Don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I haven’t been discussing reality T.V. too much (well, less than usual) here on the blog. I like to think the shows were just boring this time around, only because I would hate to think that my appetite for them has waned. That would be… heartbreaking.
We’ll start with the most obvious…
American Idol: Separating the men from the boys…
I’ve made no secret of the fact that this season of American Idol did absolutely nothing for me. I’m confused, though, because all the signs seemed to indicate that it was a terrific season… there were memorable moments, loads of controversy (Paula-gate), fairly decent guest mentors, a very suspenseful finale (it really could have gone either way)… and yet – I felt nothing. I didn’t LOVE anyone, or LOATHE anyone… frankly I had a hard time feeling any way in particular towards the entire cast. Sometimes I’m surprised that I even remember their names. I can’t say why I kept watching, other than wanting to be in the loop at the watercoolers, which is as good a reason as any, I suppose.
As far as the results go, I guess I’m OK with it. I’m still not a fan of David Cook (actually, if I were to pick a contestant to LOATHE, it would be he, at least at the beginning), but I think as the weeks progressed I found myself in his corner more often than David Archuleta’s. Little David A. is really one-dimensional if you think about it – he only does one thing well (namely, sappy ballads about peace, love, and homelessness) and all of his attempts to branch out were hilarious – and not in a good way. Meanwhile, David C., who started out really smug and cocky in my opinion, managed to deliver solid, original, and almost respectably creative performances. By the Top 5, I wasn’t sensing any entitlement or overconfidence in him – I’m not sure if it was sincere or if someone talked to him about it, but it doesn’t matter, he got rid of it and it worked. So considering the choice, American made the right decision. I think DC will be a more successful, more current musician than DA, which is good for the American Idol brand. DA will be fine, though: he’s as cute as a puppy sliding down a rainbow into a pool of magic, so… yeah, whatever.
Dancing with the Stars and America’s Next Top Model after the jump.
Dancing with the Stars: Girl Power…
I’m only slightly more enthusiastic about the recently completed 5th season of Dancing with the Stars. I was on Team Yamaguchi from the very beginning, so of course I was happy with the outcome. And while I enjoyed watching Jason Taylor and Christian Fuentes duke it out for the inevitable 2nd and 3rd place, I think we can all agree that Kristy’s awesomeness made the competition a little stale. It wasn’t just because she blew everyone out of the water, either. I think the skill levels overall were lower than usual all the way around; any of the top finishers from the last three seasons could have beaten Jason and Christian, at least technically. What I’m saying is that the show would have been even better and even more exciting had Kristy been up against worthier adversaries. But then again, if she was up against a man who happened to as perfect as she, she would have lost, at least according to past precedent. We can’t have that, can we?
I actually watched the Dancing with the Stars finale from start to finish, and I couldn’t help but feel like The Yamaguchi was over the whole thing. Was it just me? I mean, at the end when she won, I think it was pretty obvious that Mark Ballas was far more excited than she. She was all, “Um… yay! I guess. This was kind of fun, wasn’t it? I mean, it kind of pales in comparison to winning a gold medal but it wasn’t a total waste of my time all things considered.” And then there was Mark, who looked like he was about to faint before the announcement of the winner, and afterwards pretty much took it to church, all THANK YA JESUS style, and jumping and kneeling and kissing and crying like winning a disco ball trophy was the greatest human achievement since the moon landing.
Winning Dancing with the Stars might have been a small step for Kristy Yamaguchi, but I’m sure she’s happy to let Markie enjoy it.
America’s Next Top Model: Score one for the Phat Girlz…
What cycle of America’s Next Top Model are we on again? It’s got to be up there in the early 30’s. This season was one of the better ones, thanks to some truly wacky characters and better than average challenges, and by better than average I mean the teaches and photoshoots seemed more practical to the modeling industry than usual… like, I could actually imagine some of those pictures in magazines. So many of the shoots in the past have been absolutely ridonk… I’m pretty sure no company or designer would ever require a model to dress up like Brad Pitt AND Angelina Jolie in the same photo. There are other better examples, I’m sure, but that’s the only one I can think of at the moment. The point is… these photoshoots made some sense, which… refreshing.
Anyway, Whitney, Ms. Plus-size USA, took the prize, but not without some controversy. <> The little gay birdies are twittering that Whitney was a ringer. Tyra has expressed on many occasions her zeal for finally crowning a plus-size model, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Whitney was a plant. I liked Whitney quite a bit, though, and I’ve also been anxious to see a big girl take the title. And really… does it matter? Does anyone still think this show is a reliable platform for starting a modeling career? I don’t think the girls that agree to appear on the show buy into it, either. This is a chance to get on T.V., hopefully establish a name for yourself, and move on to bigger and better things. And you get to meet Tyra Banks. If you’re into that sort of thing.
I’ve already talked about Survivor here.
I’ve already talked about Project Runway here.
I’m trying to pretend Big Brother 9 never happened.
All in all, it wasn’t a bad winter/spring season of T.V., although I can’t remember the last time I was so ambivalent and uninvested. I guess I can’t expect every season of every show make my skirt fly up. But, naturally, I never give up hope. This summer, we have So You Think You Can Dance, a summer session of Project Runway (the last one for the Bravo Network), and Big Brother 10 returns to its usual dates and times. Based solely on last night’s premiere of SYTYCD, I’d say we’re in for an amazing summer.