ABC has debuted it’s answer to “American Idol”. Sadly, that answer is a resounding no. “The One: Making a music star” is so bad that it makes The WB’s cruel joke “Superstar USA” look not only legitimate but innovative.
Nick, my viewing partner in all kinds of bad TV, described it best as like watching TV in a foreign language. Between the incredibly Greek host (George Strombaaddtwentysevenmorevowelsoupoulous) the interchangeably bland contestants and the caricature judges it’s “Idol” meets “Making the Band” and every bad anime ever made.
The premise, as if the title didn’t tell you, is to make the next indiscriminate, thin-voiced, pop act. The twist is that they will live together in the the ridiculously named “The One Academy” and compete for your votes and each others in some complex way. Along the way they will be coached by
three “experts” in the music industry. Mark Hudson- a dyed goatee wearing Willy Wonka wannabe whose eye shadow is worse than that of the sleaziest hooker- Andre Harrell- whose musical expertise appears to be wholly encompassed by being Diddy’s former boss- and Kara DioGuardi- the worst kind of Paula Abdul in that she gives no criticism and in fact buffs the contestants already inflated egos. The fact that the official site lists all three by the vague title of “music expert” should be a hint. In future viewings, of which I hope there will be precious few-morbid curiosity can only go so far, this triad of pointless commentary will be referred to in my home as “The Rimmers”- the worse the performance the further they shove their tongue in and swirl.
And then there’s the set: take the worst of “Idol” and CBS’ “Rock Star” and run it through the eye of several fired Disney imagineers and you’ll get close to this deranged mess of styles, colors, lights, and audience cattle.
But the real draw, if there were one, is the contestants. It’s a tribute to ABC that they didn’t show us the casting process because if this is the best they could find, NBC is wrong- America has NO talent. The 11 hopefuls not only can’t sing any better that the casual shower performer their performance skills lack even that amount of excitement. Weak, thin, screechy, embarrassing, pathetic, and weird are just some of the adjectives that sprung to mind during nearly every performance. I truly thought I was losing my mind as song after song was slaughtered and the “judges” and the audience-who was clearly paid- heaped praise and adulation on the criminally bad minstrels.
“If I had stock, I would sell it. We need to find out who did the casting on this and vow to never watch one of their shows again.” Among the fine bon mots Nick and I lobbed at this unfortunate wreck, that sums it up. Everyone involved in this has made the worst decision of their life while participating. Half way though I began to wonder if the show was in fact some form of experiment in which ABC tried to find the least talented people in the country and decided to store them in one place to study why they are all so very awful, sadly it’s not. Maybe the purpose is to showcase how great the experts are at making horrid singers into passable singers-I just don’t know (and neither do they). I can’t describe the aural assault ABC foisted on the public this evening, but I recommend finding a video clip so you can hear for yourself the next William Hung.