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Idols is back – enjoy it while it doesn’t suck

2007-08-23 07:59
The Clips
- 5 ways to get noticed (Jozi auditions)
- Dave's new look
- Elsje gets the electric chair
- Jack hits the road
- Lizzy can't sing
- Goodbye Monique
- David: Mr crazy eyebrows
- Patrick kills us softly
- Wade and his Mom

The column

A season of Idols SA plays itself out much like a failed relationship. It starts off with a bang, and everything seems great. There are peals of laughter, mountains of variety and you’re having such a great time that even the biggest mistakes are entertaining. You don’t quite know where you are going, but it sure seems a lot of fun getting there.

But eventually you settle into a rut: doing the same things, seeing the same innocuous people day in and day out, life’s stage seemingly emptier every month until there is nothing left but the dull, steady whine of monotony. Deep down you can’t even remember what it was that attracted you and made you happy in the first place. The answer is, the spice of life itself: variety. In the first week of Idols SA we're treated to a veritable cornucopia of talentless freaks, all hell-bent on proving to the continent that self-delusion of schizophrenic levels is not necessarily confined to lunatic asylums. This makes for fantastic television. No matter whether you love the ten finalists every year or take grim satisfaction as they invariably slide into obscurity as the show fades from memory, the first week of Idols SA is a gift from the gods of reality television, lovingly wrapped, with a hand-written note apologising for Big Brother.

Yes, it’s cruel. Randall Abrahams tells a podgy blonde, “If I had a choice between hearing you sing and the electric chair, I’d choose the electric chair.” Ouch. Later, Randall calls a yodeling goth chick “…a cross between Chewbacca and Bride of Chucky.” It seems the judges have the insults down pat – it’s not always funny, but at least they’re trying.

And let’s be honest here: some entrants deserve all the insults they get. There was the girl who offered to take off some clothes to get through to the next round, and the two boys who disturbingly brought their mothers to the audition. Yes, you read that right. Their mothers. Then there was the guy who promised his performance would "use the full range of his voice" and ended up making William Shatner sound like Luciano Pavarotti. Hilarious.

This raises an interesting question: are we sure we’re sending the right contestants to the finals? The bad ones are far more entertaining. It would be fun to see Idols SA turned on its head. We could call it Idiots SA. The final prize goes to the most useless, attention craving, pug-ugly media whore we could find. Jeremy Mansfield could host it while drunk. It would be awesome.

But until that happens, we’re just going to have to make the most of what we’ve got. Let’s sit back and enjoy the biggest reality show on television while we still can, and try to remember that this is decidedly not the future of South African music. If it were, we’d be well and truly screwed.

- Chris McEvoy
With Idols, the best is soon to end, not yet to come. So enjoy it while it lasts.

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