2006-03-03 / On Second Thought

Thirty–something speaks

Political entertainment

Mike Maddock
Mike Maddock Last week while I was a guest on the Alan Colmes radio show, Mr. Colmes pondered the idea of turning his radio show into an entertainment and variety hour as opposed to his normal discussion of politics and news. While I was not able to respond on the air with much more than a half–hearted chuckle and a less than brilliant comment like “Uh, that would be great;” he did get me thinking off the air.

Because Mr. Colmes is an unapologetic liberal, I started wondering what a left–wing American Idol would look like. I think Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson would have to be eliminated from the show immediately, because judges would be required to have “open minds.” Those guys are much too critical and could ruin the self– esteem of the most vulnerable contestants. Plus, judging is far too subjective. One man’s Kelly Clarkson is another man’s Rosanne Barr.

We might be able to allow Paula Abdul to keep her judge’s position on liberal Idol because even when she despises a performance, she always tells the contestants how good they look and that’s what it’s all about…right?

So liberal Idol ends up with about 60,000 finalists and one sympathetic judge. The only contestants eliminated would be the contemporary Christian music singing, southern white males. The show would never get to the vote of the American people because Paula knows best. All the contestants would receive pins that say, “Yes, I am an American Idol” along with an autographed picture of Ryan Seacrest. They would also make a sizable donation to the National Endowment for the Arts so that others who chose not to participate this year could get free voice lessons to prepare them for the next season.

There would be no record deals and no world tours for anyone, because that would be unfair to the other 59,999 contestants. All would leave this show feeling good about themselves even if they left with little more than a cheap pin and an I.O.U. to the NEA. The good news (or bad news – depending on your perspective) is that the show would only last a couple of weeks.

Now on the other hand, we could have the right–wing American Idol . Rush Limbaugh, Pat Robertson, and Dick Cheney could be judges. That way, one judge could tell if any performances were unpatriotic, another could tell the contestants they’re going to hell if they sing one more Madonna song, and the final judge could just shoot the guys who really stink. George Bush could drop in on an aircraft carrier and declare victory for the country singer from Lubbock, TX even though about 150 contestants haven’t yet been eliminated.

The bad news (or good news – depending on your perspective) is that the show would never end due to the lack of an exit strategy. New contestants would appear daily making it hard to keep the contest orderly and productive. Plus, Pat Robertson would have each contestant pray before each and every performance, and Ryan Seacrest would no longer be able to wear make–up.

Somehow I just don’t think it would work.

The far left and far right in this country should just stick to the place where they can do the least amount of harm to me and the television shows I love. Their agendas just cancel each other out up there in Washington, but if they venture into Hollywood, the damage could be irreparable. I need American Idol just as it is, silly, slightly embarrassing, and wildly entertaining.

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