First, it was a NBA team. Next, we were home to our very own financial scandal that I never took the time to actually learn about. But it wasn't until the judges of American Idol descended upon our sleepy little state that I knew Oklahoma City had finally completed the holy tripartite of a true big league city.
Naturally, I thought it was kind of cool that they were coming to OKC to
cast some stock characters scout for talent. After all, our citizens have had some luck on this show in the past. Plus, I was really looking forward an awesome episode complete with auditions from Biker Fox, Stormy Sutton, or maybe even a meth-adled homeless guy with no teeth.
Instead, last Thursday night they broadcasted probably the worst (or at least the most boring) episode of American Idol to date. Here's just the short list of some reasons why.
1. That stupid, predictable, meaningless introduction. Anyone could have told you that this episode was going to feature a hefty chunk of Rogers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma! libretto. That's not what irked me. It's the fact that they had a bunch of heavily-accented people sing our state's song off-key while showing some clip of a dude in a pair of Wrangler's chasing his cowboy hat as the wind carried it through a grassy knoll. Someone give these producers all the Peabodys and Emmys and a copy of every single rom-com or kid's movie ever written, because the folks at the American Idol headquarters are in a ingenious league of their own.
The only thing kind of interesting about the staging shots is that they gave Mean Dueweke like a 1.5 second cameo. I mean, at least there was that, right?
2. The judges suck. Don't worry--I realize that if you wanted to read a long rant on how awful the judging aspect of American Idol has become, you would just pull up the Facebook newsfeed of any menopausal woman. TLO is a manly place, I'm reminded of this every month when Patrick doesn't publish the "Super Hot Pseudo-Celebrity Men of Oklahoma" posts I craft. Then again, he might just be doing this for my own protection--I hear people don't like it when you Photoshop your face into pictures with dudes then publish those photos on Instagram and pass them of as real. Sorry about that Dante.
Nonetheless, it should be noted that when you put Mariah Carey, Keith Urban, Randy Jackson, and Nicki Minaj in a room together, nothing interesting will happen. Randy's gone soft, Keith has nothing poignant or funny or smart to say, and that much-hyped "feud" between Nicki and Mariah turned out to be insanely anti-climatic. The only thing mildly amusing thing that comes from the judges is Nicki Minaj's nicknames she gives everyone who auditions. Seriously, she's better than Sawyer from Lost when it comes to mildly insulting yet hilarious handles.
3. We're all immune to reality show pathos. This was the key to American Idol's success the first ten years. Arguably, American Idol turned this into an artform. The "sob story" was every streetwise contestant's road to the stardom.
But after a few season of this, we all started recognizing the archetypal characters that American Idol liked to include in their Top 12. The family man who gave up his burgeoning rock career to better provide for his young children. The country cutie. The quirky, multi-instrumental pseudo-hipster with a knack for reworking songs into decent covers. The tattooed and pierced single mom with a heart of gold. The funny fat guy. That freakin' annoying entitled sixteen year old chick who drones on and on about how she's "worked SO hard her ENTIRE LIFE" to be famous.
Apparently, the effectiveness of these gut-wrenching personal narratives has reached the point of decreasing marginal utility. Actually, it hit that level probably five years ago. I know this is going to make me sound like a cold, heartless jerk, but the Asian guy with the deaf parents and the cute kid with the genetic disease both had EXTREMELY mediocre singing voices. Okay Fox, if I wanted to cry I would just turn on Lifetime or re-read my diary entries from last month. If you're going to deliberately try to manipulate my emotions, at least be decent at it.
4. Only two of the contestants they featured were from Oklahoma. They were both ravishing hot messes though. Here's the footage:
The facetious send through--pure novel genius, you guys. Aside from the judges being insanely witty, I'm pretty sure I met Ms. Zoanette Johnson at a drag show at Majestic a few months ago. I'll be damned if the Drillers don't let her open the season.
Oh, Anastasia Freeman--about a thousand awesome Ardmore jokes just popped in my head. I'll give credit where credit is due, and that "cheap dramatization" bit was solidly amusing.
5. They thought we'd think this was funny.
Follow Chelsea on Twitter at @xCawoodstock