I woke up to a bunch of awesome comments and emails this morning.  So I think I’m going to do a little mini-mailbag this afternoon.

Idol Sux

Thanks to those folks who sent me the text of a post, quickly deleted from the Official Forums, from a person who claims to be an unhappy Idol employee.  It’s too long to post here–anybody interested can find it in the comments section of my last post.  I have no information on who this person is, but most of the “inside information” found in the post, I’ve read elsewhere in public, so I’m not terribly convinced it’s for real  It’s possible that the person is a disgruntled fan who pieced together information he/she googled or read on other message boards.  That doesn’t mean y’all should stop sending me those types of posts.  The ambulance chaser in me finds them fascinating.

Last night’s show

Lot’s of great comments on last night’s show!  Thanks, Bucky fans for the kind words.  Bucky wasn’t my favorite contestant, but I really admired the way he handled himself.

In my re-cap, I said that I disliked last night’s format.  Many of you wrote to disagree.  Let me clarify a little.  I really enjoy the clips and packages that feature the contestants hometowns and families.  I didn’t like that the clips were tacked on to the contestant’s possible elimination.  I felt the format was used to manipulate the contestants–to get them emotional even before they or their friends were called to the seal.  So, while Ace would have normally been upset by being Bottom 3, he probably wouldn’t have cried if he hadn’t watched a clip of his family right beforehand.  I think contestants have enough on their plates at that point without piling on more drama. 

Personally, I don’t like the hour long eliminations.  And I really hate the elimination segments dragging out for too long.  It took 45 minutes to get through 8 contestants.  Too much. I understand why the producers drag it out and goose the drama–it makes good TV. Just not for me.  I seriously feel uncomfortable during the eliminations.  Somebody here used the band-aid analogy–I agree, I’d rather the band-aid be ripped off very quickly.

Somebody here had a question about making the entire Bottom 3 perform a sing-out.  Yes, that has been done before–usually during an hour-long elimination show because they have the extra time to burn.  The contestants know that the “sing-out” is a staple of the show–so that I don’t mind so much.

A picture named PointyPose1.jpg

Another reader asked about the meaning of my phrase “Pointy Pose”.  Actually, that’s not my phrase.  I began my online “Idol” life at the AI forums.  Some clever person coined the phrase “Pointy Pose” to describe the pose struck at the end of group numbers.  The contestant,  with a big cheesy grin (or sometimes an eyeroll–those are the best) stop and raise one or both arms–fingers pointing heavenward. (right) thanks so much annie for the photo!.  I snatched that phrase and use it as shorthand to refer to the group numbers–that have been sadly few and far between the last couple of seasons.

Brian May is Shocked.  SHOCKED by the manipulation…

Many of you left links to Brian May’s website.  Brian is a bit upset that the time he spent coaching Ace Young on the show was edited to cast their relationship in a negative light.  You can read his reaction here.  While I chuckled at the clip of Brian telling Ace not to mess with his song, I never felt that Brian had a completely negative attitude toward Ace. In fact, Brian did have good things to say about Ace in the clip.  But of course, the negative always overshadows the positive. And there’s all that stuff left on the cutting room floor that we’ll never see.  Who knows what that contained.

This type of manipulation is nothing new, of course.  During the Stevie Wonder clips, we saw Stevie chastise Melissa–a contestant the producers did not favor–for forgetting his lyrics. Who’s to say in the next breath that Stevie didn’t tell Melissa she had the best voice out of the whole bunch? And that’s just one example. These little clips are one more tool the producers use to manipulate the way the audience reacts to a contestant.  The Ace clip was aggressively negative–but, as I illustrated,  we’ve seen it all before.

However, that Brian May is SHOCKED by the machinations, is a bit surprising. Dude–signing up for a “reality show” means that anything you do or say is going to be twisted to fit a narrative that existed before you even uttered a word.  You should have realized that before you signed the dotted line.

I am happy that he set the record straight. So are Ace and his fans, I’m sure.

In this message, May explains why the band didn’t sing Wednesday:

“Well, no – there was never a plan for us to perform on the AI show. We only wanted to do the coaching thing, (done at our sound-check in Anaheim), to give as much as we could to the participants … … not go into the TV studio and ‘advertise’ ourselves … I’m happy about that decision.”

Well…c’mon Brian.  You were “advertising” yourselves. Why else would you appear on the show? And what about this? And I’m betting the uptick in downloads and CD sales made the appearance worth it, despite the indignities.

Brian goes on to talk a little more about his “Idol” experience:

“As regards ‘low blows’ – yes I do feel that the show delivers a lot of these, now I am able to see it at close range … it’s disturbing. Thanks for the supportive letters to me, folks … I have indeed lost a bit of sleep over the whole thing … but now it’s time to move on ….”

Yes, just like an ABC Afterschool Special, we’ve all learned a lesson here.  Reality shows are not Reality. Remember that, Brian.

That concludes today’s mailbag.  Keep those cards and letters coming, kids!