I’m an admitted fan of American Idol. I’m not ashamed of that, especially considering the assortment of shit that I know my peers watch like:
- Gossip Girls
- Law & Order
Anyway, yeah, every season I tune in to watch about 3/4 of Idol. After awhile, the scripted-ness and the vanilla-singing totally overloads my system so I usually resort to watching something like How to Date A Millionaire.
Anyway, every season Idol picks a contestant or two that has a compelling story, usually along the lines of something like, “American Idol is my one chance to have enough money to finish my sex change operation” or, “If I don’t win this, I swear I’ll just start turning tricks. Actually, I’ll turn tricks to win this.”
So this season, the show has picked Danny Gokey, a guy with one of those “soulful” voices that the show eats up. Danny’s story, which we learn from his first audition and is then repeated ad nauseum a la “A Mili”, is that he’s recently tragically lost his young wife–I don’t think the show every specifies how, so I am assuming werewolf attack.
Anyway, neither he nor the show are going to let this story drop. Everytime this dude sings, appears, talks and farts on the show, there’s reference to his dead wife. It’s totally, totally manipulative.
He’s even taken to subliminally re-arranging song lyrics to get into the voters’ and the judges’ minds. For example, the other night he sang Aretha’s “RESPECT”, saying:
“D-E-A-C-E-A-S-E/that’s what my ghost wife means to me/D-E-A-C-E-A-S-E/take out the a-d-e — and she’s still dead”
During the performance, he paused as–‘surprise!’–her body was sitting in the audience, cheering him on.
The following week, Danny sung, “End of the Road” by Boyz II Men, with a similar effect:
“Although we’ve come/to the end of the road/still I have your bones/It’s unnatural/you belong to me/my wife is deeeaaad”
Later, when they asked about how he had the strength to continue on under such tragic circumstances, he said, “It’s all thanks to my honey-bunch–there she is now” and made his wife ‘wave’ at the camera while he yanked a string fastened around her wrist like Weekend at Bernie’s.
He then proceeded to sing, “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”.
I suppose you can’t beat a dead horse, but you can a dead wife.
But to be fair, Danny isn’t the first hopeful to make a career off the body of a loved one: