Written by FrontPage Detroit
Last night, the Fox network premiered its 12th season of the hit show 'American Idol'. Before presenting us with the best of its national talent search, the series endeavors to offer up laughs showcasing contestants that, quite frankly, have no business auditioning in the first place.
It has become the custom of this famed show to make a spectacle of the less musically inclined who, nevertheless, seem to take the process very seriously. The only thing more disturbing than their attempts to hit high notes is the look on most of their faces when they get cut. It is a look that lets viewers know they are not joking around. Are they truly chasing a dream to which their self-proclaimed 'natural gift' has led them? Or, are they rather part of a culture obsessed with the idea of being 'famous'? These contestants appear to believe superstardom is but a performance away. In most cases, they are right.
When it comes to the quest for fame, it's safe to say that Americans put the 'Idol' in idolatry. Our culture has become completely fascinated with celebrity. Social media has only complicated the matter. Many people showcase everything they do on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, chronicling nearly every detail of their journey. Folks have become obsessed with the idea of knowing others are watching them 'live'. The rise of individuals known as 'famous for being famous' doesn't help the matter; media sells a dream that you can become well know for practically doing nothing.
Today's entertainment business has become more a reflection of one's fascination with fame than actual talent. People want to escape the mundane confines of everyday life for 'regular' folks. The surge of reality stars who have become household names only adds insult to injury when it concerns this dilemma. Those who goes on television to make complete fools of themselves reach and sometimes surpass the popularity of others who exhibit real talent.
The opening episode of 'American Idol' is not particularly different from previous seasons. We expect the majority of the contestants that come face to face with the judging panel will not have the slightest lick of talent. Yet, their eyes are firmly set on success. But, what is this 'success' they are aiming for? Are some people so delusional about their level of musical ability? Given the current direction of our culture, one cannot help but wonder the true reason behind it all.
In the coming weeks, we will start to see more of those who the judges take seriously. Yet, the images of prospects who initially gave us the most laughs might stick in our heads more than those who make it to the finals. Perhaps that is exactly the goal of some contestants. With all its ridiculousness, that goal is frequently accomplished.
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