I'm on record as being a hopeless addict of American Idol. Having stipulated my hopeless love of that show, I have to note that I'm getting sick of the idea that every damn reality show now has to be a competition of some sort.
I'm getting a big kick this summer of watching all of the acts on America's Got Talent, from the somewhat normal (acrobats) to the bizarre (a guy who balanced a running lawnmower on his chin and then had assistants toss heads of lettuce into it). But the "competition" aspect of the show is utterly annoying.
I could not conceivably care one whit less what David F***ing Hasselhoff thinks of jugglers, nor could I possibly be less interested in what some woman named "Brandy" thinks of a ventriloquist, and I absolutely could live my whole life without knowing what some pompous-assed Brit named "Piers" thinks the problem is with the act he's just watched.
So you know what, TV networks? How about just bringing back the good old variety show, and tell these celebrity judges to get bent and just go back to wherever it is they came from so they can keep living off the residuals from Knight Rider and Baywatch? Let's just have Regis introducing whacky, fun acts for an hour. Maybe have the audience vote on a favorite each week, and give that favorite act some kind of small prize, like a thousand bucks or something. Lots of folks in this world will happily develop their mad unicycling skills or whatever for a shot at a thousand bucks and five minutes of TV time.
(Oh, and Piers? The problem I have with you is that you think the fact that your accent makes it sound like you know what you're talking about actually means that you know what you're talking about. Wanker.)
UPDATE: OK, here's an example of how full of shit this Piers guy is. The way the show works, at this point, is that fifteen acts are sitting in the audience, waiting to see if they are called to the stage to perform in one of ten slots. So, five acts never make it to the stage, and they don't know their fate until the last act is called. OK? So the very last act on tonight's show is a group of people who do an intricate dance routine on stilts, with lots of very athletic activity. And in the course of doing their performance, one of them fell and then had to get back up and recover.
So in his comments, Piers the Twit Who Thinks He Knows WTF He Is Talking About pronouces that the act is unworthy, because "at this level in the competition, if you fall in your act, you don't deserve to move on".
One of the troupe's members, though, points out what should be really obvious: their stilt-dancing act is a highly athletic one, and athletic acts would never sit still in their chairs for two-plus hours before performing with no notice at all. Before any performance, an athletic performer will be warming up, stretching, and getting ready. Hell, it isn't even any athletic performance -- all performers have to warm up and get ready to be on stage. Does Piers imagine that NFL players arrive at the stadium at 12:45 p.m. for a 1:00 game, toss on their pads, and run out onto the field? or that the musicians of the Berlin Philharmonic just toss on their tuxes or gowns at 7:30 for an 8:00 concert, walk out onstage, and put their bows to the strings or their lips to their instruments only on the conductor's first downbeat of the performance?
Piers is the worst kind of idiot: a guy who makes his idiocy sound reasonable by virtue of good diction and a British accent. Wanker.