The Show gains meaning

The Show got beat in TV ratings earlier this month by the Olympics — a stunner, considering it has led the ratings since, oh, the Clinton administration. And with Dick Dastardly stepping away at the end of the season, it’s easy to assume that the Juggernaut Days of The Show are coming to an end.

It was against that backdrop that I settled in this week to watch the beginning of the real competition — the point where anyone can pick up The Show, forget about the past episodes of the season and watch as the Darwinian antics kick in. And I’ve got to tell you: I want those two nights of my life back.

Twenty-four people went out and gave about 20 forgettable performances, heavy on self-indulgence and painfully short on the Wow Factor. We certainly learned that the survivors love the Beatles (a shocker, that), and that they are indeed very very very very sensitive people. A harmonica appeared and was sawed upon — have these people learned nothing from his downward spiral after the Harp Incident of 2008? — and a few other folks strummed guitars badly. You could immediately recognize the people who have spent a lot of time on stage and those who have not, and some of those unaccustomed to the spotlight are already en route back to the deep fryer station.

But overall, it was surprisingly bad television. Nobody made me say, “Holy crap!” Nobody even really made me say, “Hmm,” except perhaps her, and that was mostly for being a near-perfect generic representation of the Modern Pop Diva, with lots of obvious talent and very little originality.

And the guys? Wow, that was bad. Tens of thousands of applicants and these were the best? It might be a very long season.

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