Review of 2007 American Idol: Can Monkeys Sing

Carol RoachStarred Page By Carol Roach, 3rd Aug 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Film & TV>Music

Many of us faithfully watched American Idol and loved the show but there were occasions that just made us angry.


There is no doubt that American Idol brought new talent to the world for that i was a great show however, there were times when Simon Cowell the English judge, went too far and abused his authority as a judge with his personal remarks. This particular innocent still enrages me when I think about it.

Review of the 2007 American Idol year

This season of American Idol started on January 16th, 2007 and most of you know I love the show. I have already written how much I look forward to it and how I love to see young talent prosper. Some of these kids are really good and really do deserve a break in such a cut throat industry.

It has always astounded me how some really talented people never get discovered while other totally untalented people make it really big. But then the music industry can be like writing, you need to know how to market. Madonna is a prime example of that, she admits she isn't a great singer but she can market herself. She is a real business woman. I read once that Stephen King also mentioned he did not write all that well but he knows how to market.

It has been said that you need connections to get ahead in the music industry, or just about any major industry these days.

So many careers have been launched by Puff Daddy and so on. I read that J. K. Rawlings tried for 5 years to get her million dollar series "Harry Potter" published and only after she found a friend in the big publishing house did she get a chance to publish her work. Having said all that, most people don't know anyone remotely connected to their aspired profession or craft.

Therefore, when I hear stories of a Texas waitress or a poor single mom from North Carolina making it to the big times it makes me happy.

What doesn't make me happy is the attitude of Simon Cowell. The man has always been down right rude and nasty but this season he has gone over the top. He sat there in the judges seat all night slumped over with a scowl on his face; clearly reflecting his vile mood. He was totally unprofessional in his demeanor.

As usual his comments were not called for. There is one thing telling someone they can't sing and quite another to personally attack them. Albeit, this year there are some very strange looking contestants, a few of them looked like they were mentally ill and to that I say,

"so what."

I revel in their courage to try out for such a tough competition.

One young man had large bulgy eyes and Simon told him he looked like a monkey. Now tell me, how can anyone said to be a professional say such a thing, let alone be allowed to say it on public TV?

The young man was terribly hurt, and who could blame him? My personal opinion is that if Simon doesn't shape up then he should step down and give someone else a chance who cares about the job and the kids he/she will be judging. I am surprised that nobody has sued him yet.

Comments on my article

I received so many comments on different forums I decided to extend the article.

Briefly stated, I love the show American Idol, I watch it for the young people. Call me a romantic if you will, but I love when waitresses from Texas can become the American idol, and single moms from North Carolina can do the same.

My gripe in the first article was that Simon Cowell went too far with his rudeness. In the particular show I wrote about, he called a mentally challenged young man a bush baby and said that he looked like a Monkey.

My complaint is that Simon's rudeness was uncalled for. His remarks should be professional and therefore related to talent and skill. He is within his right as a judge to tell someone they can't sing, or to choose a different career, but Simon's remarks almost always are personal. In the past he has told gay men that they should be on a dancing show wearing a dress or ballet tutu. He has said that Mandessa, an obese contestant "was as big as France" meaning the country. Remarks like these are never called for. They are personal attacks.

Professionally speaking, Simon can say that Mandessa's chances of becoming a success are greatly diminished due to her obesity; appearance being of great importance in the industry. However, he cannot and I repeat cannot say "you are as big as France". This is clearly a personal attack, rude, mean, and uncalled for.

Some people have commented how I have let Simon get to me. Frankly I don't care about Simon. I am looking at the big picture. I see the state of our society is so complacent, that the populace sees nothing wrong with people being insulted.

Other people commented, "They knew what they were getting into when they agreed to go on the show." I have a lot to say about that comment.

In our everyday lives, we know what to expect when our boss is in a foul mood and insults us, but does it make it right? Does it make it right when our spouse or child insults us? The hurt doesn't go away just because we know it can or will happen.

The young people trying out for

that show have a dream. Most of them know that the industry is tough and they would not be discovered any other way. So they try out and hope for the best, and they get their feelings hurt when they are personally attacked just like you and me.

Other people pointed out that the contestants signed a contract. Sure they did, but the contract was written by the producers of the show. It was a one sided contract stating that the hopefuls could not sue the producers or judges because of anything that might be said. The contestants don't have negotiation power, they don't have a say in any of it. It is the old game played over again by people in power. The game is called exploitation.

If a young hopeful wants to get a break, or be on the show they must succumb to public ridicule. They must be berated, poked and made fun of in front of millions of people.
Why then did I write these articles only now when the show is into its sixth season? The answer is again that Simon went too far.

Now, for the first time the producers of the show have accepted people to stand before the judges who are not necessarily sound mind and body. The boy who was called a bush baby and "looked like a monkey" was clearly mentally challenged. Did he really know what he was getting into? As a society is it fun for us to see him cry?

Former American Idol competitors have stated that there is a process of weeding out before the judges ever get to see the possible contestants for the show. As a result, it is okay to let through people who clearly do not have a chance, just for public amusement. The whole setup reminds me of the bearded lady in the freak show, laugh all you want, she is not human.

Before you jump all over me, I am not agreeing with calling people freaks.

Finally, someone commented that the show is created with deliberate controversy to enhance the ratings and that I succumbed to their ploy by voicing my feelings about Simon. My response to this comment is that first of all I know about the ratings, intellectualizing in that fashion does not right a wrong, and I am not playing into the hands of Simon. I would rather he left the show.

Note: Simon eventually did leave the show.

The issue for me is far greater than Simon, or the producers of Idol. The issue for me is that we are a sick society; when ethics and morality are far less important than money and ratings. I don't care one bit about Simon. However, I care about those kids who deserve a break, or at the very least a modicum of respect.

If I were too stop watching the show as some others have suggested, I would not be hurting Simon, but I would not be doing what I want to do and that is to support young talents. As I said before, two wrongs don't make a right.

All photos taken from the public domain

Do you have a passion to write? Do you want to share your words with the world while getting royalties on your work for years to come? Follow me here on Wikinut


American Idol, Competition, Contests, Contracts, Ethics, Exploitation, Gay-Men, Harry Potter, J K Rawlings, Judges, Judges On American Idol, Madonna, Mentally Challenged, Money, Morality, Personal Attacks, Puff Daddy, Respect, Romantic, Sean Diddy Combs, Simon Cowell, Singers, Singing, Singing Competition Judges, Singing Competitions, Singing Contests, Stephen King, Talent

Meet the author

author avatar Carol Roach
Retired therapist and author of two books, freelance writer, newsletter editor, and blogger. I write, health, mental health, women's issues, animal , celebrity, history, and SEO articles.

Share this page

moderator Steve Kinsman moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know


Add a comment
Can't login?