NPR logo Grab Your Popcorn; The Music Experts Are 'Idol'-Fighting!

Television

Grab Your Popcorn; The Music Experts Are 'Idol'-Fighting!

Adam Lambert: He's currently the hot topic over at All Songs Considered. Fox hide caption

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Fox

I wanted to make sure none of you missed the fantastic discussion currently going on in the All Songs Considered blog — right here! — regarding American Idol. Normally, I would let the Adam Lambert issue rest after last week, but when I heard a listen to Adam's "If I Can't Have You" hilariously described as "the worst minute and 45 seconds of [Bob Boilen's] life," I knew you had to see it for yourself.

What makes this marvelous is not that Bob hated the performance — or even that Bob thought Paula Abdul was Adam's mother (as the comments reveal) (okay, it's partly that). What makes it marvelous is simply that people who watch that show regularly can easily start thinking of the contestants in a way that separates them from the context in which they will one day have to compete.

When you hear people referred to enough times as enormously important artists of the future, it's easy to forget that to people who don't watch the show, who are evaluating them as musicians and not Idol contestants, they're often far less than television makes them out to be. (This is, of course, not limited to this guy; that would be true of any of them.) It's all about context, as you will see.

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