Ben’s Breakfast Blog

An Open Letter to "American Idol"

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* Dear American Idol,

You suck this year.  You can never finish on time, so my TiVo keeps cutting off the end.  And last night, the brainstorm to have only two judges speak for each contestant was beyond lame. 

I tune in for three reasons:

AP Photo/FOX1) To see singers choke.
2) To see Simon rip peoples' dreams apart.
3) To see, every once in a blue moon, an actually entertaining performance.

At this point, no one's really choking.  Simon only critiqued four of last night's contestants.  And no one is turning in an incredible performance.

People keep riding Adam Lambert's junk, saying he's phenomenal or something.  Here's a test: Listen with your eyes closed.  He sounds like a shrieky Muppet.  Just because he prances around the stage in eyeliner and his emo haircut, that doesn't mean he can sing.  Hell, the waterskiing squirrel is fun to watch, but I wouldn't buy his album.

Adam has this annoying Broadway tendency to take a mid-song moment to hit some sort of high or long note that is intensely unpleasant to listen to.  But he holds it until people start clapping and then he moves on.  You know where this kind of goofy attention whoring would work much better?  "Kids Incorporated."

Allison Iraheta appears to be channeling Amanda Overmyer from last year (the skunk-haired biker chick).  At 16, she shouldn't sound like she smokes 87 cartons of cigarettes a day.

Anoop Desai is a good singer, but he's boring.  He's the kind of guy your grandmother loves listening to.  Kid belongs on Lawrence Welk.

Danny Gokey performed the best last night, but he's a very paint-by-numbers singer.  There's nothing particularly original.  I like his voice, but lots of people sound like him.

Kris Allen has a nice voice, but again, there are lots of singers with nice voices.

I used to love Lil Rounds, but she insists on picking lame songs.

Matt Giraud comes from my hometown (Kalamazoo, Michigan), but that isn't enough to make me care about him.  At the top of last night's performance, I was interested.  But he insists on slamming at least three versions of every song inside every performance.  ("Here's the ballad!  Here's the gospel chorus!  Here's my blues-y riff complete with piano jam!")  Dude, just pick one and do it well.

The people voted off were even worse.

And as for the judges, Simon's the only one who's ever coherent.  Paula believes everyone's a star and she wants them to "be true to themselves" or some such nonsense.  Randy just hems and haws and says, "I don't know if that was right for you.  It was just a-i-ight."  And Kara starts criticizing someone until she hears the boos and she reverses course and says some middle-of-the-road garbage that means nothing.

Seriously, "American Idol," I think I'm done with you this season.  Come back next year and try not to suck so hard.

Love,

Ben

Best story of the day: Surgeons find a fir tree growing inside a man's lung.  They think he inhaled a seed and it grew from there.  A botanist says it's impossible.  Yet today I saw video of what looked like a Christmas tree poking out of the guy's lung tissue.  I am terrified.  This is like something from the X-Files.  I'm wearing a surgical mask every time I go outside from now on.  I cannot risk inhaling one of these demon seeds and having a fir tree take root inside my lungs.

Twitter dulls your emotions.  Especially Zzzzzzzzzoraida's page.

Your college smile can predict whether your marriage will stay together.  I never smiled in college, so that would explain why women view me as a walking divorce.

Rod BlagojevichRod Blagojevich is going to be on a reality show here on NBC.  It's essentially a celebrity version of "Survivor."  I hope there's a challenge where they see which contestant can remain on fire the longest.

* If you're married for a long time, scientists say you should vary your date night activities so you can keep the romance alive.  Makes sense.  My parents spend every "date night" avoiding each other at home.  If they tried avoiding each other in an exciting locale, they'd probably be happier.

Stewardess sues. "The successful candidate would be female, physically attractive, aged 18 to 30, single and no larger than a size 12."  This is the exact same wording I use on my Match.com profile.

Saudis are paying ridiculous amounts for old sewing machines in search of "red mercury," a made-up substance that can supposedly ward off evil spirits.  Here in Illinois, voters choose their politicians in hope of finding another made-up substance - "integrity."

Americans are finding ways to curb the cost of kids.  Pre-emptive condoms?

Talking about sex at work demoralizes everyone, especially men.  The results are skewed, since I was a part of that study and every time someone even brought up kissing, I'd run to the corner and weep openly for 25 minutes.

Do not spray urine and feces on food, wine and children's books.  You will go to jail.  Get permission first.

A lack of team spirit at work makes everyone depressed.  So you can imagine how NBC's new "every man for himself" policy is going over.

Fact: Women just want to whine.  They don't want their problems fixed.  Fixing it means they can't whine about it anymore.

Three words can improve your relationship.  "Here's more money?"  "Let's get divorced?"  "Walk the plank?"

* Before enacting your "fake kidnapping for ransom" plan, watch "Fargo."

Five ways to make your resume stand out.  I usually attach a picture of myself holding the supervisor's child hostage.  They're so prompt with their return calls!

The most-rented DVD in Netflix history is... disappointing.

* Check this bratty little girl on the "Today" show.  Nice sarcastic clapping at the end, kid.

Also, thumbs down to the anchor who suggested that the President in question was "one of the Kennedys."  Newsflash: There's only been one President named Kennedy.  Don't bother going to school, kids.  Anyone can be a national news anchor.

Sucking up to your supervisor is bad for business.  So tell your boss what you really think of him today.  It'll be better for productivity.

* Props to the Navy SEALs for popping those pirates with headshot kills.  How hardcore are they?  Check out how matter-of-factly they talk about putting a bullet in the brain to prevent the pirates from shooting the hostage: "There's only one way to be assured no involuntary trigger squeeze, and that is a head shot.  If you hit the central nervous system, the probability [of an involuntary trigger squeeze] is greatly reduced." 

Note to self: Become a Navy SEAL to survive impending zombie attack.

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