The notion of Simon Cowell as a judge of talent is laughable in the extreme

And so is the whole  idea and premise of American Idol – Star Search’s illegitimate progeny. Parenthetic factoid: For all his hyper-nasal  sneering and jeering, Simon Cowell is a highfalutin’ poseur who would never make it states-side as an “A & R” point-man for a major record label. If that ain’t where the rubber meets the road, then we don’t know what is. But we digress.

The devil is in the nomenclature. Even the name, American Idol, strikes the perceptive as silly, if not mildly self-mocking.  Strutting a number of hopefuls in front of four judges  in the vain hope of finding the next Otis Redding, Jimi Hendrix, Rod Stewart, Prince or Norah Jones is as silly as the idea behind play lists in commercial radio  or speed dating in professional matchmaking. It is asinine beyond belief. Why? Well, because music or music appreciation just do not work that way.

Be that as it may, American Idol’s third season runner-up  Jennifer Hudson was an inspired choice. So was the season winner,  Fantasia Barrino. But their post “Idol” careers have been a mixed bag. Why? Well, because  stardom or its evolution are rarely manufactured, let alone via “in vitro” fertilizations of TV shows like American Idol.

Simon is a lizard, basking in the transient glow of music-box munchkins and cookie cutter hopefuls.  His little show has little or nothing to do with talent but drama, pure and simple. Remember the on-stage and off-stage dramatics around Idol alums like Latoya London, Diana Degarmo,  Reuben Studdard, Clay Aiken and of late, Kris Allen and  Adam Lambert?  That, and that alone is the reason behind American Idol’s longevity or what passes for its popularity.

American Idol and death or dearth of talent or even more appropos, where talent comes to die. From left: Jackson, Abdul and Cowell.

American Idol and death or dearth of talent. Its subtitle should be "Where talent comes to die." Original show judges from left: Jackson, Abdul and Cowell. Missing from this dated pic was the then newest member of the nouveau quartet, Kara DioGuardi.


Can you believe these superstars were once rejected by “American Idol”? (Lindsey Parker, Yahoo Music)

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