The Beat Goes On
On November 12, 2008, Paula
Goodspeed's body was found in a car near Paula Abdul's home; an apparent
suicide. I bring this up because American Idol premiered tonight.
Paula Goodspeed tried out for the 2005 series of American Idol. After
her tryout, Simon commented on her dental work, pondering how someone
with braces could sing. Goodspeed was devastated, but you know what
you're in for when you go before the panel of judges.
The story thickens when it is revealed that Goodspeed had been stalking
Abdul for 18 years or so, and yet the producers allowed the audition,
and then to air it on television. It was deemed too entertaining to pass
up, according to Abdul in an interview with Barbara Walters. She would
later deny such an exchange took place.
So where does that leave us? I haven't watched the show in years, since
the show has been redundant ever since the first series wrapped in
September of 2002. I am now going to try to convince you to stop
Personally, I don't think the producers should have aired the audition.
Given that there are tens of thousands to pick from, it would have been
trivial to choose someone else. After all, there are more than a handful
of people who are willing to do what it takes to get face time on the
most popular talent show in the history of Western Civilization.
And that's the problem I have with the show. When the contest reaches
the final stages, at least the remaining contestants have proven
themselves worthy by getting through levels of eliminations. But the
people who show up to their local audition in some sort of ludicrous
outfit (God's own truth, at 72 minutes in to the premiere episode, a
woman showed up in a bikini) aren't there to show off their singing
skills. They want to be famous in the worst way. And that's how they'll
I realize that I'm in the severe minority here. Most people watch the
early episodes just to see what train wreck will show up next. And FOX
knows that. They'll keep booking the horrible singers because we'll
stick around after the Coke and Ford ads. The way out is to stop
watching, of course.
Fie on the show for playing their part in this tragedy. Whoever booked
Paula as an audition should be ashamed, and whoever decided it should be
aired doubly so.
Travis Eberle can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org