Q: Who Loves Karaoke? A: Americans

I hate reality shows but I have come to terms with the fact that they are not going to go away.  They are wildly popular and I understand why.  They make sense to network execs because for the most part they are cheap.  They can have a wildly popular show without having to pay a has been movie star millions of dollars per episode.  Most of the time I understand why the public likes them, too.  I watch Jersey Shore.  I enjoy watching stupid people act stupid.  Its a guilty pleasure.

I can understand why the American public enjoys these shows.  Even if I don’t like it I understand it.  What I will never be able to understand is why Americans get so obsessive about singing competitions.  American Idol is obviously the flagship program but at its core its really just karaoke.  Some of these people can sing a little, sure that’s obvious, but so what?  On a Sunday morning go to the nearest baptist church and you can hear 10 singers who are just as good or better than the ones on Idol.

In the history of pop/rock music there are lots of great singers.  Aretha Franklin, Robert Plant, Marvin Gaye, Rob Halford, etc.  Yeah they had great voices but they had so much more.  The way they sang, you could feel the pain or hate or love behind the lyrics.  That presence is something that cannot be taught.  Instead Americans are watching these shows and people, like this smirking putz, are being considered the future of popular music.  That is not ok.

When you think about it, some of the most important artists of our time would have been booed off the stage if they auditioned for American Idol.  Simon Cowell would have torn Bob Dylan a new one and David Bowie would never have gotten a second thought.  These are some of the most important voices the history of pop/rock/folk/space funk/whatever and they would have done worse than this guy.  That’s is the main problem with this show.  These are singers, they aren’t artists.  This is a game show and we have to remember that.  To expect these kids to do anything worthwhile after the show is over is just asinine.  If you are getting worked up over the equivalent of a singing mannequin then you need to take a good, long look at what is missing in your life.  American Idol, X Factor, and now The Voice (Jesus it hurts my head to even think about this one) are not important.  Support real artists and not just any pretty face that shows up on the magic talkin’ box.

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