Thursday, May 21, 2009

Senior Citizen Idol

I don't know how many of you follow American Idol - but last night (in case you were living under a rock) - was the grand finale of the season - where the winner was announced.

The show was in a 2 hour slot. TWO HOURS to announce one winner in less than 30 seconds? Ugh.

I was prepared for it to be like the Academy Awards or Emmies - where it just drags and drags for so long that I just want to poke my eye out with a fork rather than continue watching.

But this show was very different. Oh sure, they did the usual Simon Fuller let's-pimp-the-top-13-singing-songs-so-people-will-buy-tickets-to-the-50-city-tour "thing" - and the now-I-own-your-soul-so-dance-monkey-boy "thing" - but the twist was the number of artists they had come out and sing along with the contestants.

I'm in my mid 40's - so I grew up with songs of the late 60's, all of the 1970's and the early 80's. All the songs except for a couple of those younger, rap-type songs (I felt like screaming - "You kids stay off of my lawn!" like an "old" person) - I knew by heart.

So when one of the contestants started singing a Rod Stewart song - it was all well and good... until the part where they said "...ladies and gentlemen... Rod Stewart!".

Huh? I thought he was dead...

And sure enough - he WAS dead - but apparently he didn't get the memo. Rather than the tanned, dapper, ladies' man that he was in the 70's - out came.... well.... a guy that's about 8 years younger than my DAD.


He had some mileage on him - and his voice wasn't nearly as strong - but by gosh - he gave it his all.

As I was sitting there shaking my head in disbelief, another contestant came out with Cyndi Lauper (you younger kids can Google her).

Whoa, man! Really, Cyndi - still doing the songs from late 1979? How's that working out for you? Geez - she looked fairly OK - although I had no problems picturing her living in a trailer park...

and it JUST... DIDN'T... STOP!

They had Lionel Richie, Steve Martin (playing banjo) and to top it all off - KISS and Queen!

Ummm... yeah - KISS. In full makeup. Wearing their trademark 5" platform shoes. Gene Simmons was sticking his tongue out so much, I thought it was going to fall out.

Yeah, THAT Gene Simmons. The one with the TV show. The guy that was on "The Apprentice" with Donald Trump. THAT guy. The OLD guy. Gene is in his mid 60's for goodness sake.

Then they had Queen. QUEEN! Really. I guess they forgot that Freddie Mercury (their ex lead singer) died in 1991... but there they were in all their glory... and OLD. Sounding GREAT - but just old.

All of them had some new project to promote, or some venue they just committed to (Carlos Santa will be at the Hard Rock Hotel in Vegas for 2 years...) - so I get WHY they were there...

I was just still amazed that 1/2 of them were alive and kicking.

It just goes to show - Americans like what's familiar (or if you wait enough time - the "kids" will discover you for the first time). So, my hat's off to the American Idol folks - it was probably one of the most entertaining "awards" type shows I've seen in a long time.
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