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Not Prince Hamlet

"Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse."

Rushkoff on Idol: They Both Suck

Thursday, May 25, 2006

NPH missed the Idol final last night because he was at a preschool graduation. Instead of listening to 40 29 year old Taylor Hicks sing his victory ballad, I was listening to about 25 preschoolers christening their own victory with a rousing rendition of "Jo-Jo-Joseph Had A Rainbow Coat."

But NPH favorite media analyst, Douglas Rushkoff, watched it. It's the first piece of the reality franchise he's watched all year, and he's convinced that the same fatigue effect that causes high school theater teachers to, after months of rehearsals, think their pubescent performers are actually good is clearly at work in who wins American Idol. I tend to agree.

I didn't watch much this season. I saw some of the audition episodes, where Chris Daughtry sang the knobs off my TV. Seriously, if Idol picked its winner after that initial stage of auditions instead of dragging us through four months of weekly performances by these people, the best singers would actually win.

Instead, what happens is that people with a gimmick endear themselves to millions of 14 year old girls, so they get trotted out there week after week, doing the same thing over and over again. And the audience, after awhile, is less offended by its poor quality each time it sees it.

Rushkoff's verdict? "Consuming bad media degrades our ability to perceive."

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posted by Not Prince Hamlet, 7:58 AM

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