This morning, NPR Music producer Stephen Thompson and I were having our regular weekly debrief about American Idol, rating and reviewing the previous evening's performances. Our most heated and frequent debate centers on contestant Adam Lambert, a singer whose voice, according to Stephen, is an "adenoidal screech" that bores into Stephen's skull. [Editor's Note: I believe the exact words were "an adenoidal screech that bores into my right temple like 9,000 dentist drills made of knives and fire." —ST] I, and everyone else with a finely tuned ear for seasoned perfection, thinks Lambert is the best singer on the program — and, quite possibly, the most talented singer who's ever appeared in American Idol's eight-season run.
At some point during this morning's debate, Bob chimed in to ask for a video link of Adam Lambert's performance from last night:
Adam Lambert, one of this year's contestants on American Idol. (Credit: AP)
Bob has a gift for staying blissfully clueless about this sort of thing. About two seconds into the video clip, he took off his headphones and tried to beg out of watching, but I made him sit through the whole thing — an exercise Bob later described as "the worst minute and 45 seconds" of his life. It also sparked this exchange:
Bob: So, did Adam Lambert write that?
Robin: No. He credits someone else at the end with that arrangement.
Bob: No, I mean did he write that song?
Robin: [Face in hands.] That's The Bee Gees, Bob. [Singing.] "If I can't have you, I don't want nobody, baby! If I can't have you! Ahhh-ahh!"
Bob: Never heard of it.
Robin: It's from the '70s. It's disco. Your generation gave us this music.
Bob: And I offer my deepest apologies.
Oh, Bob. So, what do you think? Do you watch American Idol? Is it mindless pop dreck, innocent entertainment, or a showcase for remarkable talent or some combination thereof? And if you do watch, what do you think of Adam Lambert?