Thursday, 6 August 2009

Singing a different tune

It's a sad time for fans of American Idol this week. Paula Abdul lowered her dosage long enough to construct a complete sentence or two, and took to Twitter to announce that after eight years of rambling incoherence, she was leaving the blockbuster talent show.

Despite the fact that her feedback to performers was often cryptic enough to headfuck Dan Brown, she was an instrumental part of the programme's unique appeal. While the other judges quietly contemplated their appraisals, Paula could always be relied upon to dance like a drunken secretary behind the table, and then disguise the inevitable bad news with a compliment about the artist's outfit. But alas, those days are gone.

The producers are remaining tight-lipped about their long-term plans for the show, except to say that they liked the dynamic of four judges and will be looking to recapture the magic. However, fans can at least take solace in the fact that bright orange, vocoder-dependent 'fashion designers' are ten-a-penny in Hollywood. Perhaps that's why Fox has already lined up pouting coat-stand Victoria Beckham to show up as a guest judge for one episode.

Once again the Daily Mail has set any sense of journalistic responsibility aside in order to trot out any old press release in the name of news. They've covered the story of Beckham's temporary signing in a way that implies she was begged to help fill the chair vacated by ex-choreographer and jewellery designer. According to the UK's most dubious news source "Simon Cowell has called [Victoria] to join him on the judging panel... for a rumoured £155,000." Strangely enough, no mention is made of the fact that the creator and executive producer of American Idol, Simon Fuller, is also the Beckhams' manager. This one-off opportunity may indeed be a 'favour', but I'd hazard a guess that it's Victoria who's the one to benefit from it.

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