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An Idol Three-For - March 13

The Block Party, and he is all things Idol. So three things struck me as I was covering the ascent into the top 12.

Yet again, Rosie O’ Donnell had to stick her nose in a place where it doesn’t and didn’t necessarily belong. On Tuesday, March 6 on "The View", Rosie chimed in with her opinion on the Antonella Barba naughty pictures debate. She claimed that the only reason why Frenchie Davis was kicked off of American Idol in Season 2 was because she was "fat and black" and they are having a double standard because Antonella Barba was white and thin.
She coined the term "Fatism". And Frenchie in a very dumb move is playing the race card. While she is finishing her run here in New York with the show "Rent", her mother protested on March 6 in front of the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles with a group called Project Islamic H.O.P.E.

"We object to having one rule for black contestants and a different rule for white contestants who exhibit the same behavior,'' said Najee Ali, community activist and founder of Project Islamic H.O.P.E. in an interview.

OK, let us put the cards out on the table. Frenchie Davis was not put out of American Idol because she was fat or black. She was put out because she was stupid. She made pornographic materials for a catalog and got paid for it. Not a hard choice for American Idol.
HOWEVER, The Block Party has always been a straight shooter. I have said in many forums on this website that Antonella Barba should have been kicked off as soon as the explicit pictures came out. Because, in life there are consequences to one’s actions.

Yes, she is young. Yes, she is not bright. And she can’t sing. And Yes, she didn’t MEAN for the photos to come out because some unscrupulous ex-boyfriend decides to sell her out. But she took the photos. And that’s the sticky wicket here folks. She took those photos. She made a conscious decision to take them, or let them be taken. Once that happens, it is game over. And there are male singers who should be gone too for posting nude or semi nude pictures on MySpace and cyberspace as well.

Because when you sign those applications to go on any know what you have done is fair game. The world is an even smaller place with the internet, digital and video cameras. If you read those applications for any game show, they are long and detailed.

Rosie opened her mouth and made sure that her foot was down it again. But the American Idol producers are not totally blameless here. They have to do a better job of making sure that the decisions the contestants make do not make it onto the stage.

Because in the end, this is SUPPOSED to be a singing contest, right?

And we don’t have to worry about that anymore because it's now gone, gone, gone into the annals of Idol history. But, as history will have it, this will go down as the WORST top 12 in my 3 years of watching Idol (seasons 4, 5 and now 6).

Last year at this time we had a dominant male class (Taylor, Chris Daughtry, Elliott Yamin and Ace Young) and Paris Bennett, Katharine McPhee and others to deal with as well. This year, there is not ONE person I would go out and plop down my $12 to buy a CD. We should just give the title right now to Melinda Doolittle and be done with it. Sanjaya is Kevin Covais times 100. He is brutally bad, and it makes me sick to my stomach that he is in the top 12. Blake, Chris Sligh and the other men just don't impress me. The other women blow the men away, but are weak as well. I am sorry to say, the next 12 weeks are going to be the most painful of my life.

And finally...American Idol’s big event..."Idol Gives Back" a two day concert to raise money for African and US poverty relief. This is the most obvious example of music and Hollywood stars screaming, "LOOK AT US! WE CARE!" I cringed when I saw the footage of Simon and Ryan in Africa...not so much as to what we saw (because it has been shown many times before–most recently on Oprah’s special–more on that in a minute), but as to the self-serving nature of what they did. It gives the appearance that they care.

According to Oprah’s own website: "The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation, to which she has contributed more than $40 million toward the creation of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls—South Africa, which opens in January 2007. Located in a 28-building campus in Henley-on-Klip, the Leadership Academy is a state-of-the-art independent school that will engender high standards of academic achievement and service leadership for girls. Its first 152 accepted 7th and 8th grade students, who show outstanding promise despite their impoverished backgrounds and social circumstances, represent all nine South African provinces."

She at least puts her money where her mouth is. And we have tried this before. With USA For Africa in 1985 and Live Aid in 1983, and Live 8 in 2005, we as a planet raised hundreds of millions of dollars for relief...and where did the food and money go...straight into the hands of the corrupt governments all over Africa, which is the real problem. I truly believe that Simon, Ryan and the rest of the corporate sponsors would be better off doing something else than this. I truly believe the spirit of this country is willing, but the money isn’t going to do anything... either here or abroad.

And that’s a song I wish I didn’t have to sing.

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