Come back Kelly Clarkson, all is forgiven...
If you've been lucky enough to spend the past several months in a media-deprivation tank - or maybe you just don't read the Houston Chronicle - then you no doubt know Fox's shrill-singing flagship series American Idol returns tonight at 7 p.m. (As opposed to its torture-sanctioning flagship series 24, which returned Sunday.) Rocks Off realizes many readers will greet this occasion by turning off their cell phones and instructing family members to interrupt their viewing under penalty of death, but the best he can do is muster a somewhat less-than-resounding 'meh.'
As one of the biggest U2 fans in North America, Rocks Off isn't one of those sanctimonious critic types who enjoy denigrating something just because it's popular. Hell, he'll even admit to being a fan of past Idol winners Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood in open court. For one thing, if the show can't be bothered to hold one Season 8 audition in Texas - the closest location was Kansas City, 800 miles away; that episode airs tonight - he's more than happy to return the favor by not watching. The foibles of various Texans on the show (Kimberly Caldwell, Jason Castro, Kady Malloy) have at least been enough to marginally, occasionally hold his interest in the past.
He does, however, hold Idol responsible for ruining an entire generation's vocal cords by holding up the likes of Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey as emulation-worthy paradigms, for planting the idea in young people's heads that the only way to become a star is spending hours in front of the mirror with a karaoke machine and, most of all, allowing the likes of Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Ryan Seacrest (shudder) to set the music industry's agenda for a good eight years now.
Besides, if Rocks Off wants to watch a bunch of narcissistic people humiliate themselves on national television, Cheaters is on Channel 51 every night at 9:30 p.m. - Chris Gray
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.