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Tag Archives: Randy Jackson

“American Idol” judges – You don’t get to be over it.

by SweetMidlife

Leslie here!

Since I graduated from the University of Maryland 20 years ago (yikesy biscuits!) I have had four jobs – one of them a four-month gig selling hideous Gen-X grunge knockoffs at a mall, the other three at newspapers, including the one for which I currently work. At the previous three jobs, there inevitably came a moment where it was time to move on, because in each case I’d gotten a new position – which I’d applied for because it was just time to move on.

In all cases, I gave two weeks notice and then continued to come to work, as scheduled, until I turned in my ID card, turned off my computer for the last time and walked out the door. And in those two weeks, I continued to work as if I was not leaving, because I was still drawing a paycheck, and because it was not fair to the recipients of my work, whether they were readers or buyers of bad grunge fashion, to slack just because I was out of there.

In short, even if I was internally over my job, I never acted as if I were over it, because until the last word was typed, I still had a job.

Which brings me to Randy Jackson.

For some time, the lone original “American Idol” judge has been floating along on the strength of his production credits and that time he was in Journey, and the stream of many nonsense words that he uses to describe the performance he has just seen. Every once in a while he made some sense, which should not be shocking given his musical pedigree, but was nonetheless because of his seeming inability to just express a simple opinion in English. Or Spanish. Or even frigging Elvish.

Randy always sounded silly, but at least he seemed to be enthusiastic, even if it was enthusiasm that appeared to be directed by the Evil Emperor Nigel Lythgoe. But this season, especially since his announcement that he wouldn’t be returning next year, he’s seemed oddly disinterested in his critiques, as if he’s already mentally moved onto whatever thing he’s doing next and doesn’t have the time to be bothered.

Wrong. No. Nyet. I’m sorry, Mr. Jackson, are you for reallll?

I was making minimum wage pushing babydoll dresses and bike shorts on cool-obsessed teenagers, but I managed to act as if I gave a bleepity bloop. You are making millions of dollars to listen to people sing and act as if you care. Your job was easier. I don’t give a good happy if you’re over it. Candice Glover and Kree Harrison have worked very hard to get to the finals of “American Idol,” with the vocal demands, the scrutiny, having to sit there and listen to grown millionaires who are supposed to be talking to you take potshots at each other, and that time that the judges tried to convince the audience that competitors The Skinny Girls Angie and Amber were better than Candice and Kree, because they said so, even though their ears were like “Wait…what?”

And you owe it to them to feign some interest. Or – and this is a novel idea – actually having an interest. Since it’s your job and everything. Nicki Minaj, whose time on Idol is also reportedly at an end (Whoopie!!!!), once showed up more than 40 minutes into a live show because she was “stuck in traffic.” With the money she makes, there is no excuse for not making it through the same streets all the other judges, singers, producers, techs and musicians somehow braved. Unless she was being held captive by live monkeys or The Rock had to clear her path through a meteor shower that affected no one but her, there was no excuse not to be on time. Or early. It’s your job.

If I don’t show up to my job, I don’t expect to get paid. If I look bored , or yawn, or check my email while I’m supposed to be interviewing people, I should not get to have my job. And I don’t make Randy Jackson money. Doesn’t matter. If your job is too much for you, don’t have that job.

Apparently, Randy has reasons not to come back next year. Mazel Tov. But as he winds down his time on “Idol” tonight, he better be darned perky. That’s all I’m saying.


Sometimes, you’re not awesome: Booing children on “American Idol”

by SweetMidlife

Oh, grow up.

Dear booing audience members on “American Idol”:

I know that many of you have been raised to believe that the only feedback you should ever listen to is the positive kind, and not to let the judgey-ness of others stop you from realizing your dream. And that’s very good advice.

Unless the person doing the judging is an actual judge…say, a very experienced one in a musical game show, who is being paid not to blow smoke up the beautiful backsides of your favorite singers, but to actually help them. By telling them when they need to sing better.

To review: Sometimes love is not letting someone believe everything they do is awesome when it’s not. Sometime it’s having the guts to tell them the truth. You don’t get better by forging ahead in your suckiness. You get better by owning your strengths and weaknesses and working on them.

Yet you, little audience members who boo anytime a judge tells a singer that they are pitchy, or didn’t give it 100 percent, or picked the wrong song, need to know the judges are not defaming them. They are not telling them that they are bad singers, and that they suck, and that they should drop the mic right now and run screaming away so that music doesn’t spontaneously burst into flames and kill itself.

They are trying to help them. Stop coddling them. People aren’t trying to kill you by giving you help. These kids are going into the roughest waters of show business. If they go into it as little sissy babies who can’t take criticism, they aren’t going to go far.

You are not helping them by trying to protect them from truth. You are hurting them. And annoying the crap out of me.

Love and stuff,

the Cranky Gen-Xer.


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