New York City, baby.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

The Final Days Of George Huff

We read about a mother who made a deal with her son that he can watch American Idol if he first completes his spelling homework. We also have an unspoken arrangement at Blubox, where the man of the household can watch his American Idol and OC (even if it means suffering accusations of having a crush on Marissa), but can’t watch playoff basketball, eat in the bed, or mention anything to do with blogging.

Two nights ago, after a day of work in the scary big people world, we are reclining on the couch, watching television.

As usual, we are voicing our opinions at the screen while the Blubox Intern moves about the apartment, attending to matters in a different universe than our own.

We point out to no one in particular that if Simon was correct that Diana Degarmo’s outfit was a zero last week, then her satin gut-defining number this week dips into negative digits.

Grinning man-child George Huff performs next; Blubox Intern, glancing at the screen for a second, comments that he reminds her of this guy.

We point out that Huff was an alternate, who made it to the round of 32 only after someone else dropped out. The Blubox Intern asks who dropped out. Not knowing the answer to her irrelevant question frustrates us; we have this sudden urge to investigate the matter on the internet but we know how the Blubox Intern feels about “us going on the internet all the time, which we are clearly addicted to”.

Next is Latoya “Jackson If You're Nasty” London . We explain to the Blubox Intern, who is half-listening as she travels to the kitchen for a Diet Peach Snapple, that London would make a fine Broadway musical performer, but a lousy American Idol. A few minutes later, Simon makes the same point.

We flash the Blubox Intern a look that she is accustom to seeing during each weekly broadcast, the expression that says “we should be a judge” and “who knows what the hell they are talking about -- us".

Jasmine Trias, no longer wearing the flower in her shiny black hair, performs next. We worry she is slipping into tacky Asian Hillary Duff territory. We miss our sweet, young Hawaiian orchid. This is the first observation of the night we keep to ourselves.

Blubox Intern blurts out, “I think she will win.” Her opinion is not based on thoughtful analysis; quite to the contrary, it’s just a random opinion thrown out there like a war ribbon over a fence.

We are about to quickly discount her adorably naive opinion, but then we start wondering if her rushed proclamation could be some form of fluke genius, the kind that only the world’s innocents possess.

Just then Fantasia Barrino appears on stage and does a commendably daring-for-American-Idol big band version of A Crazy Little Thing Called Love. That’s a Queen song, we tell Blubox Intern. From the look on her face it’s clear we have failed to impress her with this precious tidbit of pop culture knowledge.

For her second song, Fantasia sings a diva ballad. “She has one thing that the others don’t have,” we tell Blubox Intern. “Personality.”

Jennifer Hudson, now that girl had personality,” we tell the Blubox Intern. “She had it going on. Even Elton John said so.”

“Why isn’t she still there?” asks the Blubox Intern.

“Because the average person watching the show thinks Clay Aiken is a talent and the Olive Garden is a treat.”

Unless, of course, you buy the Chicago Black Out Theory. We don’t bring up this second possible reason, fearing that our obscure kernel of insight might scare the Blubox Intern more than it will amaze her.

“The best contestant left in the competition is Fantasia,” we say out loud, as we watch Seacrest wrap up the show. “It’s obvious that she’s on another level then the rest of the finalist. If she doesn’t win, it will be ridiculous.”

Blubox Intern looks over at us. “All you do is comment,” she says. “If you think this person should win, why don’t you vote?”

We realize she is serious. Thus, we are stumped how to respond. We could explain to her that such an act would raise our dork level above an acceptable level. “Make a difference,” she says.

Clearly, it’s hitting her in this moment that the person sitting beside her, eating a sugar-free Popsicle in his boxers, is nothing but a strongly opinionated coward afraid to take a stand. The unthinkable has happened: the Blubox Intern has made us feel shameful for not voting on American Idol.

It is clear what we have to do. We dial 1-866-IDOLS-05 for the first time in our lives. We can’t get through. Well, we tried.

“You’re not going to keep trying?”

Okay, looks like we are.

An hour later, on our third try, we get through and log in our vote. “You’re just going to vote once?” says the Blubox Intern. “You can vote as many times a you want, you know.”

We tell her that we are aware of this fact. But that we have faith enough people will be smart enough to vote for Fantasia.

Obviously, we don’t believe this.

The voters have proven by dumping Jennifer Hudson that they would make horrible A&R reps, and if the Pinball Wizard is right, then they are also slightly racist or slightly weightist or slightly Bartmanist. Furthermore, the imbecile parents of these ignorant clown children will probably vote for George Bush and our country will continue rocketing headlong into the dumpster.

But we lie and tell the Blubox Intern that we have faith in our fellow cellphone-clad citizens to make the right choice because we don’t want to crush her flower of optimism with our jaded worldview.

We also lie so we don’t have to call again, unnecessarily risking costly additions to our cellphone bill.


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