I admit it; I’m one of those people who love the first fewshows of American Idol. It’s fun watching people who thinkthey can sing making fools of themselves. It’s all inharmless fun but what happens when the fun turns into enjoying thecomplete humiliation of people. The WB has announced a new show forthe fall untitled Superstar USA where bad signers are given a shotof fame a la American Idol style but instead they are being mockedwithout their knowledge.
The show auditioned people in various citesacross the country including, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, andPhiladelphia. The best singers were told that they weren’tright for the show. The dozen performers that were picked get danceand singing lessons and the chance to compete for a talent andrecording deal the network valued at $100,000.
The shows producer Mike Fliess is quoted inthe San Francisco Chronicle saying, “These people believethey’re the next pop superstar, even though they’rehorrible singers.”
This is kind of deceitfulness andunderhandedness is a new low for the WB, who is usually known fortheir teen dramas. The WB must be hoping for the same magic thatWilliam Hung brought to Idol. Hung was an Idol reject because ofhis horrible singing and inept dance moves. Yet his personalitydominated the scene and won over many viewers’ hearts thatclamored to see him. Now, not only does he have an album that isclimbing up the charts but also a filmed a video for the song thatmade him famous, “She Bangs” by Ricki Martin.
The difference between Hung’s story andSuperstar USA is the joke wasn’t on Hung. When we tried outfor Idol he knew what he was getting into. The fact that he wasable to turn the tables and make money is the American way (and ithelps that young people have forgotten what good music soundslike). Superstar USA is taking someone dreams and crushing them forTV ratings.
With Idol running its umpteenth untalentedrejects show, I begin to wonder is there really a differencebetween harmless fun and humiliating people. What happens when theSuperstar USA contestants find out that all of this is a”harmless” prank? Will the so-called prize be goodenough to appease the “winner”? I doubt it but untilthen I’m done watching Idol. Superstar USA premieres on May17 and run for seven episodes.