The show on Christmas featured 11 Idol winners from around the world duking it out. First performance of the night was the Campest Rendition Ever of "She's A Maniac", sung by a tragically-80s dancing German. What a start! It went through your typical power ballad fare till the Belgian idol took the stage. Long hair, goatie, and he fucking sang "Lithium"! I think i almost died laughing, though his performance was spot-on. The Jordanian girl was the only one to sing a song not in English, and it was hauntingly beautiful. The Polish chick, man she kicked it. I don't even remember the song, but she had so much energy and fun. She finished her performance with a little shouting match with the Polish judge, who had been the real star of the night telling all the idols how much they sucked in the most colorful ways ("the only thing keeping me here is gravitational force and the fact that my flight doesn't leave till tomorrow" - classic!)
Enter the results show, tonight. The Norwegian guy won. Ex-plumber, gap-tooth, pot belly - the perfect underdog. Unfortunately i heard the bum notes, but i guess the bleeding-heart pity voters didn't. Oh well. The fun thing about the first show was seeing what kinds of crazy people the countries voted in themselves. The fun thing about the results show was seeing which foreigners the different countries voted for. Aside from the clean-sweep of the Norwegian underdog and the bland American Mariah-impersonator... America voted the Jordanian singer third! The Arabs voted the German guy first! Everyone voted the Belgian guy second or third! I spy crossover potential - all i need to do is perform grunge in Arabic while dancing around like a spastic David Hasselhoff and i could be the next World Idol! Stay tuned.
Real highlight of the shows... Seeing the German runner-up. As if the country's winner and World Idol representative wasn't gay enough, the runner-up was a geeky cross-dressing bisexual that sang "99 Luftballons" sounding and looking almost identical to Nena! Crikey. He's also written a book since German Idol, which - from the excerpts i've read - is actually quite touching. His album is seriously cheesy, however. Daniel Küblböck - the man who would sleep with aliens...
Highlight number two - the Polish idol. Cute as hell with a very strong diva voice reminiscent of Anastacia. Keep your eye on Alicja Janosz, aka Alex. She's 17 (?) now, in a couple years and with a bit more English practise her voice will be fucking storming. I liked her so much i braved Polish websites to listen to her MP3s that ranged from swing to soul to her rock hit "Still Alive"... which should SO be a #1 over here.
It's a real shame these shows got such crappy ratings. I remember when i lived in Holland there were a lot of excellent local bands and singers who never got success overseas. In fact i think the only European band that gained world popularity while i was there was K's Choice, and only with the surprise success of "Not An Addict". Still hardly anyone has heard of H-Blockx, who predated the whole nu-metal thing by 5 years and did it so much better. Or what about Clawfinger? Even harsher nu-metal, verging on industrial. Which led to Rammstein who actually did get a little popularity overseas. But what about all the Alicjas of the world?
I think it's awesome to hear what people around the world are listening to. I think it's awesome to find out that Arabs like cheesy Flashdance songs. Isn't it awesome the Belgians chose a rock singer to win their idol show over a pop singer? Isn't anyone else interested in this stuff? I thought it was great being in America hearing how much hip-hop got played there that never even touches the charts overseas. But then there's fuck all techno, which is all over the charts in Europe and even Australia. Why does Japan fall in love with European bands that have literally zero success in Europe? Why can't we globalize music? World Idol was really a nice attempt at this, regardless of the schlock format...
Okay reality TV haters, you can now get back to your regularly scheduled friends list :-)