Friday, June 24, 2011

American Judge: A handbook

My interest in American Idol knockoff shows was aroused when my family and I watched one on NBC earlier this week.  “The Voice” was the only thing currently on a hotel television which was barren of any good channels.  Anyway, the show was serious garbage.  It took everything already bad about American Idol and America’s Got Talent (Heck, no it doesn’t.) and made it worse.  The camera angles, on-stage light shows, and formula of the show were all straight from Idol.  The host, so-named Bryan Lakecrest by us, tried to comb his hair and speak just like Ryan Seacrest, and the “esteemed panel of judges” was a cheap rip-off of Idol as well.  We were cracking jokes and mocking the program all the way through it.  The funniest part of it was when they showed live tweets halfway through the hour.  The idiotic things people write on social networking sites…

So, do you have what it takes?  Check out these guidelines if you want to be the next judge on an American “singing” reality show.  Simon Cowell is of course the exception to these principles, as well as Piers Morgan, who basically tries to copy him.


1. You must be one of the following: (a) an inarticulate buffoon (Randy Jackson), (b) a friendly, smiley, but dim cheerleader (Paula Abdul and nearly all female judges); (c) a potty mouthed ex-rocker (Steven Tyler or the proposed Howard Stern, who isn’t a rocker but is pretty much the most obscene radio host on the planet).

Judicial techniques-

2. If you can’t honestly say anything positive about a contestant’s singing, say it dishonestly.

3. If the song is actually one people have heard before, say it was the best version you’ve ever heard.  Maybe add that the original artist would be proud.

4. If you really want to push the truth, say that the contestant has “one of the best singing voices ever”.  Some crowds really buy into this garbage.

Escape routes for 2.-

5. You may make irrelevant comments about the contestant’s hairstyle, dress, shoes, and general attire, while the camera zooms in on those areas.

6. If the contestant is not wearing anything of remote interest, you may make nice, seemingly related comments about the song, especially if it was a song about babies or hurricanes.  If the song was built around a sleeping bag, do your best to commend it, and no one will blame you if you sound unconvincing.

7. If the contestants were playing or pretending to play an instrument (it’s customary in this era of singing shows), tell them they rocked their instrument (if not their vocals).

8. If the contestant danced a lot on stage, tell them they had “sweet moves”, even though you can’t watch their moves on an iPod or CD player.  This red herring was practiced to great effect by Paula during her stint on Idol.

9. If a bald contestant has worn a hat all throughout the season and suddenly takes it off, try to make as big a deal out of it as you can.  (I could hardly believe this moronic tangent came up on the show.)

Tips on delivery and diction-

10. Use descriptive words such as “amazing” or “beautiful” in your evaluation of the contestant’s performance. (“Excruciating” is a Simon exclusive. “Sorry.”)

11. If you have a monosyllabic vocabulary which doesn’t include those big words in 10., don’t be afraid to let out your “yos”, “dudes”, “dogs” and “likes” in all their uneducated glory.  95+% of America has you in good company.

12. Coca Cola helps you organize your thoughts and present them in a coherent manner.  Take a sip every now and then for the camera.