‘American Idol’ makes me want to cry — but not Syesha

After this week’s American Idol phonyfest, I’ve just realized a match made in heaven: David A.’s daddy, and Syesha. Simply combine the Stage Dad From Hell with the Baldly Ambitious Show-Biz Diva and how can you lose? The toughest label executive would crumble beneath their onslaught!

We already know why poor David A. seems to feel the weight of the world. It’s not millions of TV viewers. It’s his demanding dad in the front row. But this week Syesha demonstrated, more than ever, how shamelessly she is into herself and how gallingly, over-the-top ambitious she is. After all, she was standing next to the most unassuming, laid-back, get-me-outta-here dude in Idol’s universe, Jason Castro.

What really tipped me over was Syesha’s bawl-fest after Paula delivered some routine praise and encouragement during her “critique” of Syesha’s adequate but still shrill performance of A Change Is Gonna Come. Syesha then hogged probably an extra two minutes of screen time while everyone worried about her sudden tear-duct meltdown (well, at least she’s a decent actress) allegedly over the fact that the song was written during the Civil Rights movement of the ’60s which she never experienced. Huh? You know, scads of songs were written at that time, and many have emotional undercurrents. But why turn on the faucets on national TV in camera closeups after routine praise? Because she’s desperately grandstanding for votes. And those votes must have easily kept her in for one more week after Jason, her opposite, basically sabotaged his own chances because he’s tired of the whole damn thing.

Please tell me you didn’t buy Syesha’s “pity me, for I’m so soulful” ploy. It felt as phony as Paula’s critique of a song which hadn’t yet been sung. But that’s American Idol, where Randy Jackson likes to claim he’s “just keepin’ it real,” while very little that’s truly real seems to emerge.


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