“One day somebody is going to have to make a stand. One day somebody’s gotta say enough.”
For some reason, Wednesday’s American Idol opened with those stirring words. I was inspired. Yes! Somebody must make a stand and say enough. Enough with the selling and plugging and more selling and plugging and Idol’s new shameless lows.
None of it made sense. Siobhan Magnus’ togarrific outfit is the only possible connection I could make between Idol and Clash Of The Titans: The Revenge of the Marketers, which dominated the show's opening. And the great Carl Douglas undoubtedly appreciates the infusion of royalty cash, thanks to the contestants’ performance of “Kung Fu Fighting” as this week’s Ford commercial. But unless Ford has identified a sizable, and previously unknown seventies-retro/martial arts automotive demographic, I just didn’t get the link. And exactly who is this Easter-ready puff of a duckling named Justin Bieber, who talked about how Usher "shaped who I am as an artist?" He makes Aaron Kelly look like Ruben Studdard.
The words of Otter in Animal House came to mind: “This situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody’s part.” I briefly thought that, indeed, maybe I’m just the guy to do it. But resistance against Idol and its selling imperative is futile. Because for all the talk about a singing competition, the show’s real art is The Big Sell.
As the opening suggested, there’s nothing to do but accept our fate. And look back at the various (PRODUCT PLACEMENT ALERT) Clashes of the Titans that took place on last night’s show:
Guys vs. Girls
For all the talk of how much stronger the ladies have been on this year’s Idol, we’re now down to six guys and just three girls.
Usher vs. Diddy
Thanks for issuing the advance warning about the strobe lighting used in Diddy’s performance. But I think Usher’s song should have come with its own caution: This number will include a gratuitous “Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh” refrain that may lead you to yell, “Oy oy oy oy oy!” at your television.
Didi vs. Diddy
No strobes, no dancers, no fog: Let’s give Didi Benami some credit for just getting up there and singing week after week.
Didi vs. Didi
She clearly battled nerves and emotions throughout the competition; in the past couple months, only Glenn Beck has cried more often on national television.
Michael Lynche vs. Ryan Seacrest
AggroRyan has been one of the oddest developments in this year’s Idol. Can a lad, who by his own admission weighs about 95 pounds, exhibit ‘roid rage? His frequent incursions into Simon’s personal space have rattled The Great Man like nothing since Taylor Hicks’ manic dancing back in Season 5. When Big Mike picked Ryan up and squeezed him, it looked like he was going to commit the most significant show business wrestling move since Jerry Lawler pile-drived Andy Kaufman in 1982.
WINNER: Ryan’s orthopedist
Tim Urban vs. The Apocalypse
This clash is not yet over. But never count Tim Urban out.
Follow TV.com writer Matt Jaffe on Twitter: @MattAtTVDotCom