Thursday, April 06, 2006

Of Mice and Mandisa

I've asked this before and I'm sure I'll ask it again: Why does "American Idol" hate me? I've done nothing but love it and nurture it and care for it and yet it turns against me.

As you may have heard, Mandisa was eliminated last night on "American Idol."

Actually, I'm neither surprised, nor spectacularly upset with that. It was just inevitable. An LA DJ last week tried raising a non-controversy about the double standard that may or may not exist in society's treatment of overweight African-Americans versus overweight honkies. His point was that if Mandisa were a white girl (But still weight 300 pounds), she would have been told to lose weight and she wouldn't have even made it onto the show. Yawn. In this particularly tiny limited example, the DJ may have been right, but we don't need to institute affirmative action for fat honkies any time soon. There will always be room for overweight white comics to play sitcom foils to beautiful blonds and overweight white actresses will always be able to get work as the snarky best friends of beautiful skinnier actresses. So it's all good, eh? Exactly.

Yes, Mandisa was able to make it this far in the competition without being the most svelte of contestants, but she was always on a tightrope. Her support was based on the fact that -- heaven forbid -- she was better than almost all of the other contestants. Week in and week out, her experience and talent kept her going, even if she wasn't the most obviously marketable of the Finalists. However, she had to know that the second she gave a mediocre or a bad performance, she'd be out. And this week, Country Week, she gave a bad performance. Poof. So that supposed double standard may exist, but it isn't forgiving. Mandisa should probably sue the stylists who put her in ill-fitting jeans and sleeveless shirts the past couple weeks. She is a big and beautiful woman, but the last couple weeks, the costumers accentuated the "big" and not the "beautiful."

Elliott Yamin has been in nearly an identical situation. He doesn't look like he belongs in this competition. Put him next to Ace Young and it's clear who won't fit on a magazine cover. Key different? Ace is hammy and vocally weak, while Elliott is sincere and vocally solid. But Elliott can only stay in as long as he's good. He has no cushion and his margin-for-error keeps shrinking. He's at the point where he has to be one of the two or three best performers each week or else he'll be gone in a second.

Seriously, besides Katharine and Chris, can you imagine any of these people actually winning and deserving to win? I can't.

But anyway... Going back to "American Idol" hating me... Next week's theme? The Music of Queen.

I don't like Queen, but that isn't even my problem. As much as those songs annoyed me, Freddy Mercury had a fantastic voice and those songs are darned tough to sing. Look at the freakshow that was Constantine's "Bohemian Rhapsody" last season. Oye. That means more of Ace's nasal falsetto. What's Bucky going to do? Heck, what's Taylor going to do? The only contestants who seem likely to deliver are Katharine and Chris. Again.


  1. On a conference call with reporters this morning, Mandisa said that she'd planned to so some Queen song from the "Highlander" soundtrack. Her best bet would have been to take the bull by the horn and sing "Fat Bottomed Girls" herself. Maybe Katharine will do it and shake her rump?

    A fella can dream...

  2. Anonymous7:49 PM

    Wow. I really thought I could do this, but it gets a little nutty at the end. Clearly, I don't know enough Queen songs:

    Chris - We Will Rock You
    Ace - Play the Game
    Bucky - Crazy Little Thing Called Love
    Elliot - You're My Best Friend
    Katherine - Somebody to Love
    Kellie - Save Me?
    Paris - Killer Queen??
    Taylor - Um... Bicycle Race???

    At least I managed to get through the whole list without having to resort to the themes to FLASH GORDON or HIGHLANDER...

  3. I really *do* want Katharine to so something saucy and theatrical. It's her best chance to avoid getting screwed over by the theme.

    I also want Ace to sing Bohemian Rhapsody to force Paula to choose between her lingering lust for Constantine from last season and her new-found lust for Ace this season. I'd like to watch Paula's eyes as that internal struggle began to overtake her.

    Alternatively... Nothing any of these people do is likely to entertain me and I'm just going to have to suffer and write a recap because that's what I do...