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American Idol = Crack for the Mind

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The producers behind Fox’s American Idol 5 must use subliminal messaging or the Vulcan mind meld behind the scenes. How else can you explain the popularity of this high school-esque talent show?

It’s certainly not the hi-larious hijinks of its too perfectly coiffed host, Ryan Seacrest (but we admit that we did laugh when the height-challenged Seacrest stood on a box to talk to a taller female contestant). Nor is it the witty repartee between Paula Abdul, Randy “Yo Dawg” Jackson or Simon Cowell. For reasons unknown, the AI juggernaut seems to cut a wide swath, assailing even the most innocent of bystanders, to capture about 20 to 30 million viewers each night. The Hollywood life is the new American dream. It's just as well because no one can afford houses here anyway.

This LAist poster, in particular, would like to admit – confess – an addiction to the show that sucks hours from the lives of its viewers, which we will never, ever get back. Take last night’s show, for example. AI narrowed its search to 24 finalists. (Which by the way, you’d think after trying out thousands and thousands of folks in football stadiums, you’d find 24 that could keep on pitch…but that’s another post.)

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The Thursday show’s task was simple: Announce the four contestants with the lowest votes. Easy, right? Wrong. After all the finalists sang one song together – “Take It Easy” by the Eagles – the show stretched the booting to a full hour and then some. The kids who got kicked off were asked to sing one last time.

Now does this make sense? "Sorry contestant, but America thought you sucked. Can you sing again to confirm..." And the four who went home last night - Big Boy Bobby Bennett, Stevie the opera girl, Patrick the boring guy, and model girl Becky (pictured above, with Seacrest) pretty much deserved it.

Do you see what this show has reduced us to? We desperately need to get off this gravy train, but we can't. AI is like that wreck on the freeway; no matter how hard you try you can't look away. The only consolation we can take is that at least LAist never got into Dancing with the Stars.