Idol judges and singers lack taste, send “wrong message about … pop singing.”

Idol judges and singers lack taste, send “wrong message about … pop singing.”
Someone’s finally calling Simon Cowell on his lame insults. Slate’s Matt Feeney says that the American Idol judge’s “famous putdowns … are toothless, indeed witless, in their execution. They are, in fact, more consistently cringe-worthy than the singing that provokes them.” Even if Simon’s insults were more literate, Feeney argues that he doesn’t know when to use them, because “nobody–neither singers nor judges–has any taste. … Neither Randy nor Paula nor Simon even seems capable of a real aesthetic misgiving.” He says “they want belters–contestants adept at loud, clear, identifiably melodic yelling, with vibrato if possible.” The Contra Costa Times’ Randy McMullen agrees with Feeney’s thesis, writing “a Paula Abdul-esque overstatement” that the “show is killing pop music.” He critiques the judges’ critiques and says “it is sending out absolutely the wrong message about what good pop singing is all about.” The two American writers have a kindred spirit in the UK: Morrissey. The singer says that Pop Idol is “awful. It’s the worst aspects of the music industry and just dreadful.” While he says “all the contestants should be put in a cage and sent to Thailand,” he also has sympathy for them, according to NME.com. “I think they’re very sad and I feel sorry, genuinely sorry for them. I think they look a bit sad and they sound sad and they’re treated in a sad way.”

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.