*Sniffle* Oh, hello there, gentle reader. I didn’t know you could find me here under my blanket. I guess The Chicken let you in. He’s a little worried about me at the moment. Yes, I’m under here in the dark, with a big bottle of vodka, listening to some *hiccup* melancholy Sinatra, trying to piece together where my darling little A-Fed went wrong -- like why the judges seemed to hate him, like why America wasn’t hearing what I was. Like why this kid grew on me like probably no singer/pop culture person ever had or ever had a right to. And, like, why I’m actually slightly hurting over this right now and even an awesome Yankee win today is not dulling the pain. *Stops to take a long swig from the bottle. *
Ah, Frank’s singing a good one now about Spring being here and how he’s, like, SO not caring because Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson had no love to spare for his favorite big blue-eyed contestant in a singing competition and now he has to wait like a year for this kid’s album to come out because you have to wait till the pimped-to-the-extreme winner gets their record out first. Man, Frank just gets it, you guys. Frank KNOWS my pain right now because he’s totally been there. *Hiccup*
But what gets me most is I LET this show do this to me, so it’s mostly my own masochistic fault. I mean, I honestly think I like American Idol so much because it’s like sports and gives me that little rush I need in the winter when the Yanks aren’t around. It’s live, there’s action, and competition, there’s some kind of officiating (though if Simon, Randy and Paula were, like, reffing in the NFL or MLB, they’d be in freaking jail for being so half-assed and crooked), and there’s good to great singing. It’s got KB written all over it. The thing is, the first three seasons of this show, I got disappointed when my faves fell out, but it usually ended at mild irritation, or just not watching the rest of the season, like last year, when LaToya was ousted and I gave up all together and swore I wasn’t coming back to this house of pain. Oh, Karen, you and all your big talk. *Swig*
Then came the night in February when I was folding my laundry in the living room, talking to the roommates as the audition rounds of this show progressed and I was still trying to figure out if I wanted to forgive and forget and watch this season or not. That’s when this blonde kid with glasses came in while I was folding my socks and I was all “whatever, cookie cutter” and then out came this voice that made me stop my folding and I just stared – I was besotted. Like, yeah, I’m using that word and…shut up.
Anthony Fedorov won me over by possessing one of loveliest voices I think I’ve ever heard, and sealed his place in my heart during the competition by choosing songs that were right up my cheesy alley. And I’ve figured out recently why I like him so much (adorableness aside) – he’s a throwback to my childhood, when power ballads sung by men with huge, spectacular voices ruled the airwaves and weren’t considered eye-roll worthy. Fast-forward 20 years later (eeeek, long time, I know), and here’s this sweetie pie blond kid who didn’t go all boy-bandy and skeezy as current trends seem to dicatate and actually sang stuff that appealed to me, a 28-year-old. To me, he was using that awesome voice power for good, rather than evil (see: Jesse McCartney et. al). He sang with such an earnestness and effortlessness that I don’t think I’ve ever seen. Like, ever.
Waaaahhhhhh!!!! Come back, A-Fed, come back! Incidentally, I’m ordering this in poster form off art.com to feel better. You think I’m kidding?
And it helps that the kid is like sunshine personified. Seriously. Just picture sunny days in human form, and you’ve got yourself A-Fed. And while that’s enough to make some people go into a diabetic coma, his effervescence and singing just makes me…happy. I get a big dopey grin on my face when he’s belting one out. So I guess I watched mainly because of him, just happy to let him take me back to my cheesy self every week, praying (and voting) like crazy that he’d keep advancing, especially when others were sucking around him.
But I forgot how evil this show can be, how it purposely dicks you around, and how you can’t trust it as far as you can throw it. I forgot that it’s manipulated as all hell (I do, however, believe the voting…somewhat), that the producers have people in mind that they want to win for marketing reasons. That just because someone’s your favorite doesn’t necessarily mean they’re allowed to win. I knew all this stuff, but I shoved it aside, choosing not remembering my bitter feelings from last year when I said I probably wouldn’t watch again.
And therein lies the mistake. I had to go and do my laundry that February night and I watched. And then I made an even bigger mistake -- I found a favorite contestant. And I got attached. And he got kicked off after performing pretty damn well. And now I’ll miss him like the deserts miss the rain and shit.