Monday, September 24, 2007

Reality TV Review: Idol & Top Chef

Its been a while since we've heard anything new about American Idol. I must admit I dropped the ball last season as far as posting regularly. Blogging takes a lot of time and sometimes other activities take precedence over blogging.

I never gave my final opinion on last season. Disappointing seems to be insufficient to describe the previous season.

While I was glad things got down to Melinda, Blake and Jordin, the true winner was voted off (Melinda). Despite what anyone says, the show is ultimately about marketability; Jordin winning was a no-brainer. While Melinda could sing her ass off, I don't think she would have reached the potential audience Jordin will.

With Blake in mind, this picture surfaced from somewhere on the 'Net. It was on one of the gay sites I read and shows his apparent bulge (it obviously is something in his pocket and not his package). I never found Blake to be remotely cute or handsome. To be honest, Blake irritated the fuck out of me, but because he had "white boy appeal," people were drawn to him.

Ultimately, I lost further respect for Blake after his implied negativity about Sanjaya. Yes, I know I was on the Sanjaya bashing bandwagon for a long time, but I softened towards the kid in the end. The jury is still out about Sanjaya's singing talent, but he seems genuinely, pleasant, and likable. Like the rest of the LGBT community, I'll be happy when he comes to term with his sexuality, but that debate is for another blog post, LOL.

Blake, I suspect, may have his own gay tendencies, as indicated by this picture I also found, with him and Chris Richardson. They seem all too cozy. He has denied the gay rumors. I really don't care what he does with his penis, really, I just found the picture amusing. I refuse to be someone constantly accusing this-person or that-person being gay. A person's actions will eventually reveal the truth in all matters. As I mentioned to my friend Hester recently, there are some stereotypes, unfortunately, that are true despite our opinions. I believe in gaydar, which has basis in stereotypical behavior, but also on gut-instinct.

As I said, I really don't care who Blake shags with, it's his business, right?

Speaking of Jordin, where's her album or single release???? It's been months since the season finale and I've not heard anything from her. Of course I live in "Hooterville, B.F.E," so local stations probably won't play her music. They're playing the hell outta Elliot Yamin and Daughtry though, but no ethnic Idol contestants (Jordin is multiracial).

Fantasia and Ruben get regular airplay on the R&B, hits and oldies station, 1400 The Touch, but it's an AM station. Very few white people I know listen (as opposed to the two other stations owned by Cumulus Media, Hot 92 and WNNK, Wink-104, which play enough "Caucasian" flavor to satisfy). I should, however, correct myself because Wink-104 does play Kimberly Locke, so maybe Jordin will(?) get some airtime.

Coming down to last season's final two contestants, I was never a Blake fan, so I was ecstatic Jordin won. Blake's "beat-box" style was annoying and wasn't interesting. Creative interpretation, yes. Singing and showing sign of true talent, no. Beat-boxing wasn't all that 20 years ago and still isn't today. Some friends thought Blake was the end-all-be-all and were disappointed he lost. Ugh! Jordin, of the two, was the better SINGER! Wake up to reality people! Overall, last season of American Idol was mediocre, at best.

Given past seasons and those who were popular favorites, I wonder what Corey Clark and Mandisa are up to? Corey had been in trouble with the law a number of times. I thought he had promise and he's a handsome fella. I won't bring up the Paula Abdul debacle. I won't. Let's leave it alone, LOL.

I guess any possibility of a career in the industry has been ruined for Corey. Too bad for him. I say that with sincerity, and no sarcasm. Everyone deserves to go for their dreams.

Mandisa, on the other hand, still has a loyal following, although somewhat diminished after her views on homosexuality came to light. I pity Mandisa. The gay community loved her. She would've gone far. I read many nasty comments about her and, unlike her, I can be fair. Sure, I disagree with her viewpoint, but that's the value and beauty of being American, we're all entitled to our own opinions. I'm sure she'll have a blessed career in the gospel music industry. I even read an update story on The Advocate website she has relaxed on some of her opinions. While she still thinks being gay is a sin, she said she wouldn't discriminate. She 's making minute progress. Change takes time and often with the wisdom of God. God's people (in some cases, "so-called people") will wake up someday.

I look forward to Idol's next season, which'll be here sooner than we know. I hate admitting I've become an Idol junkie, but I have. Each season is incredibly predictable, but it still hasn't become mundane like every other reality show like Survivor or The Bachelor. And unlike shows like Project Runaway or Top Chef, persons of color, aka BLACK PEOPLE, have actually won the contest.

When Tre on this season of Top Chef was voted out, told to "pack his knives and go,"on Top Chef, I thought, "Damn another kick in the groin for the Black Community." Black folks don't get a fair shake on reality shows. The ratio is often 1:13 or 2:29 or 2:800, some bullshit like that. It's the one thing about reality television that is real.

Even still, I love Top Chef. It follows my own passion for cooking. I'd never be a contestant because I cook home-style food and not some of the boojee (bushee) recipes. True, I've accused of being "bourgeois," I admit sometimes I can be arrogant, but I know who I am and where I came from.

With that said, Top Chef has had three seasons, and with one hand, I can count the number of African American contestants, five (correct me if I'm wrong somebody): Brian and Lisa from Season One, Cliff (an wonderful and handsome guy) and Mia (my spiritual sistah) from Season Two, and Tre from current Season Three.

This is disappointing. Why can't we represent more? Each season has what, 16 contestants, and the producers could only find five willing African American participants???? Yes, there have been other minority groups including Asians and Latinos, but I'm sure you're saying the same thing with regard to your representation reflected too. To get over the inequalities in our country, should we try to show some balance?

Oh, I wanna mention Cliff MUST have lost his mind when he thought his black ass wasn't gonna get kicked off for attempting to hurt that white boy Marcel!

C'mon, Cliff! Remember the rule, never let' em see you sweat and never get caught fuckin' up. He was remorseful, but I was irritated long after his dismissal. Cliff, I believe, would have won the top chef title.

I was glad Ilan beat prissy ass Marcel. No, I won't comment about Marcel's hair nor sexual orientation. What I will say is rewatch the episode Cliff attempted to shave Marcel's head. The next morning Marcel gets up, walks to the door in just his boxer shorts, and slams it shut, pissed off at the events the night before. Look carefully. There is definite peeking going on in his shorts. I think this is the episode. I remember watching a few times because I was in disbelief, not so much that I find him attractive, which I don't, but that the censors didn't catch the apparent penis slighting.

I mean no disrespect to my Latin and Asian brethren. Some of my favorites from last season were Carlos (he is handsome. If he didn't have a partner already, I'd seriously look him up. All his food looked pleasant), Josie, and Elia. Regarding my Asian favorites, I can't say I'm not in love with Hung from this season, but Lee Anne rocked the house from season one!

Enough of the complaining. Top Chef is one of the better programs on air right now. The Food Network, with the exception to Paula Dean and the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten, have hit the bottom of the barrel with programming and is rather blase. I'm so over Emeril.

Top Chef
has radiant host Padma Lakshmi (I'd be 100% heterosexual being straight just to meet her!). At least they don't limit on sexuality perespective, unlike the racial minority imbalance, Top Chef has a constant flow of gay/lesbian contestants, often more than one or two. Season two had at least three out contestants and probably at least two more closeted (speculating though). I was upset to hear Josie Smith Malave had been a hate crime victim while leaving a lesbian night club. I looooved Josie and Carlos (also gay). Josie has moxie! I wish her a speedy recovery through her healing process and hope she continues to be a trailblazer.

This season's current gay fave, Dale, has made it to the final four. I'm rooting for him or for Casey to win the title. Brian rates on my nerves and reminds me too much of another Bryan I know. No offense, just a bad name association. Hung, I can't put my finger on what bothers me about him, I just haven't gravitated towards him. It's not because he's Asian or some times a little snotty (In my opinion). Dale is the biggest bitch on the show and is the type I avoid when I go out, but there's something really endearing about Dale, plus the mohawk is tres chic, LOL.

The finale is in just a week or so. I'm pins and needles because I don't want Dale or Dale to hear Padma's kind, impassioned, but "get the fuck out of here" words. I'm still reeling from Sarah and CJ's dismissal.

So there's my take on my reality television favorites. Go Dale! Go Casey. May the best non traditional heterosexual white male candidate win (I guess this includes Hung too, so Go Hung!).

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While this blog is not really intended to show adult content, I can't guarantee that an occasional image of male nudity won't appear. Be advised that this blog is intended to be read by people with an open mind. I don't claim any rights to the images nor do I have any knowledge of the sexuality of persons featured (unless they are openly gay...duh). Enjoy yourself and take a small step in my every day life and pondering... Feel free to email any comments or opinions.

President Barack Obama!