You want to know why I hate American Idol?
You hardly ever saw singers drag the National Anthem out to center field and bludgeon it to death before Simon Cowell’s mug cursed our television screens. Now, every 18 year-old with a pair of booty shorts, a low-cut blouse, and the ability to mostly sing on pitch thinks that she’s the second-coming of Whitney Houston circa 1991.
Here’s the thing. A whole lot of those women (and the guys, too) could have decent musical careers. They won’t, though, because, thanks to American Idol, the only choice they see is stardom or bust. They won’t ever find out that if they can learn to sing reliably and sight-read well, they can make damned good money as a session singer or by singing commercials or jingles. Of course, those careers require some musical knowledge and the ability to hear the word “no” and keep on going to the next gig. And there’s no spotlight on you the whole time. It’s just hard work and a good paycheck.
Robert McCain says that “It’s not about you” and he’s right. No singing, really, is about the performer. It’s about the song. American Idol has made music about the singer and that is its worst crime.
Now, if you really want to hack up the national anthem, you should take a couple lessons from Lt. Frank Drebbin.