Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I Don't Approve Of This Form Of Idolization.

Here’s The Thing about American Idol:

Now, we all know I Greatly Enjoy this show. When people asked me, “Why?!” I always explain that American Idol is This Country’s Greatest Common Denominator. Grandma’s Love It. Kids Love It. When I talk to my classes about American Idol, they all instantly get Involved and Excited. If anyone else can think of A Show that An Eight Year Old and A Thirty Eight Year Old can discuss in depth, please let me know.

However, I have had A Slight Problem with American Idol this season. No – it is not the fact that This Week, Contestants Chose Songs From The Year They Were Born, And Some Of These Were Years I Could Have Given Birth To Them And Nary An Eyebrow Would Have Been Raised. (Sample Exclamation From Totally Awesome Fiancé Upon Hearing One Of The Song Choices: “Hey! I got drunk for the first time to this song!”) No, My Problem with this season is David Cook. Well, The Judges’s Responses To David Cook, anyhow.

In case you are not A Regular Viewer of American Idol (Really? Who Are You??), David Cook is This Season’s Resident Rocker. Eh, Emo Rocker. Honestly, I don’t know what The Kids call this sort of Crap these days. Basically, he likes to Sing Songs In The Style Of Bands Heavily Influenced By The Bands I Used To Listen To When I Was Their Age, Mostly By New Order, The Clash, And The Cure. And they call this, “Emo.”

Now, The First Week, David Cook sang his version of Lionel Richie’s “Hello.“ The Judges Oohed and Aahed over His Arrangement. Even I was Impressed. Until I discovered that Incubus Used To Perform Nearly The Same Version In Concert. Okay. The Next Week, David Cook sang, “Eleanor Rigby”, by The Beatles. His Interpretation was once again, Emo-esque. However, the next day, I read that A Seattle Band, named Doxology, with A Prominent MySpace Page and A Loyal Following, have recorded The Exact Same Arrangement of Eleanor Rigby and it is Their Trademark Song.

American Idol got a lot of Criticism (Online) for not Acknowledging that David Cook was Singing An Already In Existence Arrangement Of A Song. Each time he sang, The Judges told him he was So Original and Brave! I was just Shaking My Head.

Arrangements are The Backbone Of Songs – they are Unique and are often Copywritten. Back when I was still An Actress, I was very familiar with All The Variety Of Arrangements For Various Audition Songs. A failure to acknowledge A Specific Arrangement was considered Bad Form. A Huge Talent Competition like American Idol – which is basically A Month(s) Long Audition – should follow The Same Rules. Why are The Judges rewarding This Performer for being One-Of-A-Kind, when he is Clearly Singing An Un-Original Arrangement?

This week was The Final Straw for me. David Cook sang “Billie Jean,” Michael Jackson’s Big Hit. Again, it was An Emo-tastic Arrangement. This time, when David Cook was Introduced, Ryan Seacrest actually said, “Singing Chris Cornell’s Interpretation of Billie Jean…” but I doubt Anyone heard him because The Judges Went On And On about How Freaking Original And Brave David Cook was Again! Dudes: Singing Someone Else’s Clever Arrangement Of A Song Is Not Original! Seriously! Come on!

Okay. I said My Peace. Also, in case you are wondering, Totally Awesome Fiancé and I cast our votes for Syesha and Chikezie this week. I dialed the phone. Totally Awesome Fiancé muttered something about Being Whipped and Listened For The Very Grateful AT&T Man. We both acknowledged it was A Team Effort.

Now, let’s just hope The American Idol Judges soon realize David Cook’s Arrangements are, too.


Michael said...

I'm gonna write a post about the Yankees, but capitalize a lot of the letters and get my readers to think my style is soooo original.

Nanette said...

*Gasp!* I had no idea about all of this! It makes me sad because I really like David. In fact, I think he's my fav. I feel like they may have gave props to someone else recently when David sang a song, like it was a Cheap Trick version or something? Or maybe I'm thinking of another singer?

Randi said...

Nanette --

They have given Props to other arrangements. For example, they will say, "I am performing the Stevie Wonder Version of Such and Such Song." But, last night was the first time that they even Mentioned that Another Singer Or Band performed The Version David Cook Performed On The Show. And it is Clear, The Judges are Not Informed.

If you go to You Tube, you can play Doxology's Version of "Eleanor Rigby" and David Cook's. Sync them up to play at the same time. They are Exact, Note for Note. That needs to be Acknowledged, I think, in order for Voting To Be Fair.


Gooch said...

Now here's a topic that can get me to come out of the woodwork.

I find it incredibly odd and annoying when the judges praise OR criticize a contestant for the arrangement of the song, simply because I have a hard time believing the contestants themselves have much to do with it.

As one example, they ripped on Brooke White last night for her arrangement of "Every Breath You Take". Now, are we really to believe that on a show as high-profile and profitable as AI, they actually allowed Brooke White to arrange the music all by her lonesome? As if she herself told the band, "Ok, at this point bring in the horns guys...". Same thing a few weeks back with the terrible "8 Days a Week" country arrangement. Are we to believe Kristy Lee Cook handed the band the sheet music she came up with herself? Yet they threw her under the bus anyway. Stupid. Judge them on their singing, not on something that is very likely totally out of their control

Anonymous said...

This is the first time I will, respectfully, disagree with you, Daily Randy. After all, none of the songs anyone sings is original to begin with and there is no reason that any of them should have to karaoke the "original" version. And they did also mention last week for David Cook's interpretation for the 2nd Beatles week (he mentioned it, actually) that is was a Whitesnake version of the song. That also should not detract from the fact that he gave the BEST vocal of the night (my opinion of course) - that one note he hit, that lasted for like 10 seconds.. was great. I do agree that the judges shouldn't be talking about originality all that much - but they, and certainly most of us, have never heard these arrangements either. David Cook is, so far, the only one, whose album I would be interested in buying. This all started b/c of Daughtry's interpretation of "I Walk the Line" which they regarded as original and all - although it was the version of the song done by Live.

Anonymous said...

one other point -- :) sorry - but David A.'s version of Imagine was not original either. It was apparently done by a singer from Philly (read it on EW or something). The judges just need to stop talking about originality, period, unless its to talk about how Ramiele dresses. The contestants don't have enough time to even begin to come up with an original arrangement in the time period they have. And I have listened to Chris Cornell's version and David Cook's version of Billie Jean - and I gotta tell ya, I think David did a better job - and Chris Cornell can sing very well.

Randi said...

Northern Southener --

I totally Agree that David Cook is one of the few singers I would even consider listening to, outside of American Idol. My issue is with The Judges citing Originality, when The Contestants are clearly Not In Control Of These Matters. Chris Daughtry (Whom I felt The Same Way about the year He Was On) gave Props when it came to Critique. He didn't stand there Smiling when The Judges exclaimed, "How Original!" (Albeit, he didn't do this Every Time.)

I would like to Conclude by stating that I think My Issue is with The Show not giving Credit where Credit Is Due. Arrangements of Songs should not have anything at all to do with The Critique. I am still Plenty Angry, though. Grrr.


P.S. Let's Go Mets!

geewits said...

I barely caught the Chris Cornell reference, but I knew it was being attributed to someone. I just can't get past his "comb forward." People have made fun of comb overs for years, but now comb forwards are okay? I went to do something the other night and asked my husband "What did I miss?" he said, "They were doing a Ford commercial." I said, "REALLY? Did David's comb forward blow?" He said, "No, he wore a hat." Damn! I would love to see his comb forward blow back. That would be awesome. I guess he will wear hats if he does outdoor concerts.

Anonymous said...

Daily Randi, do you remember last year when Blake Lewis did that Cure song, but totally performed the 311 arrangement of it? It was so annoying how the judges thought he was sooooo original, but no no no. I feel you big time on this.

Sorry about Chikezie!