I say booooo to you, America. Booooo because the beat-box will be record-scratching his way through the American Idol finals. While part of me shakes my fist at the sky asking "is this the best you can give us, America? Beat-Box Blake?" the rest of me begrudgingly understands that Beat-Box Blake is unfortunately what America likes and America wants and Idol's young, female fan base is much more likely to buy a Blake Lewis album than a Melinda Doolittle album. It's the young, female fanbase's moms and aunts and older sisters that will be lining up for Doolittle's (inevitable) disc and concert tour.
My own mother wrote me this morning so furious about the results that the email practically burst into flames. "If that beat-box idiot wins next week I am done with the show." she seethed.
There is one major upside to Doolittle's ouster. It means Jordin Sparks will win.
I've long thought that Jordin was the most "marketable" choice among the three diva girls, all of whom possess incredible vocal gifts. Jordin, though is the one that has the whole package-- talent, charisma, relatability, and style. And at only 17 years old, that core audience of young girls? They're her peers. She's both a contemporary and a role model to them. She's proof that someone just like them can go out there and make it. She'll inspire thousands upon thousands of tone-deaf auditions for seasons to come.
Enter the Hollywood machine. Showcase wants to make me a prop bet that if Jordin wins, she will lose at least 25 pounds within her first year off the show. I'm having a hard time picking a side, because I'm certain her dozens of new handlers will all but insist on it. So it's a numbers game, really. A sad certainty, because I think she's gorgeous the way she is.
Melinda will certainly cut an album and have a slew of doors opening for her in the music industry in the months to come. I just hope she's smart enough to hook up with some good producers who will encourage her to stay true to her Gladys Knight-inspired soul sound instead of forcing a more commercial pop aesthetic on her. I mean, has anyone heard Katharine McPhee's atrocious album that came out a few months back? Those achy-bluesy vocals I so loved from her on Idol have been replaced with slick harmonies and overdubs on dime-a-dozen pop tracks.
So we have only one week left of Idol before I'll have to get some new television obsession to fill the void until next January. And just in time for the World Series of Poker. I leave L.A. for a two month sojurn in Las Vegas in 12 days time. Showcase is already showing signs of serious anxiety over having no one to entertain but himself over the summer. I hope he figures out a way to take a few days off and get out there because it's been far too long since we got hammered and played blackjack all night at O'Shea's.