Sunday, March 10, 2013


By Mansor Puteh

…The singers exhibit traces and influences of the musical traditions popular in America – soprano, jazz, rhythm and blues, rock and heavy metal, etc, which many non-Americans cannot beat or compete, and whoever can scream the highest note and hold it the longest is considered to have a wonderful voice.

American Idol is an offshoot from the Pop Idol program first appeared on British Television. It was supposed to have spread like wildfire throughout the world with Malaysia having its own version called Malaysian Idol.

Few other countries in the region too had their own versions. But somehow the program in Malaysia and other countries ceased.

In America the program is now in its twelfth edition.

But the sad reality is that the talents which America can expose or create are mostly of the same types.

The other countries which used to have such a talent show, simply disappeared because the organizers could not bring out new talents that they could in their first attempt when everything was new and the gimmick fresh.

It also created copycat talent shows such as ‘X Factor’, ‘America’s got talent’, and so on…

The following issues of Whatever Idol brought out talents which sounded the same. So in time the program died a miserably death, leaving with American Idol.

Having watched some of the talents on the twelfth edition of American Idol I come to the realization that this talent show is not much of a big deal.

The irony is that the winners of the past programs have also practically disappeared; they could only last for a while before their careers simply disappear.

American Idol only brings out the worst talents amongst those who like to fantasize about being the new American superstar, overnight.

It is really about how rude young Americans are and can be and who do not care for the social, cultural and also moral norms of the society which they collective can claim to lower the more they exhibit their talent, atrocities and absurdities and behaving like they are not human beings but aliens from outer space.

And the scores of thousands of Americans who watch the show live, must all be fantasizing how they would be happy to display their limited talent and be with it, and if they have to cry and say outrageous things, they would, and be proud of it.

The main thing is that they want and can do this in full view of the public and not be ashamed of it.

And they also have their close relatives and friends to support them regardless of whether they are talented or otherwise, as long as they know someone who is brave enough to get on the stage and perform before the four-member jury of popular performers of America.

Nothing else matters. The world for them is just the small stage in the auditorium or stadium where the American Idol is recorded, which has become the new cathedral of personal salvation for many young Americans.

Bringing in Nicki Minaj as a member of the jury does go a long way to help prove this notion that Maria Carey or Steven Tyler could not have done on their own.

Unfortunately, the past winners of American Idol have all failed to sustain the attention they could get from having appeared in the show and to go on winning the best performer award.

Even the last year’s American Idol has virtually been forgotten and neglected.

The real American musical superstars are still the types that rise slowly in the charts and into the ears and hearts of the listeners in America with some overflow in other countries, including in Malaysia, where the television stations and newspapers like to over-promote them like they are American’s lackeys who have no brains to surrender their media to the Americans, and all for free…

No singer or entertainer or performer in countries outside of America can spring a surprise by exhibiting singing talents like the Americans youth who grew up on all the musical genres that stretch from jazz to heavy metal, with the soprano stuck in between, so that their musical talents allow them to stretch their voices to such a high pitch which the judges of the American Idol and crowd prefer.

The longer the singers stretch their high-pitched voices or noises the better it seems. This seems to create the connection that the judges want to get from the singers.

The talents in other countries did not grow up with such a musical tradition or experience cannot ever come close to their counterparts in America, however much they try to achieve. They end up being copycats.

So we have copycat heavy metal bands, and other groups performing a host of styles, all culled from pop videos and music programs that they could see on satellite television and the CDs that they can buy in the stores.

Malaysian Idol and Whatever Idol, therefore, wanted to create such a scenario whereby those who think they are talented simply had to copy, instead of being original, since there is nothing original that they can ever create or think of.

Gangnam-style is a one-off sensation. Its singer called Psy could not pass the second round in American Idol or even South Korean Idol, if there was one because he could not pass the judgment of a few persons sitting behind a desk who won’t be impressed with his style or musical talent; he can only become a sensation before an unassuming crowd of unknowns in cyberspace.  

Psy, which means ‘human faces’ in Hokkien could not reinvent himself. He can try to collaborate with another international (read American) performer so the duo or trio, but his popularity chart will slow a slide in his career.

In fact, he has yet to perform a full concert. So far he has only appeared briefly on the stage all over the world, singing the only song he has on his sleeve, and doing not much else.

Will he suffer the same fate as the singer of ‘Lambada’ from Brazil who became an international sensation some years ago with the song that had an unusual beat?

May be, and may be… 

1 comment:

city said...

thanks for share...