“Okay, what do we think of Bo’s commitment to his performance?"
The bald man’s query sparked movement to my left and I whipped the camera in that direction. Through my lens the young and the pierced jockeyed for position, furiously jabbing remote controls at the front of the room and arguing amongst themselves about the pop-rocker’s musical merit. By the podium, two digits numbers flashed on screen as the computer tabulated the student’s votes. When the numbers came to a halt, a mild scuffle broke out in back as a rather large young lady whispered angrily at an underfed fellow in a Hoobastank t-shirt. After a few tense seconds of finger pointing and neck rolling, the professor regained the floor.
“Talk to me about Vonzell‘s song selection versus her stage presence…”
As the UNC-Charlotte students dissected last night’s episode, I leaned on my tripod and rolled on a wide shot. It was only my second session of ‘Examining American Idol Through Musical Critique‘ and I found my mind wandering. But the mottled group of twenty-somethings around me bobbed and weaved in their seats, eager to dish on their over-emoting songbird of choice. When the screen full of numbers turned to a clip from last night’s show. Randy Paula and Simon held the assemebled student body in enraptured thrall.
Meanwhile, I flipped through memories of American Idols past. There was that whirlwind jaunt to Raleigh for an audience with an ascending Clay Aiken, the mass delusion of Fantasia’s crowning moment, and the thousands of warbling hopefuls clamoring for microphone time at the D.C. Auditions. For a show I can barely sit through, I sure have spent lots of lens-energy, man-hours and edit-sweat exploring every facet of it. Oh well. Beats another day at the crime tape cafe. Now if you’ll excuse me they’re discussing Fedorov’s chances of making a sweep and I’m pretty sure it’s gonna be on the test.