I once had an ingrowing toenail removed.
It took many weeks to schedule the operation.
I knew relief was coming. But I had to get through some anguish to enjoy it.
So here we are in the Surgery Theater. The Final of American Idol, America’s ingrowing toenail.
Fortunately, the sun is shining here in the West and I have a rather lovely Albarino to act as my own personal sound engineer, ready to muffle any noises that stray from the acceptable.
The show has begun. Oh, dear God, no. I see Old Rumble Fish who introduces all those fixed boxing matches.
Perhaps this is subtle commentary from the producers. In so far as subtlety ever attempts to cross the freeways of their minds. (The Idol Producer’s Mental Freeway is a place where subtlety can get run over and no one calls the paramedics.)
This American Idol title is, according to Mr. Seacrest, “only reserved for superstars.” Taylor Hicks And Ruben Studdard just sat up on their sofas, removed their lips from their Coors Lights and smiled.
No one saw it.
David Archuleta is baring his fists. Less Mike Tyson, more My Daddy’s A Bigger Moron Than Your Daddy.
First, the choices of Clive Davis. He has perhaps fewer hairs left on his head than years left to live. They are all beautifully dyed.
David Cook is first. A terribly imaginative selection. U2. Yes, this is why Mr. Davis is revered in the industry.
Oh, my God, I’ve just seen a Phantom. No, not Mr. Davis. Lord Lloyd Webber. Now we know he’s done a deal with the producers. But for what? Oh, yes, one of those theater reality shows. Or perhaps he will be appearing in a new version of Fox’s “The Swan.”
Big David sings. His hair is pointing in many, schizophrenic directions.
Now I understand. He still hasn’t found what he’s looking for. I reach for my wine. Its surface is as flat as Phuket water. Which must mean I am not tapping my feet.
It must also mean that Bono is suddenly concerned that donations to Africa will go down. Why couldn’t Cookie appreciate that his karacroaky might cost lives?
And now little David, singing an Elton John song that has enjoyed many parodies.
I remember George Michael, who is also gay, performing this lovely little song.
Little David is no George Michael. He is more of a George Foreman. Sell, sell, sell. You would happily buy a grill from David Archuleta.
However, he is better than Cookie. The tears well in his eyes. Randy Jackson does all he can to place his tongue in all the places that might help in his getting the job of producing Little David’s debut album.
Then Little David hears Simon Cowell’s hosanna. He does all that “Oh, my Gosh” nonsense. The Church does not allow him to say “Oh, My God.”
Which confuses me, as the little boy declared the other day on some obscure Fox station that his quest to make millions out of American Idol was, in fact, a mission.
Was he telling us that his Daddy is overdrawn at the bank? Was he telling us that the Lord helps those who help themselves to lots of cash? Or was he telling that, as he is at best an average singer, he understands that his future lies in teleevangelism?
And no teleevangelist has yet landed a show on Prime Time.
Round Two. Songs from some competition organized by the fans. Or Lord Lloyd Webber. Or Lord of the Flies.
Who can tell?
Big David sings. Forgive me, but this is a country song that he is trying to rock up, like a desperately ageing lothario at the bar slipping a reluctant girl a Mickey Finn.
The girl will not sleep with him. Even when she is drugged past her merkin and codpiece.
I am having to help my emotions take evasive action too. The Albarino is coarsing through my veins like a blonde barmaid performing CPR.
This song, apparently entitled “Dream Big”, will be about as large a hit as Joe Francis is with Abstinents Anonymous.
Little David sings something equally forgettable. I think it is “One Moment In Time” sung backwards and sped up.
There isn’t even a gospel choir to help him generate feeling. Relief, sympathy, biliousness, anything.
Randy Jackson tells him he can sing the phone book. Where, under J, you can find “desperately ordinary record producer.”
I am beginning to feel extremely disturbed by Little David’s pained face every time he hears a compliment.
He looks like a child that, finally, will be able to avoid one of Daddy’s little favors.
This is becoming a lurid and desperate spectacle, a final so devoid of even manufactured joy that I suddenly become nostalgic for a Hillary Clinton speech.
Or an enema.
But not Blake Lewis.
And now for their own personal choices. Mine would be to end it all now.
It is not to be. David Cook is singing a little Collective Soul. He is baring his own soul by wearing a red tie. Ah, David Cook is a Republican. His hair has perceptibly veered away from his head. And towards the exit.
Lordy, I think those are red cowboy boots.
The songs ends. It was far too subtle for the crude emotions of the voters.
Big David cries. What? Does he actually want to win? Paula tells him he is standing in his truth. It appears to be a puddle of mediocrity.
But perhaps Paula is right. Perhaps David Cook has decided not to pander to the aforementioned crude emotions. He knows winning doesn’t matter. When he comes first or second, money will arrive in buckets smelling of manure straight from the farm.
Talking of Utah, Little David reprises his version of “Imagine.” A version that makes John Lennon rise from his grave, call Mark David Chapman and ask him to shoot him dead all over again. But this time to pop him square in the head like a discarded thoroughbred in an abattoir.
David Archuleta has displayed all the originality of a lifelong stutterer.
The story goes that Edward VIII of England abdicated from the throne to be with his American Idol, a Monterey woman called Mrs. Wallis Simpson, because she was the only lady with whom he could enjoy sexual abandon. (He had certain physical infelicities, apparently.)
Tonight, David Cook abdicated in favor of enjoying some vague vestige of credibility.
Like Al Gore refusing to endorse a Presidential candidate. Or Oprah refusing to read another James Frey autobiography.
While David Archuleta will look mournfully into his Daddy’s eyes and sniffle: “Did I do enough? Please, tell me. Did I do enough?”
What once was an amusing celebration has turned into Six Feet Under.
But it is over. I am free. I take one last sip of the Albarino before walking out onto my deck and breathing very deeply.
The Coronation of the latest American Emotional Misfit will be tomorrow.
I will miss R2David2 donning the the crown.
It will hurt.
The Pond thanks basykes for the emotive picture of the average Idol voter.