Thursday, January 18, 2007

American Idol Seattle Style

Seattle tops all of these lists---the most educated, the most bookish, the most non-Trumplike wealthy people, the most healthy, the most outdoorsy, the most dog-loving, the most hip, the most cool, the best place to live and on and on. And now our claim to fame is "American Idol from Seattle" was the most watched Idol episode ever. BUT, everything goes down hill from there.

I watched it last night. Yes, indeed. I saw the great shots of the Space Needle, our downtown, the market, the ferries and our rain. Simon doesn't like Seattle and he announced that Seattle has no talent. In fact, I believe he used an expletive. Simon, Paula, Randy and Ryan dissed the Puget Sound area royally. But they do not understand that the real dis was to them. Seattle has tons of talent. One only has to attend the 5th Avenue High School Musical Awards to see that we ooze musical ability around here. Frankly, nobody with serious musical talent takes American Idol seriously. And the people with real talent did not attempt to stand in the huge lines and audition for a FOX reality show. Nope, Simon, Seattle is too cool for you:

1. Our musicians are in bands with real gigs and too busy to audition.

2. American Idol is considered ridiculous to truly gifted musicians.

3. Our musicians don't necessarily fit the stereotype that Idol is trying to project.

Even so, I watched every second and found myself laughing so much I had tears running down my face. The contestants were loud, mouthy, obnoxious, and talked back in several instances. I think this is typical--Seattleites stand up for themselves. It is a part of our culture. Nobody from around here would take Simon's insults without retort.

Randy called Seattle "crazy" more than once. Ryan noted that Seattleites love their dogs because more than one contestant brought poochy to the auditions. True. Ryan called the locals "defiant" and described Seattle as a "talent vacuum". Other quotes about this great city--"weirdest audition turn out in history", "talent couldn't get any worse" and Simon said Seattle had the most miserable contestants without talent he'd ever seen. Paula simply said, "Oh my God!" and Ryan reported that the good folks in line were doing nothing but "torturing" the judges.

Nope. You will not find Seattle's music nor Seattle's soul on American Idol. In fact, several of the kids that were picked last night as worthwhile candidates to continue on the show were not from here. They had flown in from Arizona and Texas to audition. Good move on their part since Seattle musicians were not in line nor competing.

I will admit that Kaley had three friends who auditioned for the fun of it. All three of these kids can sing quite well but they never made it past the first screening. I assume they did not fit the image of a Carrie Underwood or a Kelly Clarkson. And for sure, they were not weird or crazy enough to make it on TV.

No doubt that Seattle has odd, strange and eccentric people living here. Our culture encourages folks to be themselves and to express their individuality. Seattleites may be surrounded by mold but do not try to put any Seattle person in a mold--especially the American Idol one.