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Richard Laermer Headshot

Dramamine & "American Idol": Whose Country's Making Me Sick Now?

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I am sick of all this idle chatter. And then....

Last night millions (100? 50? Does it matter?) watched the annual crowning of their Idol on FOX. Yeah, it was the least-watched finale in the history of the show, but lots were watching. (Again, does it matter?) The show was laborious at best & dead boring if we are being honest with ourselves.

Did you notice how nearly every musician who's ever charted in the U.S.-save the reincarnated Elvis, and don't think FOX didn't try - showed up to croon during the bloated 120-minute extravafuckingganza? Latifah, Mraz, Fergie (!), Richie, Lauper (Cindy Lauper--CINDY? LAUPER?), KISS, and that zombified Rod Stewart were there and you can't even remember what they did. The only act worth eyeball soreness was Brian May from Queen, who rocked the place mad.

[Gosh do I miss Freddie!]

Before the new Crack Daddy Idol was crowned, we were put through the paces of The Golden Idol Awards to showcase the kookiest from this season's auditions. Somehow, a woman pretended to be mentally unstable and staged a freak out so as to be escorted offstage by Security and get what she was desperate for: more airtime. It was fraud-filled and made me nauseous.

I simply cannot think of a better word to describe the goings-on than stupid. Forgetting the vapid production and lack of anything we didn't see coming, come on and get real: Choice between finalists was a non-starter. We were presented with an effeminate West Coast hipster with not a small amount of talent matched again a kid who proved to be a Taylor Hicks rehash with vanilla vocal skills. This was a fake-out trying to bring up the that aura from Idol's early, new-to-you years. Not that I'd seen those years, but I sure read about them. "Different v. Same" was the high concept for Idol 2009. Yet despite the judges' pronounced preference for distinctiveness, was the outcome even in doubt?

Now, one aside: Can anyone explain the judges' role? Keeping stupid firmly in mind, riddle me this: Are they just there to tell the viewers what to think? Simon is hilarious but says nothing you can't get from reading a Gladwell book.

The bottom line to this necessary rant is our country chose safe and I'd like it to be ashamed. "Go stand in the corner, America!" Kris Allen will get sucked into our memory pores faster than Jordin Sparks, whose new "Battleground" cut was ripped from Pat Benatar in hopes of a hyped lawsuit. Come on, there's nothing memorable about Kris, whose name I had to look up today. What can he possibly have to keep us hooked! I doubt he has anything in the closet or even something quotable in that adorable brain.

America needed to smartly pick Adam Lambert, who name I recalled, then shout to the television: "Well, at least he tries to be different." Damn it--it's that late '90s problem with pop culture again: The risk is dead. Witness the myriad never-ending frat boy comedies that fill the many-plexes with ease.

Anyway, this Choose-A-Star routine is mind-numbing. Not to mention how dialing for rock stars is a cruddy use of our already-addled brains. Worse is it even sucked me in. Writing this, I'm feeling creepy. I got to go shower.

LAERMER OUT

...and twittering @laermer