American Idol in its Irrelevance Is Relevant To Us

“Don’t You Know That You Are A Shooting Star And All The World Will Love You Just As Long As You Are.”

Bad Company “Shooting Star” .

Another American Idol Season has come to an end and this one ends with gnashing of teeth by the local populace. Social networks filled with cries of racism and sexism. The problem with that notion is that the former concept is what fueled the local hype for Jessica Sanchez.  The latter concept was utilized because a male stood between pinoys and their fondest wish for American Idol immortality. Once again the Pinoy shows their inferiority complex. Projecting their own flaw (seeing competition purely on the basis of race) on their “opponent”.



For the record, I could care less about reality TV. How can it be called reality when everything is so contrived for ratings and demographics? You want reality? The pinoy in pursuit of “pansin” that is promised should one of their “own” ever win AI made a few mental short cuts. Short cuts that I will go into depth as we progress .

I don’t take big stock in American idol because to me it is not a gauge of talent. How can there be glory in winning a competition when it’s not essentially a competition? For the record I am not a fan of the Whitney Houston/ Charice types. I do not consider them talented.  I do not consider their work substantive.  My idea of musically talented women can be found here. American Idol made William Hung a temporary star not because of talent but because he was blooper reel material.

Pinoys will only make a big stink about what they perceive as pinoy. They will not make a big national push for a Bo Bice or Jennifer Hudson. But notice I said perceive. The degree into which the whole nation identifies something as representing them. Take the Azkals. The Pinoys view it as some conquest of sorts. I view it as grasping at straws.

Since many of you are reading me for the first time , know that a key concept I strongly believe in is “intrinsic value”. You enjoy something for what it is. Not because it is a status symbol. Not because of some ulterior motive. You just simply love what it is. You can read how I explain that concept in the context of Arnel Pineda here.


My perspective may be different to some because of how I choose to enjoy somethings. I love the NFL. I love the strength, speed, and strategy of it. You either take the hits or administer the hits. If you can not you are gone. Where does nationality fit into that? Nowhere. Conversely I used to be a bigger hockey fan than I am now but allow me to state the relation. If you love hockey then you will enjoy it when the best play for the right to survive. There is no room for national sentiment. Just mano-a-mano  until there is one team standing. The National Hockey League is the only big time sport in North America that has a third of their teams playing in one country and the other two thirds in another country. The flagship broadcaster of Canada (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) recently wanted to make an issue of the relevance of that and I bust that myth here. The CBC was being so pinoy.

American Idol is not built to last.  Let me clarify that statement. The show will go on for a few years. But contestants who advance will get their 15 minutes of fame then fade into obscurity. How is that working out for Jasmine Trias? Our admiration in things not built to last actually manifest themselves in our society, more on that later.You have heard this many times before I hope but American Idol makes itself out to be the fast food or microwave process of show business success. Any short cut by definition compromises something. Just like Charlie Sheen puts little priority on sobriety, American Idol puts little priority on originality. Since Glee has little originality you can argue that American Idol is Glee with a score.

You have heard many times that the only place where success comes before work is the dictionary. Well you can add American Idol to that.It is a TV show and not some system that will produce an artist who ten years from now will have 5 albums under his or her belt. Some of you may remember Darius Rucker of Hootie and the Blowfish fame. Listen to his opinion on the relevance of American Idol when it comes to actual music.



One of my major beliefs can be summed up in a phrase from a Sting song “We share the same biology regardless of ideology.” An ideology that I am constantly being hit over the head with living in the Philippines is “Basta Pinoy Da Best”. For decades the song Night in Saucilito by Diesel would reverberate in my head. I never had any copy of it and it was rarely on the radio but it is a great song. I was able to hear it again through the magic of Youtube. To my surprise the band is Dutch. But who cares?? All that matters is the song is great.

Sting for me is a true artist who does more than just sing. He plays the bass and the six string guitar. He writes the music and the lyrics and because he writes the lyrics he gets his message across. You can agree or disagree with that message but it’s there. It makes you think. American Idol on the other hand the contestants sing songs that are picked for them that they don’t even know. These songs existed for decades before they were born. You are telling me there is a message? You are telling me that American Idol showcases talent? The contestants are told what to say when to say it and the message is decades old. Remind you of anybody?

You watch Game of Thrones and you see all these different groups wanting the Iron Throne. Some just want to take it, to “pay for it with iron not gold”. It’s a way of saying anything worth truly having is earned and not bought. Some believe they were born to sit on that Iron Throne. In GoT you see what people are willing to do to get what they want. Maybe a show like Sopranos is like that but GoT has that tangible Iron Throne as a symbol. For pinoys the Iron Throne is pansin. Regardless of how they make the connection or how flimsly the association, they will make that connection to get to the Iron Throne of pansin. KSP is the root of all evil. This KSP is a manifestation of low national self esteem. So we embrace the trivial and believe it’s meaningful. Then our embrace of that which I interpret as shallow and superficial gives us an excuse to be irrationally exhuberant. The Pinoy wants international pansin anyway they can get it, short of what Cunanan did to Versace.

“Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all others because you were born in it.” George Bernard Shaw

If the Pinoy was truly da best, why does a “win” in an American show mean so much? Can’t you be satisfied with what you have in your own local shows since you have such a high opinion of pinoy talent? At least the contestants there tend to be born here. Forget the fact that Jessica has truly little to do with the country.You also can’t have it both ways. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. You value the stage of another country but if victory does not come accuse them of all sorts of things like racism and sexism. I will also argue that Jessica is more theirs than yours. She did not grow up on love teams, Kris Aquino and Wow Wow Wee.


If you truly believe in destiny and I can prove that this country does, you lose that edge of tapping everything that is in you that is required to compete with the best of the best. Once you are playing with the big boys, everybody is talented. What separates them in the mentality that manages that talent. Just like that scene in Top Gun in the bar. It may be slick, it may be contrived but it worked for me. Your arrogance should be earned from experience, having done it before. Ice Man was supposed to be the best. Maverick though did not back down. he wanted to be the best so he sought out the best and competed. That is competition. Maverick did not tell Ice that it is his destiny. Granted there is an alternate view of the  Top Gun subtext.



I love the Beatles. The Beatles would have never popped out of American Idol. Which shows you why it’s so irrelevant to me. In Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, he describes how the Beatles came to be. And it’s not American Idol. If for some reason in the next 10 years Pinoys produce the cultural equivalent of The Beatles for the world to be in awe of , maybe that will be something. Right now though it’s a contrived singing contest. Ironically a Beatles early hit was I Wanna Hold Your Hand. The Beatles road to glory had no hand holding but years and years of paying their dues.    Every American Idol contestant has their hand held from beginning to the end. You know why they required hand holding? They do not have enough talent to do it on their own. They did not persevere enough.

BS Aquino was hand held throughout his run to the presidency. The presidency was nothing he worked his whole life for just like FPJ before him. But in both cases, people who have something to gain by having “their guy” as a president did the hand holding since an opportunity presented itself. That is why Noynoy  always appears so ill equipped. American Idol is a “short cut” and pinoys are known for short cuts. Hence we have a president who used the word destiny as a substitute for any tangible accomplishment and we as a country believed him.

Can you imagine our current president staring down Ice Man? He had never had to compete for anything in a true competition. He never before had to go mano-a-mano with anything but now we expect him to take on China.  Sure he got elected but based on what? He relied on symbols and anchors to revisionist history. This guy pole vaulted over his mother’s corpse into Malacanang.  Anyone argue with that blunt, crude but true statement? His mom’s death was big news then he runs. Was he on that path before? Why is no one calling him out on this? The better question is why did we embrace this?

The main culprits in the anchoring of Noynoy to some fantasized utopia are the ABS CBN Network and The Philippine Daily Inquirer who both brought new meaning to the term yellow journalism.  Read Anthony Robbins concept on Anchoring  and you will realize how lame pinoys are for making that leap along with Noynoy.   You saw with your own eyes BS Aquino’s version of competing is simply bring up his parents in stories and include a picture of them in his campaign picture. BS Aquino could not produce anything concrete  to prove himself worthy of the highest elected office in the land so he evokes destiny. Two years later I find the idea so preposterous that I am surprised the original news story is still up on GMA 7’s website.  BS Aquino was already acting entitled even before he was elected. It truly explains his behavior to this day. As lame as that strategy sounds, it worked. Ultimately does that make you proud to be pinoy?? That a moronic campaign strategy worked because it was correctly tailored to the audience it was meant for? Brings new meaning to the phrase “we get the government we deserve”.

Just like American Idol is relevant by piggy backing on songs others worked very hard to make hits decades ago. Noynoy  Aquino got himself elected by piggy backing on the past of his parents. Evoking every symbol, gesture and mannerism his parents were known for. He had to, he had nothing to offer that a birth certificate stating who his parents were. Just like American Idol contestants have no songs to call their own, BS Aquino has no words or deeds to call his own. BS Aquino is not original, like Arnel Pineda, Mars Ravelo and Manny Pangalinan before him. People take pride in Charice being in Glee which is not original. Was Mariah Carrey right about the pinoy after all?  That trait of gaya gaya defines the pinoy way more than a half pinoy half mexican singing ever could. Even the admiration of people who are not original states that the pinoy does not value originality. Our blind devotion to American Idol which is all form and no substance truly explains the occupants of Malacanang now.


Its this kind of symbolism that we as a country attach to Jessica Sanchez. I bring up the election two years ago because it is my premise that it is the same thing. Pinoys want to believe Sanchez is pinoy like them. Culturally she is not pinoy. Biologically she is half Mexican. Pinoys were so vested in the outcome because they believe it’s a competition then perform a consuelo de bobo to justify second place and say it is not a competition. I always said it’s not a competition and oddly enough the best explanation I ever saw of this comes from Yahoo National Sports Columnist Dan Wetzel here.  Dan Wetzel says American Idol is not a competition. In the ultimate analysis I rather listen to him than someone who voted for BS Aquino.

The whole exercise of making Jessica Sanchez into Marie Curie actually makes sense when you see what local women we put on a pedestal. Kris Aquino gets on every bill board, does multiple TV shows with commercials that she is in and has a magazine devoted to her. All that attention and it seems like it’s never enough for her. Always portraying herself as a victim. And here is the capper folks. You give her all the attention she asks for. This nation is the enabler of Kris Aquino and all that is reflected how as a nation we try to act out that KSP urge that Kris has on the world grasping at straws with American Idol/ Jessica Sanchez. Lather, rinse , repeat with the next barely pinoy person that gets semi famous outside of our shores.

This is a country that kills missionaries   but we chose to identify our self with someone who was not born here and has a Mexican father and she defines the nation. Yet we have someone who gets convicted in a court of law for plunder a crime punishable by death  and he comes in as runner up for president. I feel that defines us way more than some singer who has never been here. Where is the national pride or shame for that? We do poorly in things that are relevant yet we kid ourselves that doing well in things that are irrelevant more than make up for it. Are we so blinded by the empty promise of pansin that we latch on to a foreigner pretend she is ours and vicariously live through her? We truly have no standards when a singing contest can mean so much to so many. Accomplishment means nothing. Only trying to satisfy  our KSP.  What’s next? The country will  elect a president who never showed any leadership qualities?  Oops.

To quote Keith Olbermann “Good Night and Good Luck .”

Gogs

P.S.

I am very grateful to be granted space in GRP. My passion bucket is full. I hope a few people can learn from me a fraction what I have learned from the contributors here. Whether you agree with them or not you can give them credit for daring to be different.

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34 Comments on “American Idol in its Irrelevance Is Relevant To Us”

  1. So, if Manny loses to Tim Bradley, is it racism? Was it racism when Tim Tebow didn’t get the NFL MVP? Both cases would be called “racism” by some.

    FYI, I do not Pacman will win or lose based on “he’s a flipino.” That’s logic in crazy.

  2. The whole patriotic Filipino concept is flawed. Jessica Sanchez is part Mexican(at least her brothers look like they are), we all know being Filipino-Mexican is one of the worst mixes you can have aside from being Black and Vietnamese…

    NOW THAT’S RACISM.

  3. I fully concur with the point set forward in this post.

    However…

    “American Idol in it’s Irrelevance Is Relevant To Us”

    Its =/= It’s

    Please fix. Masakit po sa mata eh. ^^’ Tenks.

  4. They should pass a resolution banning anyone with Pinoy blood in any televised contest. Sheesh!

    Seriously, Jessica Sanchez should be just a one-time lunchbreak topic that you can forget as soon as you go back to work.

      1. No, it hasn’t…yet.

        A little restraint would be nice. It’s just freakin’ TV. Maybe if the survival of the Philippines and the lives of millions depended on someone’s singing, we’d all have good reason to get riled up over losing in a reality TV contest.

  5. Ed Lopez! Nice to hear from you! As usual, you’ve got a lot of meaty things to say, not a thing changed from your personal blog.

    Interesting that you mentioned Sting’s “Russians”. Since the end of the Cold War, it didn’t seem relevant or applicable anymore because there is no more Soviet Union. But it seems that we can sing it to refer to Pinoys and PNoy as well, we just have to be creative in changing the lyrics a bit.

  6. I like to think of the President using the fuel from his mom’s body to fuel his (and his behind the scenes supporters/controllers) campaign .

  7. Errr. back to the topic of jsanchez, I think this paraphrase of a comment from an inquirer article sums it up.

    “Jessica has to win. She’s the symbol Filipinos need in this time of division and conflict”

    So instead of having founding fathers, the flag, the map, the Philippine Eagle, or Jose Rizal, we need Jessica Sanchez as a symbol to unite us?

    I guess that’s what you get in a country where a) not everyone accepts Jose Rizal should be a national hero b) not everyone accepts that Emilio Aguinaldo is the 1st president, or Miguel Malvar the 2nd.

    1. really?? talaga naman tong inquirer.. tsktsk
      Do Filipinos need a symbol?! LOL
      mga pinoys mahilig mag troll pa talaga sa FB and youtube na dapat si JS nanalo..
      So kung nanalo si JS,ano ba mangyayari sa Pinas? mag iimprove ba economically?!
      Some Pinoys are sore losers,KSP na mayabang pa,may delusions na “Pinoys are the best”

  8. You have well laid-out points, Gogs. And props to most of the commenters above, as well.

    Reading on, I realize how I want to just slap every mindless Pinoy I could see on the street. This is a rotten country we live in… I wonder if the time would ever come where we ourselves would deliver the country from all these bullshit and not some Bible-quoting dumbass or a young female singer who chooses to entertain foreign audiences.

  9. lol. Jessica Sanchez kakanta ng Star Spangled Banner sa laban ni Pacquiao.Obviously mas kabisado nya ang US anthem kaysa Lupang Hinirang dahil Amerikana naman talaga sya.lol
    More proof that Failippines is banking again on an “imported” singer.

      1. Just as I am so proud of you Kris. You always are epitome of grace and class and family values. Nice to know Bemby has more IQ than your kuya. Maybe that’s the Yap genes.

        1. josh for president. the brains in the inbred clan.
          i bet noynoy is glad he is not here to see how his offspring have disgraced the nation.

      2. Let’s put down that kind of dysfunctional thinking: The false Pinoy Pride which it doesn’t exist.

        BTW, you can’t be proud of what you didn’t achieve, idiot. You were born a Filipino, much like I was. Hence we both cannot take ‘pride’ in something we were put into. I’ll give you 1/10 for ‘proud’ trolling.

  10. josh for president. the brains in the inbred clan.
    i bet the parents are glad they are not here to see how their offspring have disgraced the nation.
    the aquino siblings –
    a whore, a gay, a doormat, and a greedy harridan.

  11. @ Gogs

    “Noynoy does not look statesmanlike in handling crisis.”

    Did Marcos look statesmanlike when he escaped from Malacañang from extreme fear and shame to avoid the millions of 2-decade long angry and frustrated Filipinos? Did Erap look statesmanlike when he found out that he was unwittingly video-taped gambling inside a casino? Did Gloria look statesmanlike when she apologized in public for her “Hello, Garci” scandal? So if you equate your “statesmanlike” idea into “excellent attitude of a President”, then “Houston, we have a problem.”

    “You believe that 20-3 has the same weight as the score in the previous Super Bowl. My personal belief is that 20-3 holds as much weight as the career record of Rowdy Roddy Piper. But that’s just me.”

    Oh, I’m not into Super Bowl and no idea who Rowdy is. But yes, it’s just YOU. No argument about that.

    “How many of those 20 voices either did not substantiate their guilty vote or the substance of their words suggested a not guilty vote yet they voted guilty.”

    If you are “competent” enough to “substantiate” your very personal opinion (that’s a big IF), then tell me HOW MANY? And if you can give me the exact figure, tell me what exactly is your “competence” for supposing such assumption?

    “You point to 20-3 as justification and my counter is, the game is fixed.”

    If you have the “legal expertise” (and that’s a big IF), tell me HOW WAS THE GAME FIXED? No generalities. Be specific please.

    “Are you denying he had no qualifications or abilities to lead a country of 90 milllion in the past?”

    Maybe PNoy doesn’t have the excellent qualification like Marcos and Gloria had. But history tells us, Marcos imposed Martial Law; detained and tortured political enemies; was shamefully removed from the highest office by People Power Revolution; was exiled to Hawaii; and soon discovered he had moved billions of dollars of embezzled public funds to accounts and investments in the United States, Switzerland, and other countries. Meanwhile, Gloria was involved in the NBN-ZTE scandal, Juetengate controversy, fertilizer scam, cheating in 2004 elections, etc., and is now serving hospital arrest. It seems excellent qualification does NOT guarantee excellent governance.

    “For good measure you can read my blog on the Irrelevance of American Idol and argue with that too.”

    Jessica’s losing to Phillip was so expected. AI is not entirely talent search but a popularity contest as well. So what’s the big deal?

    “You are consistent yet articulate with your loyalty to BS Aquino. I don’t agree where you place your loyalty but I admire loyalty.”

    For the record, I did NOT even praise PNoy for his leadership qualities, and did NOT even vote for PNoy as President. Ever heard of jumping into conclusion? But the “loyalty” I can clearly see here is your UNDENIABLE LOYALTY (and this blog’s IN-YOUR-FACE LOYALTY) to ANTI-PNOY advocacy. I can only wonder why?

    “Now the same people who voted him in based on his parents, sister and last name are using 20-3 to justify why they voted him in , in the first place.”
    If NO ONE can prove that PNoy paid or threatened the 20 senator-judges to vote “guilty”, then he has nothing to do with the 20-3 verdict. The credit or blame on the outcome of the impeachment trial all goes to the senator-judges.

    You admitted you have been consistent with your “disgust” for PNoy. And according to you, PNoy was “dumb”, “imbecile”, “ill prepared”, with “much less hair”, and even referred him with an acronym “BS”. And we all know what that means – Bachelor of Science. LOL Well, you only proved one thing and it can only be summarized into one plain sentence – I HATE PNOY. And nothing follows. I hope next time you will conjunct it with a rational clause. 🙂

    1. Sorry, but you’re clearly missing the point of what Gogs said.

      ‘Did Marcos look statesmanlike when he escaped from Malacañang from extreme fear and shame to avoid the millions of 2-decade long angry and frustrated Filipinos? Did Erap look statesmanlike when he found out that he was unwittingly video-taped gambling inside a casino? Did Gloria look statesmanlike when she apologized in public for her “Hello, Garci” scandal? So if you equate your “statesmanlike” idea into “excellent attitude of a President”, then “Houston, we have a problem.”’

      TROLL logic you got there. Marcos had no choice but to leave the country because the Americans told him yet he wanted to prevent bloodshed and he was right that the Philippines is going down after 20 years as people like you love to live in MEDIOCRITY by worshipping the Aquinos as demigods, just like what you did to PNoy. 😛 Erap left in order to prevent bloodshed. And GMA apologizing on the “Hello Garci” thingy is a bad publicity move yet her hardworking status made her statemanlike (take note on her accomplishments after that infamous scandal). So it seems that the likes of you had a problem, not the author. 😉

      ‘Maybe PNoy doesn’t have the excellent qualification like Marcos and Gloria had. But history tells us, Marcos imposed Martial Law; detained and tortured political enemies; was shamefully removed from the highest office by People Power Revolution; was exiled to Hawaii; and soon discovered he had moved billions of dollars of embezzled public funds to accounts and investments in the United States, Switzerland, and other countries. Meanwhile, Gloria was involved in the NBN-ZTE scandal, Juetengate controversy, fertilizer scam, cheating in 2004 elections, etc., and is now serving hospital arrest. It seems excellent qualification does NOT guarantee excellent governance.’

      Fact is you focus your EMO-ON PGMA and Marcos who apparently shattered the country. Well if Marcos wasn’t around, who would build the nationally funded structures then still heavily used by the country now? After him Cory nor others didn’t even give a lick about national infrastructure or foreign investments. You overrate his atrocities yet many claimed before finding out the truth about him that his time was actually a time where society was disciplined. Two sides of the same coin. People demonize Marcos but take away what he did for the country. People uplift the humanly nice Cory and the Aquinos as demi-gods of the country when just as much corruption happened in her time as much as Marcos did, to go with inefficient decision making as a leader to boot. And people like you go EMO over PGMA, claiming she stole millions of YOUR money (when its the governments money to begin with. Taxation money ain’t yours son! You aren’t down with that? Complain about taxation without representation!) when she also was an efficient leader that kept the Philippines economy afloat, invested on its economic side and did what she could to keep the government from going astray as she wasn’t going to get any legitimacy as the transitional leader after Estrada. So in this system, she had to what she can to gain allies, even if it meant throwing money at them.

      ‘For the record, I did NOT even praise PNoy for his leadership qualities, and did NOT even vote for PNoy as President. Ever heard of jumping into conclusion? But the “loyalty” I can clearly see here is your UNDENIABLE LOYALTY (and this blog’s IN-YOUR-FACE LOYALTY) to ANTI-PNOY advocacy. I can only wonder why?’

      This site is more than just anti-PNoy. It’s anti-stupidity and anti-mediocrity. Yet believe it or not, PNoy is the epitome of this so idiots like you can accuse this of being ‘anti-PNoy’ and all of things that were said against him are very true.

      ‘If NO ONE can prove that PNoy paid or threatened the 20 senator-judges to vote “guilty”, then he has nothing to do with the 20-3 verdict. The credit or blame on the outcome of the impeachment trial all goes to the senator-judges.’

      ‘Well, to tell you, the senator-judges who voted for the guilty verdict are based on the favor of the people (they said) and even PNoy. Most of them are playing politics.

      You admitted you have been consistent with your “disgust” for PNoy. And according to you, PNoy was “dumb”, “imbecile”, “ill prepared”, with “much less hair”, and even referred him with an acronym “BS”. And we all know what that means – Bachelor of Science. LOL Well, you only proved one thing and it can only be summarized into one plain sentence – I HATE PNOY. And nothing follows. I hope next time you will conjunct it with a rational clause. ‘

      That’s total bullsh*t because if you dig deeper, the term BS isn’t Bachelor of Science after all but BULLSH*T because PNoy is BULLSH*TTING the people. Well, this seems it’s new for you since you approve of Corona’s conviction w/o realizing the fact that it was PNoy is the mastermind of this impeachment trial. SO victory for PNoy after all. 😛

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