I'm Just a Bachelor... - May 10
You're probably wondering where the Numbers Game has
been for the last four or so months. To tell you the truth, I don't really know
myself. But if I had to condense it all into one statement, it would be this...
Life got in the way.
Those who know what I'm talking about know what I
mean, and I'm hoping that you'll understand. And if not... well, I guess that's
But I'm probably going on. If I'm going to go on,
I should probably go on about shomething with a little more substance, like...
"The Bachelor"? Did I just say what I thought I just said?
Well, let's just take a look at how the
Andy-verse is doing in comparison to Mike Fleiss' previous tome.
Previously, and this is according to Wikipedia,
the show averaged just above 10 million. The last time I check, one of Chris
Harrison's meat markets earned a 5.9/9. This was last season, mind you.
Fastforward to this season, when we have Andy
Baldwin flashing his pecs for anyone who's willing to look at them. Last week,
the show was blessed with a 7.4/12. Which would be pretty nice, except for the
fact that its lead in just happens to be the number one show of the night and
the biggest show not involving Simon Cowell, "Dancing with the Stars", which got
a 12.6/20. Just goes to show you the symbiotic power of two shows that skew
women and a network willing to try anything to recover from three years of
working around "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire".
But more on that in the Weekly Rant (with a guest
ranter! Hey, it's sweeps, folks).
Right now, though, something that's been on my
mind for a while about "Idol Gives Back"...
Take it back, please.
This charity "event" raised over $65 million at
last count for some worthwhile causes. Reaction, though, has been mixed at best
and "so what" at worst. And those who watch Idol on a frequest basis know that
those are two words that you don't want to hear. Me? I was originally thiking
that the special was a pretty cool deal, raiding money for charity and
entertaining at the same time. After a while, though, I had to honestly sit back
and think for a second... what was the point?
On one hand, there's that age-old axiom: "with
great power comes great responsibility." Love it or hate it, American Idol is
the most-watched show on the planet, averaging about 26 million for performance
shows and 28 million for results. The "Idol Gives Back" special, though, scored
26.93 million... that's two or three votes per person watching, leading to the
milking of News Corp., Fox's parent company, for $5 million for charity.
On the other hand, it's American Idol, a show
that almost eclipses its own lustre, it's become a victim of its own press. The
show, to critics, has long symbolized everything wrong with the TV industry,
reality TV in general, and the music industry as a whole. Sure you get to see
all of this untouched talent week after week, and this particular week, you also
see something that is supposed to tug at your heart strings (and your purse
strings). But it's all with the familiar blue oval with the neon Kaufmann
typeface, which has become somewhat of a tool used to move product. Ask anyone
who's ever bought a karaoke system with the AI logo on it, thinking that Randy
was going to say "Dawg, that was hot" at the end of a performance.
Slap the familiar blue oval on it, and people
will watch... and vote... and lives will be saved. It's the oldest Pavlovian
trick in the book, and we all fell for it, hook, line and singer.
But before you suits at FremantleMedia laud at
your attempt at humanity, remember this... Bob Geldof raised £150 million for
African famine, almost $300 million in 1985 dollars... in one day.
The Weekly Rant, or musings as a former
classmate and his Railhawk brethren prove that Chivas USA is overrated.
I told you there was a guest ranter, and here he
is with his take on "The Bachelor" and one suitor in particular who took 22 days
from her teaching job to go man-hunting. James Dinan, it is all yours...
If you attended the Game Show Congress last summer,
you probably had a chance to meet my new wife.
When the Mrs. isnt joining me on game show-related
trips, shes in the classroom, working as an elementary school teacher.
Knowing her the last two years, I have learned about
the difficult job teachers face. From the below-average pay and administrative
pressure to going into your own pockets to buy much-needed supplies for the
classroom, teachers face challenging tasks every day. But my wife, like
countless other teachers, does it for the kids. If a child leaves the classroom
with a smile on his/her face and a bit of new knowledge in the noggin, she knows
shes done a good job.
Then there are teachers like Amber Alchalabi, the
fourth-place finisher in "The Bachelor: An Officer and a Gentleman." Amber is a
fourth-grade teacher in Sugar Land, Texas who made a decision that could lead to
her schools principal losing her job.
According to Houston media reports, the principal
granted Amber 22 days off so she could film "Bachelor". Because the show asks
its contestants not to reveal that they will be on the show, Ambers students
and their parents were allegedly told that Ambers long absence was due to her
taking care of a sick aunt.
Houston media also quoted a few concerned parents
angry over the principals decision to allow "Bachelor" to film inside the
school, as well as granting Amber time off during critical state exams. Let me
tell you, if my wife asked for time off during state exams to film a reality
show, she would have been fired on the spot.
As of now, the principal has hired an attorney and
is fighting an earlier decision to resign, after she refused at least one
punishment option. Several parents are coming to her defense, saying one bad
decision should not ruin what appears to be a spotless record as an
administrator. I believe punishment is appropriate for the principal, just as
it should be with Amber.
Amber Alchalabi is 23 years old and, presumably, a
first or second-year teacher. I dont doubt that she enjoys working with
students, but putting her needs, specifically a need that is quite selfish and
non-essential, ahead of her student is wrong. At a time when were supposed to
look up to teachers and other elders to show us the difference between right and
wrong, Ambers blatant lying to her students and their parents make me question
her fitness as a teacher.
All throughout the show, Amber kept telling the
American people that she was mature and responsible. As the husband of a
teacher who demonstrates maturity and responsibility in and out of the classroom
daily, I seriously beg to differ.
Any rants you might have for Chico Alexander
can be addressed to
firstname.lastname@example.org. Any rants you might have for James Dinan can be
addressed to the same place... and I'll make sure he gets them.