Tag Archives: Lil Rounds

Aren’t you glad a Moron didn’t win?

 

What a crazy, unforeseen turnaround.

Only a few weeks ago, I was declaring that the final of American Idol would be nothing without Lil Rounds, and everyone else, except for Adam Lambert, was a loser who’d go nowhere and wouldn’t be missed. Well, I was wrong.

All too soon, Lil is no more. Voted off. Outclassed and outlasted by lesser talents: the guy who’s cute but in a sinister way; the sixteen year old with her hair on the wrong way around; and even that guy with the miserable mouth and the mole on his forehead that you wish he’d either pick off or allow someone else to.

The reason for Lil’s expulsion? Inauthenticity. Week after week she was trying to be something she wasn’t. Relevant, cool, a star, a diva – nobody was sure, not even her, I suspect. All she had to be was the pre- Idol Lil – down to earth, raunchy, forceful, real, and belting out songs like she’s hailing a cab at an airport. But someone got to her, and she blew it.

Of course, last year I thought David Archuleta was the best thing ever, and look what happened there. In 08, he was the Mormon golden boy with the smoky voice (not naturally; he had an operation) and the magical green eyes who could do no wrong. 

Then he went and did wrong. He had one hit – Crush – during the post-Idol euphoria when he was flying high, then followed this up with an album that was so blah, so inadvisably anemic, so nothing by contemporary music standards, that he left thousands of fans dangling, and the rest of us in utter despair, as one of the most promising careers ever on that show sputtered, fizzled and dived nose-first into a hedge.

Mind you, once it was revealed that the Mormons, to their eternal shame, were the chief sponsors of the Proposition 8 anti-gay marriage movement in California, anyone tarred with the Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints brush was doomed and cursed in my eyes. A church that sponsors and actively campaigns for division, hate, inequality, and bigotry? The very things Jesus himself was against? Wow, time to remove someone’s tax exempt status, it strikes me – and fast. Or drop the m and let’s refer to them as Morons from now on.

Archuleta was on the show last night too, back from obscurity for one last burst, breezing in to let us know why his mainstream career had gone nowhere by singing one of the blah songs from his blah album. He’s going on tour to the UK this week. Good luck, Britain! Remember, he’s a Moron. And the Morons promote hate and division and bigotry. Don’t let the cuteness and the nice teeth fool you.  

Actually, aren’t we all relieved now that he didn’t win? Cute as he is, goofy and daffy as he seems, and even with the Mormon albatross hanging around his neck – when you put that feeble dimbo on the same stage as the towering commercial giant that will be Adam Lambert after he wins this thing (or even if he doesn’t, frankly), it frames everything in a new perspective. At that point, the relative insignificance of an Archuleta or a Lil Rounds or an Anoop Desai, or whoever else you can name (and soon won’t be able to), becomes truly apparent.

I promised faithfully that I would not – not – watch another season of American Idol, and this may yet be my last, but I’m so glad I got sucked in. I wouldn’t have missed Lambert’s performances this year for the world.

Already I have money set aside to buy his album, money I’d planned to spend on something important, like food. Because I don’t need it. His talent alone is nourishing enough. There is protein in every note; he exudes carbohydrates of magic from every pore. Quite honestly, Adam Lambert could do next to nothing on his album – hum, groan, make noises, bang saucepans with a spoon – and I’d still buy it. He is utter magic.

So goodbye Lil Rounds. It’s over. You didn’t stand a chance. Please put David Archuleta in your backpack and leave, then sit back and watch how the professionals do it.  

 

American Idol still, infuriatingly, gets five magic carpets out of five.

TV Swami – he say YES.

www.cashpeters.com.

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PBS. Today’s excuse for not writing a blog

I’m snowed under. Truly.

Finishing book, finishing promo film, working on radio piece, doing taxes, sorting out insurance people after car crash, worrying that the right contestants might not get through on American Idol when clearly an Adam Lambert-Lil Rounds finale in May will make everyone’s life complete and possibly usher in a new era of international co-operation among warring nations…. I have a lot going on.

So I’m not doing a blog today. Bottom line.

In fact, I’m beginning to think that bloggers are people who resort to  writing down their thoughts as a handy alternative to doing anything useful or constructive. Watching TV would be one example. Whereas all I seem to do every day is write down my thoughts in one way or another. I make a living from it. So to then do it in a blog as well is beginning to seem kinda superfluous somehow.

Also when I blog I’m doing it for free. And every time I watch PBS, America’s version of BBC TV, I’m reminded what a bad business model ‘doing stuff for free’ actually is.

PBS – also known as The Begging Channel – is freely accessible to all. Each day they show a range of taped shows, from news hours to concerts to lectures, and whatever else they have lying around the office.

They’re also notorious for introducing Americans to truly mediocre Britcoms such as A Fine Romance and Are You Being Served? that were ratings winners when  I was about nine years old, and convincing them somehow that they are a freshly-minted example of the state of British entertainment today. In fact, it can’t be long before a British variety series I helped write when I was 15 and still in school – The Two Ronnies – gets shown over here, billed as the latest comedy craze. 

“Hang on, run that by me again. A short guy and a fat guy performing skits together? Really? Oh, you crazy goddamned English!”

The reason PBS is known as the Begging Channel, though, returning to my point, is because they proudly broadcast all their shows for free.

F-R-E-E. 

Including classical concerts by puffer fish chanteuse Sarah Brightman, and really excellent self-help lectures by such people as Wayne Dyer and that Rich Dad, Poor Dad guy. Which is fair enough. Who among us doesn’t like free stuff?

But then – then, they go and spoil everything by interrupting the shows with pleas for money. Every twenty minutes or so, some frumpy woman with a bad hairstyle, who wouldn’t be allowed on any other network with those looks and that dress sense, turns up to ask viewers to stump up cash for these so-called free programs. Pledge a financial donation of up to $300, she implores us, so that PBS can keep showing a wide range of “quality programming” – vintage comedies, stimulating lectures, and beautiful concerts by shrill, posturing divas with mannequin hands that we promise will be interrupted every twenty minutes next time as well with even more begging.

Meanwhile, in the background, a coachload of pensioners with similar fashion sense stare at a bank of phones that sound like they’re ringing off the hook but which nobody appears to be answering.

And they go through this ritual repeatedly. Week in, week out, year upon year, interrupting their shows with cheesy panhandling. No matter how much we send them, they’re never satisfied. They never have enough money, it seems, with which to broadcast their free programs. 

I, of course, have never sent them a penny, I can proudly tell you. My view is this: if you’re stupid enough to operate a TV network without advertising or other visible means of support, don’t then come to me and expect me to give you money for a service I can get for nothing. It’s not going to happen.

So that’s PBS. Now, extrapolating this money-pit scenario to my blog…

I write books. I get paid for that. I do radio. I get paid for that. I write material for a blog, for which I receive praise, comments, criticism, and attention, but never any money.  I mean, where’s the sense?

In short, ladies and gentlemen, I am not Sarah Brightman and will not be treated as such. Thank you and good day.

 

PBS gets three magic carpets out of five, simply for showing up.

TV Swami – he say NO to blog-writing.

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American, idle. An addict reaches out.

I’m furious at myself for getting hooked again.

After Season 7 of American Idol I was an emotional husk – ask my friends, they’ll tell you – having invested waaaaay too much time and energy in performers who, a few weeks later – actually, minutes in some cases – and removed from the ethereal glow of the spotlight, seemed pretty rubbish. Aside from the occasional Jennifer Hudson or Kelly Clarkson, the only time we hear about these guys again is a couple of years later when their house is being repossessed or they’re dropped suddenly by their management company and are releasing songs through a MySpace page.

So last year, especially when the right David didn’t win, I quit cold turkey. That was it. Finished. No more American Idol for Sir.  It was like a New Year’s resolution, only in May.

But oh, how soon we forget.

January. More out of curiosity than anything else. Just to check out the level of talent on offer. And also because I report on these things for the BBC – I mean, I have to stay in touch. I stopped by one of the Hollywood shows. A casual glance one evening when nothing else was on TV. And goddamnit, I got hooked all over again! 

You have no idea how angry I am at myself right now.

Tonight it’s the wild card round. They’re about to give three more people I won’t remember in a year’s time the chance to be forgotten by millions of others as well, by joining the twelve-step program that the show becomes from now until the finale, when the dozen will be whittled down to one, the wrong contestant will be crowned the winner, and we can all thankfully resume our normal lives once again.

The favorites are already obvious. There’s…

The guy with the Danny Wallace glasses who lost his wife and is never done milking it, hoping, I guess, to secure the granny vote, but alienating everyone else. Unfortunately, he blows you away when he sings, so he’s staying; 

The tall guy with the ridiculous black manga hairstyle and the screeching voice that will cause your  fillings to drop out. Very talented, but he’s way too theatrical and screechy, and dental work is costly; 

Lil Rounds. Slick, talented, and will probably win, mainly because her name is so catchy, though I doubt she’s distinctive enough to succeed big-time in the real world later on. In the cold light of day, even the most gifted performer on American Idol can seem like a washed-up hooker singing karaoke between tricks. But the judges are swooning. So, of the girls, Lil’s in with the best chance. And if her career takes off too afterwards, wonderful;

The blind guy. He’s absolutely hopeless in dance routines and has to be led everywhere by his brother. Good voice, though, and excellent when you direct him to where the piano is and place  his hands on the keys – it’s just that he’s excruciating to watch. I find myself on edge the whole time, yelling, “Don’t leave your stool!” One week he’s going to drop off the stage, and I don’t want to see that. He’ll get the pity vote for being a tryer, but I so hope he doesn’t win;   

And my favorite right now, Jorge – pronounced Horhay – from Puerto Rico, who has a lazy eyelid that’s going to require surgery at some point, and who sobs in Spanish every time something good happens. But he has a lovely voice, he’s tricky when he dances, and he keeps smiling at me – at me, mind, not you – every time he’s on screen. I love this guy and I’m going to vote for him ’til my fingers bleed.

One note to God, if he’s listening: during tonight’s wild card vote, please remove Tatiana del Toro and send her packing. She’s the coquettish little drama queen they’re setting up to be this season’s Sanjaya. She has a hideous tittery laugh, a tendency to sob more than Horhay does (and that’s a lot of sobbing), and is far more interested, it seems, in how she looks on the studio monitors than how she sounds in my ears. If this little screamer makes it to the top twelve this year…..God, I know you move in mysterious ways, but that would be almost too strange and you need to rethink it.

In fact, if Tatiana’s not booted off tonight, I almost think it could be the last straw. The one shock event I need to snap me out of my American Idol addiction once and for all. I am not watching this show if she’s in it. That’s it. Finished. No more American Idol for Sir

Well, y’know – until next week.

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