We’re OD’ing on American Idol now. Blame Twitter if you must, or, Danny Gokey, Prince of Darkness and Over-Done Singing.
Anyway, poor Lil’ Rounds. She’s my favorite contestant second only to Anoop though this is
largely attributed to the fact that her name makes me think of some of my favorite lil’s:
- Lil’ Rascals
- Lil’ Abner
- The Littles
- Lil’ Bow-Wow
But man, she’s getting a bum-rap on American Idol. Clearly bored with having to enterain the aspirations of mediocrely-talented baristas, single mothers and heroin trannies, the AI judges always find someone to hone-in on with their collectively brutal assessments and so now, the lucky beneficiary is Lil Rounds.
First of all, these judges lack any real creative credibility:
- one sang with a cat that went by the name of “Skat”. You know what another for “skat”
is? Shit. Meaning, in the case of Paula and “Skat”, it’s more “birds of a feather” than “oppos(h)ites attract”
- one was the black guitarist for a rock band. Whereas I don’t enjoy being a black guitarist in Rock Band.
- and one is Kara, who has industry cred for writing songs includes songs for Jim Jones, David Archuleta, Nick Lachey and Ashlee Simpson
And then there’s Simon, a man that seems to be perpetually suffering from blue balls.
Anyway, every week the judges comments/suggestions for her roughly equate to the same thing: you are black, therefore sing songs from someone black.
At first it was somewhat discreet:
“You’ve got a great voice Lil–one of the best. But that song wasn’t what we’re looking for from you. I see you and I want to hear some Aretha…some Tina Turner….Mary J. Blige, you know?”
Then it got a bit closer:
“Great voice, you look great, but dog, dog, come on; it’s still not quite what we’re lookin’ for from you. I’m thinkin’ like, I don’t, something with some soul to it you know? Something with a
bit more color in it…..say, you ever seen ‘New Jack City‘? Just try and go somewhere darker, dog.”
And closer still:
“….in this competition, you’ve got to show that you’re unique, Lil. That’s what we’re looking for. I don’t think you’ve got figured that out yet, have you? And when I say ‘unique’ I mean finding some Beyonce’ CDs, maybe I don’t know, go to the R&B section at a local record shop one Saturday at the mall, and then I’d suggest getting some Apple-Bottom jeans, perhaps one of those Roca-Wear suit and take yourself to a KFC, talk to some peeps there–’cause I know that’s how you roll, right?–I really hope you’re back next week.”
And then finally (lights go up after Lil sings):
“I am going to say the following words to you: Affirmative Action. Good Times. Al Sharpton. Million Man March. Medea. Aunt Jemima. Denise Huxtable. Waiting to Exhale. Does this help now? No? Ok (judges disappear under the table for a moment, then reappear) Lil, I want you to look at all four judges. We are in black face. It was Paula’s idea. Together, right now, on this stage, we are blacker than you. How does that make you feel? Now take that pain and sing “My Neck, My Back” –only like Mahalia Jackson would.”
What’s a sistah to do? Kara berates Lil with words like “girlfriend” and “girl” and “workin’ it out”–words that can be interchangablly used with Adam Lambert–as a way of connecting with
She gives the lamest advice too: “I wasn’t really feeling it tonight, boo. I just look at you and, I don’t know, I want to hear black. It just wasn’t black enough for me. Ya feel me? Like not Anoop-black–that’s brown-black. I mean black-black. Can you sing black-black? Your back tells me you’re black so get with the black. Blackie. I love you. God I am so high. Kris Allen why won’t you make love to me?” (starts crying, streaking her black-face)
When Lil Rounds is finally excused from the show (which, trust me, the judges telegraph who they want in the end–Allison and Adam I think, and really, she shouldn’t win anyway), I’m hoping that she does the talk show circuit and “Skat-Cats” on all the judges.