As has been seen in the news and on-line, American Idol may have suffered some rating decline this past season, but that “fat lady’s” not singing any odes of goodbye yet.
In the chicagotribune.com review about the recent tour stop in Chicago, the Idol’s are not being painted in exactly rainbow hues, although the reviewer did enjoy Jason Castro’s “Over the Rainbow” performance. The article, “Johns, White Castro grab center stage”, was presented as a special feature submitted by Andy Downing. Mr. Downing, as readers can be seen in the comments section of this feature is feeling the wrath of the show’s fans. This, another example of the level of fervor the fans of American Idol feel toward the hit show. It also indicates why this reality program isn’t going to go off the air anytime in the near future.
Post commentators provide an excellent example of what I see regularly in articles mentioning Taylor Hicks that may have a less than glowing slant. Many of the comments say the same thing in this post regarding supporting the show as you can read Taylor Hicks’ fans post in their attempts to ‘protect’ Mr. Hicks. Just insert “Taylor Hicks” in the place of American Idol and they sound the same.
Evidenced as fan fervor, the usual fan crying out ‘boycott’ and wanting the head of the writer, or at least he be fired. That’s laughable and censorship. Only write what everyone wants to read and never voice your opinion, or off with your head.
“This reveiw is completely ridiculous. Obviously it was from someone that was not at the show. I was at the show and the 2 Davids were both brilliant. The audience was so loud when David Archuleta came out and throughout his set stayed that way and it was the same for David Cook. I enjoyed all the performances and actually bought tickets to go see it again. This article needs to be retracted or at least an apology to all the idols and this writer needs to be replaced–what a bunch of BS and I for one will never read this paper again.”
“What kind of review is this? Obviously , this writer never liked American Idol. This is the worst I’ve come across since the beginning of the tour. He’s either blind or deaf or was not in the concert at all!”
Now I’m not bringing this up to denigrate Mr. Hicks, and I must clarify that point right now since his fans will immediately read into this that I am. What I am pointing out is the criticisms for some of the behavior of his fans has nothing to do with the man and everything to do with that reality show. It’s the avid, naive and accepting viewers that take everything that happens on that program as serious business and real life. Not real life and business for the contestants, no – rather real life as it pertains to them personally. They take this show that airs twice weekly during its seasonal run and make it about them.
Why this phenom? It’s on their televisions in their homes and they’re voting on the contestants, interacting with the show. This carries forward to the on-line portion of this reality show. The internet plays a huge part of the direction the season takes, with the fans sometimes immersing themselves into the reality story lines, on-line. They personalize themselves into the show by creating characters basically, that are a reflection of themselves out in cyberland. They create their groups to hang out together in the form of websites and forums. Often these groups fight against each other as seen with the ridiculous situation around Chris Daughtry vs Taylor Hicks’ fans. Sometimes websites rise up and act as one to attack “certain bloggers” who may write things they don’t agree with or identify with, concerning the object of their affection.
One concern that is just now beginning to pop up is the proximity and the access that some of the more, let’s say adventurous fans, are finding themselves enjoying as they attend the concerts. This testimony written in a forum about their recent concert adventures:
“TOUR BUSES were parked in the hotel parking lot, so we decided to barricade all the entrances (there were like 10 of us and then it eventually grew to like 30) and wait for them to come out… they said they wouldn’t kick us out cause there were so few of us and we can try hunting them down.”
Yep, ‘hunting them down’ – like they’re on some kind of safari. She continues with recounting how the girl’s bus driver gave them better ‘hunting’ information:
but at like 12 we met the girl’s bus driver and she said when the bus starts moving we can just follow them and it’ll lead us to where the idols will be coming out from… we chased it to the “secret” entrance”
Having gained access to the ‘secret’ entrance she and her fan pals encountered Carly:
“while carly was signing my thing she’s like “i heard you guys running past our hallway like a million times…and that was just the beginning. there was no fence between us or anything we caught them off guard.”
There are also stories about some fans shooting the Idols with water pistols, and I thought what the hell is that being allowed for – when will those water pistols become just pistols and what sort of non-security is this?
“I heard someone squirted MJ with a water gun before they were rushed unto the buses at that time. Unbelievable.”
(I found a few of these little poster “gems” on Smartie’s site.)
One thought, is 19E, and the PopTart corporation so enamored of the mighty dollar they’d risk a publicized scandal? If one of the contestants were hurt or worse, certainly that would create some killer headlines… Just amazing. Amazingly disturbing on several levels.
This is some footage from the after-show in Chicago with Jason Castro signing assorted items the fans are shoving at him as they scream into his face. Man, he’s got a lot more patience than I would under those circumstances. A few of the gals are completely losing their minds and emitting this ear piercing shrieks, “Jason, Jason, Jason”. Duct tape time there, chicas.
video c/o BigYear2008
Here is a flashback to the ’80’s for those Idol fans on ‘safari’.
flashback provided by gkkaul7