I have an outline of a screenplay due at MGM, I owe my editor a book proposal and I’ve promised my agent that I’d write a Modern Love piece. And the first thing I’ve been inspired to write since the birth of my son six weeks ago (besides my beautiful perfect baby Aidan) is, of all things, American Idol. Or, more specifically, the elimination of Michael Johns last night. This totally shocking event has me reeling. I pouted all night. Couldn’t sleep. (Okay, maybe the crying baby had something to do with it or the fact that a poopy diaper leaked on our comforter and it was still in the dryer, leaving me cold, uncomfortable and clutching a chenille throw.)
Last night’s results rocked my world. Honestly, I haven’t been this upset about something I saw on TV since Santino lost…or Al Gore, for that matter. But at least Santino’s brilliance was acknowledged—he made it to the final three—and we all know Al Gore really won. But for Michael Johns to be eliminated when there are seven still standing sends the mind reeling. I mean, Syesha? Carly? KRISTY LEE COOK?!
Can America be that stupid? Or lacking in taste and good judgment? This is just wrong. It seems to me the only explanation can be some kind of technological mishap, a miscount perhaps (let's demand a recount!). Or maybe Michael Johns fans are the sort of idle Idol watchers like myself who don’t vote, who assume he’s so good he doesn’t need our vote. (Obama supporters, take heed, and don’t get snared by the same trap.)
The fall of Michael Johns shocks me because I thought he was going to win American Idol. He was the one guy with the talent, looks, and personality to become an actual rock star. And that is the point of the show after all. Randy Jackson told him once he reminded him of Michael Hutchens and he was right on. He’s got that glint in his eye, that rock 'n' roll sound, that way of twisting his body around the stage that makes girls hold their breath. He was a reason to watch American Idol, a show that according to Bill Maher is devoted to picking a cruise ship entertainer. Michael Johns was more than that. He had the guts to take on Bohemian Rhapsody and eschewed inspirational dreck like “I Believe” for Aerosmith. He was clearly the only contestant capable of taking David Archeleta—unless David Cook has something brilliant up his sleeve or America goes totally mad and crowns Kristy Idol queen (to help her get her horse back).
Frankly, I see no point in watching the rest of the season. Last night when the results were announced, after the ubiquitous jaws had dropped, they flashed to the remaining Idols. They had once looked like a pretty talented bunch, and suddenly, without Michael, they seemed a motley band of amateurs. I love Brooke and Jason Castro, but neither has what it takes to win the big prize. Now Michael Johns on the other hand, had women like me, women in their 20s, their 30s, dare I say in their 40s, swooning like teeny boppers at a Beatles show, and men (like my husband) bopping their heads in admiration. I would pay to hear him play tomorrow. All I can say is I hope agents and handlers and record execs nationwide are drooling in unison and plotting to outbid each other for a piece of him, because Michael Johns’ star deserves to rise.
Michael, rest in peace. Dream on. And now go get your talented ass on to better things than American Idol.