Last Wednesday evening, I watched American Idol while doing all my last minute packing. (Left the house at 5 AM the next morning, so no time to waste.) But I’ve continued to think about the Jermaine Jones situation that I blogged about last week, and I finally have to speak up, late though I may be.
I hated the scene where the two AI honchos (Nigel and another guy whose name I don’t recall) called Jermaine into the office and blindsided him with the information that they now knew he had withheld information about his warrants. Now, don’t get me wrong. I think it is good that they have a rule that people with warrants cannot be contestants on Idol. I think it was right that Jermaine, who had/has four outstanding warrants, was released from the competition. But did I need to see him getting the boot? Did anyone need to see it?
I have no idea who Jermaine is, really. He has talent, but I never thought he would go all the way in the competition. However, I can empathize with someone who has made mistakes and then had those mistakes captured on film for all to see. He responded with a lot of composure, but he couldn’t hide the surprise, the shock, the dismay, the hurt. And all the while knowing that camera was rolling, recording the moment for posterity.
American Idol, there was probably no good reason for you to film his disqualification. There was certainly no good reason for you to show it to your audience. It was mean-spirited and cruel, IMHO. I’m not stupid; I know why you did it. For ratings. You teased at the top of the show that someone was let go and mentioned the help of law enforcement … all to increase ratings.
I sometimes fear that reality TV and YouTube, et al, have made us a culture of voyeurs. We sit around on our sofas and watch lives implode for our entertainment—and maybe even thank God that our lives aren’t that messed up by comparison. I don’t think it should be that way, and I feel a little bit icky that I was watching when AI showed that clip.
I expect more from American Idol than other reality shows for some reason. Maybe I’m right to. Maybe I’m wrong. But there you have it. And the show let me down in a big way. (Nigel, are you listening? Bad form. Very bad form.)
I find myself wondering if I even want to watch the show anymore.