Is it just me or have the makers of American Idol seemed more cruel this season already? I know that the “check out these idiots” portion of the auditions is always popular and I admit that I have laughed at many of the weirdos that have been featured over the years, but I have found myself cringing this season and pitying many of the sad folks featured so far. Seattle was especially painful with that poor software engineer being spotlighted for a good 5 minutes. (Nicholas Zitsman or something?) The producers of the show apparently decided that prolonging his humiliation by forcing America to sit through basically his entire a capella rendition of Unchained Melody would be good television. It started feeling like watching someone being tortured to me. I ended up rooting for the poor guy (who frankly seemed like he might be autistic or something) and disliking the producers for their apparent sadistic streak. But is the cruelty of the producers just driven by the cruelty of the audience? Are we the ones who demand more and more humiliation of the weak and downtrodden souls who are misguided enough to think trying out for American Idol is a good idea?
Look, it is obvious that out of the 10,000 people who try out in any given city maybe 100 get to the final judges. The pre-judges obviously weed out everyone except the top 1% and the bottom 1% and that’s what we get to see. The top 1% almost seem to be pre-approved for the next round and the bottom 1% are sent to the wolves for us to all laugh at them. The problem is that the bottom 1% this year more than ever seemed to be made up of either mentally or physically disabled people. So has it come to this? Is American Idol now our Coliseum wherein we get to laugh and gawk as the weak and disabled are disemboweled by the proverbial lions?
Yuck. What does it say about me that I laughed hard at some of these truly pathetic folks?