Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I'D MAKE ROOM FOR YOU, I'D SAIL SHIPS FOR YOU: We don't always award an ALOTT5MA Award for Unrequited Crush of the Year, but 2008 was a special year indeed. He was covering the American Idol beat for the LA Times and she, of course was "the greatest performer in 'Idol' history." And I might have forgotten about it, except that Richard Rushfield wrote Carly Smithson again today, God bless him:
"American Idol," for all the fame it bestows, can be a marketing handicap. A surprising number of former contestants face the question, "What kind of artist are you?" This is certainly the case for Smithson, whose powerful vocal skills broke through the clutter in Season 7 but whose pop/rocker style was difficult to express around the songs of Mariah Carey, Dolly Parton and Broadway musicals. ...

In the studio, two songs seem to be the full expression of the power she only hinted at on "Idol" -- an intense ballad titled "Lie With Me" and "Let Me Fall," a blazing power-rock anthem. The songs seem very personal (although she insists they are not taken from her life), about relationship anguish and tormented love.
Oh, the memories. Rather than going back to his legendary elegy for Ms. Smithson's Idol run ("Shock, grief, anger, betrayal. These were the feelings that swept through the Idoldome after the stunning dismissal of Carly Smithson...."), let's instead highlight what he wrote the following week:
The Idoldome was a colder, emptier place Tuesday night than it had been a mere week ago, when the most electrifying singer in "American Idol" history, Carly Smithson, still walked among us. In the life of every "Idol" partisan, sooner or later this day must come when one must look defeat dead in the eye and search for new reasons to keep faith in the system.

In the end, democracy cannot be just a way to force one’s own candidate into office; the means must be more important than our individual ends and, bitter though it may be, the will of the electorate must be embraced. Were it not for American Idol, one must recall, we would have never known Carly Smithson at all. However, taking my seat in the Carly-less Idoldome, I recounted the words of the Polish poet Zbigniew Herbert in his Elegy of Fortinbras, when he wrote, putting words in the mouth of Hamlet’s sole survivor ...
You get the idea. Rushfield may not get the girl, but darn it, he gets the ALOTT5MA Award. (Perennial runners-up: Peter King on Brett Favre, Jim DeRogatis on Billy Corgan.)

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