Thursday, September 10, 2009

Paula, I Already Miss Ya

I had my reality show post all written and ready to post, when my husband just announced to me from across the room that Ellen DeGeneres is taking over for Paula next season on American Idol. WHAT?

Okay, I’m sure you would’ve found my fascination with celebrity reality TV (a la Tori & Dean, Guiliana & Bill, Kathy Griffin, and Denise Richards) quite interesting -- and if you want, you can read about it over at my personal blog. But this begs to be discussed. Really? Ellen DeGeneres?

It’s not that I don’t love Ellen, because I think she’s great at what she does. Funny. Love her talk show. But she isn’t a musician. I’ll admit, I’ve sometimes taken issue with Paula and Randy and Kara and Simon, but at least they’re all qualified to judge; they’re all part of the music industry.

According to Ellen, she’s going to represent “the people’s point of view” on the judging panel. Interesting thought, I guess. But don’t the people already have a point of view, as in ourselves, our own unqualified thoughts and opinions?

I guess part of what upsets me is that I’ve always elevated American Idol above other “reality shows.” Yes, it’s a reality show, but it’s miles away from watching the cast of The Real World get drunk and get in fights, or watching Denise Richards plan a baby shower without a party planner. I love watching Idol for what it represents, the idea that someone with raw-undiscovered talent who was unable to break into the business on his/her own can be thrust into the spotlight, judged by America, and given the chance at what felt like an impossible career. I’ve followed Idol from the beginning, starting with Kelly Clarkson’s story, about how she’d moved to LA to give the music business a shot on her own before, but had gotten rejected. And when she won, it felt like a triumph for me, for any artist who has ever been rejected and discouraged.

But now, Idol has Ellen DeGeneres. Maybe she’ll be great. Maybe I – and America – will love her in her new role. But I can’t help but think this, in a way, cheapens the show, makes it less about the talent and more about spectacle. And that makes me sad.

What do you think?

Don’t forget to comment or do any of the other fun things listed on our sidebar for your chance to win a signed copy of the fabulous and funny A BUMP IN THE ROAD by Maureen Lipinski AND to be entered to win $100 to Amazon.

7 comments:

Haley said...

haha the people's point of view my butt. i hate that show.... and agree with nothing at all that she says. whatever, though. freedom of speech, right? she can say whatever she wants on TV.

enter me in the contest!
haleymathiot at yahoo dot com

cait045 said...

Enter me in!!!!

2 points for already being a follower

2 points for tweeting about this contest @cait045

usignolc(at)yahooDOTcom

~*Jessica Rabbit*~ said...

I might just be the only person EXCITED!!!I love Ellen I don't care if the only time she sings is in the shower or on her show.I'm happy.

{Insert throwing tomatos here}

Watch the face and foot.Please.LOL.

Anonymous said...

I like watching Amerian Idol but I want the judges to be critical and helpful for the participants. I don't think Ellen will be either of those-I think they got her to put some humor into the show. Let's face it-some of those "singers" need to be musically evaluated.
Please enter me in the contest.
JOY
JWIsley(at)aol(dot)com

Jillian Cantor said...

Haley & Cait thanks so much for entering!

So true, Joy! I agree -- I want the judge to be critical in a musical sense, too.

Jessica, No tomato throwing here! I hear you, and I'm sure a lot of people will agree with you.

Donna Gambale said...

There's a point to be made about Ellen's lack of musical relevance. But if I have to choose between her absolute hilarity and good humor and Paula's increasingly bizarre and pointless critiques...sign me up for Ellen!

Kristen said...

I heard about that and I sort of just shrugged. I don't tend to follow much of that gossip. I do think it would make the show more interesting and they probably wanted the controversy.

Does she even sing?