WEST AFRICAN IDOL
I sat open-mouthed for about half an hour tonight and watched as sado-masochists ran at full pelt before the judges of West African Idol , our version of the American Idol and the British Pop Idol, and asked to be humiliated. The judges- a good looking female simply known as Nana with a striking head of dreads, Dede- Fela Anikulapo Kuti's apprentice, clone etc and Dan "The Cool Breeze" Foster, the African-American presenter on Cool FM.
Nana played the part of Paula Abdul, usually pleasant but firm when the need arose, Foster played Randy Jackson, the nice Music Producer and Dede played Simon Cowell to a fault.
A lot of those contestants certainly deserved to be cussed out like they were and I had truly never seen a more deluded crowd than those who came to audition. There was a guy who couldn't have been a day under 45 but claimed to be 30 (the age limit). When asked to sing, what he crooned and tried to dance to, in the most ghastly voice was Michael Jackson's "Dance, Come on...", confirming how old he was, really. He looked his age, and the judges made it obvious they didn't believe his "official" age.
Another girl came on to sing R.Kelly's "I believe I can fry...". Yeah, she said "fry". They came repeatedly, smashed aside time after time by the judges, one evidently psychotic and looking around the set as if he was looking for a heart to plunge a knife in and I saw Dede, the most street-wise of the judges, furtively searching for an escape route. Others just talentless and without enough sense to realize this, were immune to the insults of the judges. There were a few great singers but the great majority couldn't sing to save their lives. It is every man's inalienable right, the right to deceive yourself. No one can take it from you.
I winced repeatedly, yelled, ranted and then switched channels.
I do not like pain.