anotherlongshot (anotherlongshot) wrote,
anotherlongshot
anotherlongshot

Why I love Idol, and a Disastrous Exam.

Someone just told me that the picture of "Kris" I posted in the previous entry was photoshopped.

Good grief. Now I'm back to thinking that nice guys are NOT sexy. I mean, the few shirtless pictures of him I've seen look fine enough - no belly, no body hair (chest hair only looks good on this Federer guy), fit-looking enough. But abs? I didn't see no abs. That might have something to do with the fact that the pictures were all taken from a distance and weren't as close-up as the previous "Kris" picture, but still. He also did look really good in that ridiculous disco shirt that fit him to the T (and I mean, TO THE T), but still. BUT STILL.

I'm so disappointed. My faith in the male species has been dashed once more. Now I'm back to finding him adorable but unsexy, left with the remnants of a dream that ended up utterly short-lived. OH, THE TRAGEDY, THE DISASTER!

In all seriousness though, I must admit that when I first saw that picture, I automatically thought, "Er, this doesn't really look like Kris." In the sense that he didn't come across as the kind of self-absorbed asshat that takes topless pictures of himself in the mirror. That little clip that was shown on one of the results show where Kris talked about how the photoshoots were uncomfortable because he didn't think he had a "sexy-face" (and then went on to give the PERFECT sexy-face, after which he shook his head and went, "Nah, it doesn't work." He's so unaware of how pretty he is) pretty much contradicted that picture. So it was either he lied on national TV!!!!omg NOWAY!!!! or that picture was fake.

I was quite inclined to believe the former, actually, simply because of the sheer hotness of the latter. But on second thought, it's much better that the latter is true because I like Kris the way he is, even if I don't find him sexy anymore. That "sexy-face" video was hilarious because of how he seemed genuinely unaware of attractiveness, and I've always had an aversion to guys who take topless pictures of themselves in the mirror; it totally smacks of self-absorbness and gross asshat-tery. Even guys who take pictures of themselves, period, are kind of gross. I mean, I do it all the time, but I'm a girl, and I'm also unabashedly vain, and so it's different. Is this sexist? Hell yeah, it is. But it's also true, and I'm sure you know it.

So as I was saying...I forgot what I was saying. Right, the picture is fake, boo hiss, but I'm glad that Kris isn't a self-absorbed think-he's-some-hot-stuff asshat.

On another but related note, I concluded to my mom today that, much as I adore Kris this season, he still doesn't come anywhere close to what David brought to the show last season. In fact, independent of American Idol, my mp3 player played a David song followed by a Kris song (or was it the other way around?) last night and the contrast in their musical and singing styles and the quality of their voices was so, so very apparent. If they'd been on the same season, I don't think I would've given a shit about Kris. Maybe I would be partial to him, but my heart, obviously, would be with David. I like both their voices, but I prefer David's because it's more the kind of music I listen to, the edgy, gravelly rock sound. Kris has a slight country vibe, especially in his original songs (the guitar riffs on "Wastin' Time" - it's simultaneously acoustic and twangy!), and his voice, while pleasant and earnest and heartfelt, isn't especially distinct or special. He's been compared to John Mayer and Jason Mraz, two artists I've tried to listen to but who just don't hook me. I'm not typically a fan of the singer-songwriter genre of music, not a fan of the earnestness and story-telling that go along with this genre.

And yet, Kris has hooked me more or less completely and irrevocably, precisely of all the qualities I just mentioned that I usually don't have much care or need for. What I love about his presence on the show this season - a season otherwise super boring for me, especially in the Cook AD era - is his story-telling, his emphasis on the song, his understanding that the song is bigger than him, the singer. He doesn't have the best voice (that, unfortunately, went to Anoop who was voted off this week, and I suppose Danny if I bothered putting aside my prejudice against him which I don't), he isn't the best singer (that goes to Adam, hands down), he doesn't have the most expansive range (once again, Adam wins this, hands down; he probably has the most expansive range, like, ever in the history of Idol); but he knows what he's good at, he knows his strengths, he understands music, and he works within those boundaries to deliver performances that have so far exceeded all my expectations. I had no idea who this Kris Allen midget dude was in the semi, I thought he looked like an older version of David Archuleta, I thought he'd wandered off the set of the latest reality TV series in search of the next 'NSync, and I wasn't impressed with his Michael Jackson song choice.

But he packed so much into that one performance that he overcame his gross lack of screentime prior to the Top 36 performance rounds and managed to turn that cheesy Michael Jackson song about starting with the man in the mirror to change the world or whatever the hell it is into something more meaningful than it is...or rather, he brought out the profound meaning of the song that is sadly obscured by cheesy lyrics and a bland but catchy melody. That's what he does every week - he tells a story, and he injects so much passion and feelings and emotions to what he's singing that he's able to sell me anything. He's a very emotive singer, and as a musician, he's extremely thoughtful and sincere.

Maybe this means I'm getting old, because I've never liked this kind of music before. The only song along these veins that I liked, and still like, is James Taylor's Fire and Rain - but this was largely because it was used in an amazingly poignant and pivotal scene in the amazing River Phoenix film, Running on Empty (which I watched five times in three days and cried at the ending all those five times). I haven't been inspired to check out other James Taylor songs, and the folksy, country-ish kind of singer-songwriter vibe has always been lost on me.

I think this perhaps proves the relevance of Idol when it manages to find a contestant, an undiscovered talent, who is able to spread a particular genre of music to people who might not otherwise be familiar with it, or if they are familiar, are not receptive to it. Of course, some people remain unreceptive and ignorant; but I must say that Kris' presence on the show has more or less single-handedly opened my ears to another genre of music that I'd written off in the past. And it's a good thing. Idol can be a joke, and the behind-the-scenes machinations, if they are true (and I believe they're true more often than not), are disgusting, not to mention the blatant manipulations by the producers to pimp a contestant they deem marketable or commercially-viable (see: Gokey, Danny. For what reasons, I'd never understand). It also has a stupid, unimaginative and uncreative idea of what kind of music is commercially appealing (see poor Bo Bice's 19 Entertainment record; it was bad, and that doesn't even adequately cover it. It had nothing to do with the kind of artist that Bo portrayed himself to be in Season 4), and some of that boring vapid conveyor belt music unfortunately found its way to David's album.

But when Idol hits the right spot, it REALLY hits the right spot. David, for instance, is the best example I'd cite over and over again to show why Idol is one of the best things that has ever happened to television and to pop culture. It highlights undiscovered talents and gives them a chance at the dream they've been working for; and some of these people don't just sit on their ass all day long and dream about being a singer. They work for it, the way David worked for it by playing in clubs and recording his own album and selling a thousand copies of it by himself. When such people come along, Idol justifies its existence; but it's also an extremely circular relationship because these people justify Idol as much as Idol justify them. Still, without Kris, if Kris weren't so damn good at what he does, I'd probably still think that the kind of music he does is bloody boring.

Besides, I was amazed when I went to the Queen musical and realised that the only reason I knew some of those songs when I don't listen to Queen is because I've heard them sung on American Idol. They have these stupid theme nights which are completely stupid, but I also can't deny that they've managed to expose me to older songs, classics, that I otherwise wouldn't touch unless in the face of some certain, mortal danger.

Of course, Idol is primarily entertaining. I get a huge kick dissing contestants I don't like and criticising their singing and performances, though at the same time when one of these contestants is a producers' favourite, like Gokey, I end up wanting to tear my hair out when the judges praise them for a performance that I thought was pure karaoke and utter shit (see: Gokey's latest performance. AWFUL SHIT. It deserved the Simon Karaoke/Wedding band/cruise ship/lounge singer smackdown, but alas, Gokey apparently has more than 9 lives. I hate him). I'm also over the brutality of the auditions, especially when they make fun of not obnoxious idiots that deserve to be made fun of, but socially-awkward weirdo types (not being politically correct here; too lazy. It doesn't come naturally to me) who sometimes come across as if they have some mental issues, who don't deserve to be made fun of, and making fun of them is just in poor taste and demeaning in a way that makes it completely not funny. I also hate the audition rounds because they hardly show any decent singing, just a bunch of lame shit that I was over since, like, two seasons ago.

But when the actual show starts, it's pretty good stuff on the whole. When contestants like David Cook and Kris Allen, and even Blake Lewis, come along, they make the entire season worth it...well, that is, until someone else wins, but if they'd reached the final, if they'd actually won, it's completely worth it.

Hence, I hope with all my heart that Kris makes it to the final 2 with Adam. I want my Kradam final, please. And so I shall endeavour to wake up at the ungodly hour of 9 AM every Wednesday to vote for him, just to make my Kradam final happen. Some people have said that Kris should leave at #3 because Adam's flamboyance would drown out Kris' quiet, understated performance style; but I just don't see how anyone else deserves to share that finale with Adam but Kris, because no one else has been consistently good, and at times absolutely brilliant, the way he has. Besides, having two contestants who are the exact opposite of each other will make for a VERY interesting show, and it's one I might even pay to watch.

If it's Gokey/Adam? I'm skipping it, for the first time since Season 3. I'd just watch Adam's performances online. Because Gokey/Adam would be the biggest travesty, like, EVER.

I wonder how many of the heartlanders voting for Gokey know that Kris is a staunch Christian. I didn't even know that he was a worship leader at his church back in his hometown and went on mission trips in Thailand until I read it on Wikipedia, but Gokey's Christian background has been aired excessively since, like, his audition or something. I wonder if those same people voting for Gokey because he's Christian wouldn't be voting for Kris instead if Kris' religious background was as widely known. Because I really don't understand how anyone could find Gokey's stupid, smug ass appealing. I get the Christian thing, but Kris is also Christian, and he's WAY more appealing a Christian than Gokey. He's way more appealing a HUMAN BEING than Gokey, period. I just don't understand why Christians would choose Gokey over Kris. I don't, I really don't. Maybe Kris needs to play up his religious background more and pull one of Gokey's faux-worship performances out of his bag, like Gokey's nauseating rendition of Mariah Carey's Hero.

On second thought, no, I don't think so. If Kris ever did that, he'd be dead to me. Because he doesn't pander the way Gokey does; he lets his music and his singing do the talking. One of the many reasons I love him so much.

(Aside: I'm really starting to dig the Kradam friendship. They are so cute, much like David and Michael Johns last season. And Kradam couldn't be any more different from each other! Adam is gay and Kris is Christian. QED, right? I know!)

***

Okay, that first part of my post took way longer than I expected. I really was just going to whine about the photoshopped picture but clearly it took a life of its own, and now here we are.

Moving on now. The Nation-Building exam was a snore, and I couldn't wait to be put out of my misery from the very second the exam started. Having said that, I don't think I've turned in a worse exam in law school. Seriously. Maybe Conflicts was worse (nothing can be as bad as Conflicts...well, except maybe Intelligence Law), but today's exam was really bad. The question on language policy in particular was just a disaster, and that I didn't even bloody get what the cryptic question was getting at only made it worse.

Yeah, okay, I should've studied. OH WELL. Like the Singapore/Malaysia merger though, it was pretty much doomed to fail from the start. In the first place, I couldn't care any less about Singapore history after years and years of force-feeding in primary and secondary school; in the second place, it was closed book. I can't even remember the last time I memorised something. Legal Theory, maybe? Like, way back in Year 1? Even Contract had a case list!

So yeah, it sucked, but boy, am I glad it's over or what. Now all I gotta do is try not to die writing my Land, Law and Development in Asia paper. We'll see how that goes.

Anyway, I realised ten seconds after I stepped into the exam hall that the last time I was in that specific sports hall taking a test administered to a large group of people was way back in 2005 when I took the law entrance exam. That realisation was a little bit unsettling; I've tried really hard not to think about the fact that my four years in law school are about a week away from coming to an end, and so far I have succeeded.

But sitting in my chair (#13) in the cold exam hall, that realisation dawning upon me, I couldn't help but marvel over how time flies by so quickly, and how far I've come.

I'm still not thinking about it though, so that's all I'm gonna say.

***

I need to shop. Like, for real. This online shopping thing isn't doing it for me.

***

ETA:

I am SO slow, because this came out on Michael Jackson week, but I JUST saw the pictures of Adam kissing some guy (presumably his boyfriend).

My penchant for guy-on-guy action is no secret. I loved the Taiwanese gay romantic comedy, Formula 17, because there was some seriously hot guy-on-guy action involving some seriously hot guys. But the two main actors were straight, and while they did their best to bring the chemistry, and while they DID bring it for the most part, nothing beats guy-on-guy action like two guys who are actually gay, and actually hot, going at it.

This is genuinely the first time I've legitimately found Adam Lambert hot. I've always thought he was kind of sexy but not hot because he's a bit chubby and he has bad skin, but now? OH YES. And the gayness has everything to do with it.

Kris is my #1, but I'd be so happy when Adam wins.

Lastly, I just saw this comment on the Vote for the Worst page: "His boyfriend looks like Kris Allen."

HA HA HA HA HA. PLEASE DON'T PUT SUCH THOUGHTS INTO MY HEAD. IT'S HIGHLY DISTURBING CONSIDERING KRIS IS MARRIED!
Tags: american idol, david cook, exams, kris allen, law school, music
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