Monday, January 22, 2007

AMERICAN IDOL Ratings And Meaness Both Way Up

AMERICAN IDOL has seen a sharp surge in ratings over previous seasons. But the mean spirited attacks by judge Simon Cowell have also seen a sharp upsurge this season as well. Certainly many of the singing tryouts are indeed laughably funny and bad. You wonder why these persons even bother to tryout. But the attacks by Simon Cowell often involve personal attacks about the appearance of the tryouts, a new downturn as the show becomes increasingly nasty. Last week, two young men with mild disabilities were attacked by Cowell for their appearances. Late night talk show host, Jimmy Kimmel felt sorry for their rough treatment and even invited these two young fellows on his program. Today the two were invited on the TODAY SHOW.

There is already a building backlash over Simon Cowell's attacks as some parents forbid their children to watch the show, editorials such as a new one in THE SEATTLE TIMES. On the other current competition show, NBC's GREASE, the tryouts are all treated with far more respect , and when rejected are given fair reasons. There is no attempt to hurt feelings.

AMERICAN IDOL is indeed a very popular program. But Simon Cowell's critical thoughts and comments should really be related to the contestants performance and not some personal attack on apparent disabilities or physical appearance of a contestant. You'd expect Mr. Cowell to behave in a more grown-up manner. This isn't grade school Mr. Cowell.