…is not the woman crowned on television this evening. Don’t get me wrong, I congratulate Carrie Underwood, who is poised to become — in the hopes of the dinks at 19 Entertainment — the next Kelly Clarkson, albeit with a soupcon of country twang. But for me, the one who really has come out on top is Alabama’s pride, Bo Bice.
Interesting head for a phillyburbs.com story on tonight’s event: Carrie Wins, We Lose. Of course, Bo will be making great music for years to come, so I don’t really agree with that statement. But the story itself is fascinating. Here is an excerpt:
Carrie is perhaps the quintessential example of the type of middle-of-the-road mediocrity that Idol rewards.
Had Bo Bice won, Idol would have gained credibility in the eyes of many non-Idol fans. Choosing a performer who was edgy, daring and stood out from the crowd both musically and stylistically would have signaled change for a franchise that has churned out three seasons’ worth of unremarkable talent.
But, America has voted and we’re stuck with the idiot they elected.
Harsh, considering that Carrie seems like a really nice person and she is a pleasant enough singer, but AI is all about musical mediocrity. That’s just the truth. Or it was until Bo Bice showed up. In the end, though, the show (and the American mainstream) went for what is safe. And that is Carrie. Bo is dangerous — he is hella talented, takes musical risks, and, well, he IS sex appeal personified. Too hot for America or a certain segment thereof? I think so.
As fabulous as it would have been to have a performer with credibility, passion, edginess, and raw appeal as the American Idol, we’ve gotta be realistic. Just as Americans (about half of ’em) went for the presidential candidate they thought was safe, they (about half of ’em) went for a safe Idol. Good for them; I’ll stay away and just listen to my Purge and Sugar Money MP3s, which provide more entertainment than four years’ worth of Kellys and Carries combined.
In the long run, this outcome is for the best. America gets Carrie’s safe pop-country stuff for as long as it remains trendy (hey, Kelly has been doing well for three years now). Perhaps she’ll gain a personality on the way. Meanwhile, Bo, graced with the Clay Aiken spot, gets to remain Bo, undiluted, unbroken, undimmed, untampered with, unbowed. And he doesn’t have to be chained to those 19 Entertainment dolts for a year. Quoting my American Idol (who is, to me, the only one who counts), it’s all good!
I can’t speak to the entire show, which it appears I was lucky to miss (for an unlucky reason; an old friend died Sunday and I was at a memorial service this evening). But I got home in time to see the end: Did anyone notice the tepid applause after Seacrest’s announcement of Cowell’s dream come true? Thankfully, Bo is a gentleman and encouraged the crowd to clap louder. He is a great musician and his “loss” is AI‘s loss — but it appears Bo Bice is an even better human being and friend than artist. That is saying much.
Get to know the real Bo. He rocks. If you can’t abide mainstream pop pap, join the Bice squad and celebrate the music of the Idol for the rest of us. Bo came in second with all the odds and the powers-that-be pitted against him. That is pretty damned amazing when you think about it.
Screw the announcement made by host Ryan Seacrest: In terms of the big picture, Bo Bice was victorious tonight.