Not So Fast, American Idol

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J. Lo Out Of Negotiations For American Idol

That was one of yesterday’s big headlines. And why is she out?

A source says:

“her demands got out of hand. Fox just had enough.”

Ok. Do we believe this? I don’t. I think it’s something else. I think that quote is just a fragment. Here’s what  I bet that “source” really thought:

“her demands got out of hand (since she’s not going to be employed long). Fox just had enough (from the gal they’re only bringing on temporarily til the whole thing plummets into a dark chasm of ratingless, viewerless silence).

Will Fox save themselves money here? Maybe in the long run. But here’s why I think they made a big mistake cutting J. Lo loose so soon. American Idol is a show that feeds on talent – but it also feeds on ridicule and showmanship and oneupsmanship and overthetopsmanship and catty, catty people. Who isn’t trying to decipher the inner workings among the judges — that’s half the fun, no? Wouldn’t you pay cash money to know just what Ryan and Simon really think of each other? Who doesn’t wonder just how miserable Ellen was?  And let’s face it, Ellen’s issue with the show was  (allegedly) its meanness. But you know what? In the end, that might be true – but it’s not noteworthy. And Fox needs – and feeds on —  noteworthy. All reality TV does. Consider this: Who remembers the guy or the gal who politely leaves a party because they think the other guests are jerks? Nobody. Who do we remember? The jerk who should have left because they were being so difficult. The person prancing around talking too much and fussing and irritating everyone.  Something else that person — that showy noisy horrible person —  does, despite our loathing?  He or she makes the party memorable. So we go to another party and we talk about that jerk who behaved so badly. Do we share anecdotes about the pleasant guest who left but said she still respects the party itself – it just wasn’t the right fit for her? No way. That person is long forgotten.  American Idol needs a really memorable guest right about now. Which is precisely why I think they should have submitted to J.Lo’s demands. If you’re in charge of the biggest show in the country – shouldn’t  you do everything in your power to land the nation’s biggest pain-in-the !@#% in your boat?  Oh sure, maybe they’ll bring in Steven Tyler. A massive rock star. Who’s obviously known as a prancing, demanding showman of the first order. But let’s face it – he’s a guy. And for a show that loves to bait and tease people, why wouldn’t they – as a last ditch effort – play the sexist card, since it’s subliminally there anyway? That is to say, why not exploit the whole power/gender thing? You know, where they say if a well-known man behaves  in a controlling & difficult fashion he’s regarded as a leader or a visionary whereas  if a lady behaves that way she’s regarded as frequently something less-than-savory (and often unprintable)? If that’s already in people’s minds, then why wouldn’t American Idol milk it, embrace that paradigm, and encourage art to imitate life? Especially since the visionary’s moved on to another show. I could be (and often am) absolutely and horribly mistaken but I think this show is going down. If they’re looking for one last gasp, they ought to reconsider J.Lo. They need someone ridiculous and outrageous. A true force of nature. They need a genuine ire-provoking, mail-prompting, catalytic sensation. And believe it or not, with everyone you meet today sporting that bored, jaded, been- there-done-thattitude, there may actually be a shortage of eyepopping, scene-stealing dynamos who can single-handedly resuscitate a sinking ship. And she might just be the one to pull it off. Nor does anyone dispute her talent. That’s why, before the whole darn thing goes the way of the buffalo, someone needs to 1) consider the endangered species that is the diva, 2) suck it up  and  3) quietly, gently  — so as not to startle them — approach J.Lo’s people’s people’s people and ask her again nicely.

But that’s just me.

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