guy behind the desk is a fan of AI, he's going to remember you. And he's going to ask you to leave. You cannot freak out on national television and act like a whiny bear and not expect there to be consequences.
So there you have it - some of the things I dislike about the show. These are all things the contestants could change and I hope they do - they're only hurting themselves when they act this way. They need to be looking down the road and taking responsibility for their actions now, recognizing that their future careers will be largely shaped by the things caught on tape. Right now they're being judged on their singing. But when the vote goes out to America, it does turn into a popularity contest, and if you've ticked off America, bye bye to you.