So here it is.
American Idol Sestina
What are their names again? Ramiele? Sayesha? Those Davids,
and all the others I love, Danny, whom I’ll never forget,
until next season, when new Davids or Dannys grace the stage.
At my age, I should be over this, the fawning, the popularity,
the whole high school feel of it, complete with the judging,
only this time I love it, because it’s American Idol!
Okay, that’s not logical. Really? I love the hot guys, Michael, David,
whether they were strippers or not! Who am I to judge
what the singers did before? I'm like an amnesiac, I forget
because I want to forget. I just want simple things: popularity,
unconditional love, fame. I want the world to be my stage,
And the reasons I love American Idol are one: it’s American Idol!
as if I could be in contention with such talent, but at this stage
everyone’s “talented,” right Paula? Each is the next American Idol.
But it’s a singing competition, right Simon? Not a popularity
contest. If it’s about talent and singing then David wins. But which David?
They all blend together, the handsomeness, the voice, it’s so easy to forget
who is who, or that not everyone can really sing. I can’t! But I can judge!
And that’s a talent unto itself, being like Randy or Paula or Simon, judging
who’s the best, who can sell records, make money, who has the best stage
presence. Each week I think anyone could win but it changes, I forget
that only one person can be the very best, the real best, the next American Idol.
And every year there’s one person everyone thinks will win, this year it’s David.
But is he really the most talented? Or only the cutest? Or the most popular?
They’re not the same, in Simon’s semantic universe, talent and popularity,
though to the American public they are pretty much equivalent. And who’s judging?
We are! Even when I don’t call, I critique the style of Christy Lee Cook and David,
I pretend that I know how it is to sing the song, to stand up there, alone on the stage
wanting attention so desperately that I'd go so far as trying out for American Idol,
but I’d have to be a complete idiot to do that, right? What? Did I suddenly forget
that I can’t sing? Or do I want to meet Simon so badly that I’d forget
my tone deafness or that I’d end up on the hideous reel? But it is a popularity
contest. Choose me, each contest sings. Each thinks she’s the next American Idol.
But not everyone can be the best. There’s only one best. Though each night the judges
say at least twice, “That was the best!” And the contestants stand there on stage
little amnesiacs, forgetting that everyone in the end, loves David, votes for David.
David is never in the bottom three. David would never forget
the lyrics. On stage, it is all about popularity, not sheer, raw talent.
But the allure is in the judging, the judgment, the judge: I choose the next American Idol.