So in a decision that I knew going in meant wasting two hours of my life that I was never going to get back, I watched Canadian Idol last night.
I'm not a regular viewer of Canadian Idol. It's the first time I've watched it this season because I have no interest in the part of the show where it's just horrible singers embarrassing themselves. It's terrible to watch and I won't subject myself to it. I missed most of last season, what with weddings and a move. But I do like to catch it on occasion, just to see how the Newfoundlander is doing.
And there is always a Newfoundlander. I'm astonished the judges don't screen them all out. Because letting even one escape into the wild where the audience members can vote for them generally means they're going to go further than their talent. Because Newfoundlander will rally and vote for them until the bitter end.
And for those of you wondering how much of a difference a province with barely 500,000 people can make, consider the following points:
1. Just about everyone of those 500,000 are going to vote for the Newfoundlander, no matter what part of the province they're from. Other provinces don't rally around their contestants as rabidly. Someone from Calgary will get lots of votes from people in her home city, but the rest of the province might not give a damn.
2. There are more than 500,000 Newfoundlanders in Canada. A Reader's Digest story recently said there are 200,000 in exile in other parts of Canada. Personally, I think that's a low number. And it likely doesn't include any children they had out of province during the exile.
3. Newfoundlanders will zealously vote for anyone, regardless of the level of talent because they feel that if only this kid become Canadian Idol the rest of Canada will take us more seriously. It's a massive inferiority complex projected onto a karokee contest.
Of the three Idols so far, Jenny Gear had the most talent, but was such a mismatch with the show she was doomed. She's also did the poorest job of taking advantage of the opportunity. Great voice, wonderful stage presence, lousy business sense. Jason Greeley was always just a bit...creepy. Nice enough guy and certainly worked hard at taking advantage of the opportunity he was given. I doubt if he'll make it big, but he should do ok as a regional talent.
Rex Goudie was always a bit of a mystery. Decent enough voice, although it was failing badly on him towards the end of the show. But tons of looks and personality, which I guess shows how far you can go on that sort of thing. By the way, his first record isn't bad, but it's hardly genius. It'll be interesting to see how the second one goes, although to be honest I'm more looking forward to another Jenny Gear record, assuming she can get her act together.
As for the new kid, Craig Sharpe, ummmm, yeah. It's going to be interesting to see if the province rallies around him. He could do it, but he seems awfully....effemine, There was a point where he was singing a duet with a girl from Newfoundland and myself and Cathy said, at the same time, "Her voice is deeper than his..."
I don't know. There's something about him that freaks me out a bit. I guess we'll get to see more of him at least next week and get a better idea.
Oh, I figure at this point in the blog entry a few of you are wondering why I watch or care enough to write about it when I obviously have a healthy level of disdain for the show. I watch because about two years ago I wrote a column with The Express where I mocked the show, said Greeley wasn't good enough to win and that the fans on the Idol message boards displayed behavior that boarded on the psychotic.
I got lovely e-mail and comments on the message board. Finely, and not so finely, crafted missives of disdain and hate. It was lovely stuff. Having teenagers across the country express their hate and contempt for you is kind of addicting. It's a good enough reason to pop by and watch a crappy karokee show and bitch about it on a blog. Just in case they find me again.
Yes, I am a strange man.