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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Thursday, January 31, 2008

entry arrow8:53 PM | In the Age of Paris Hilton

One thing I have learned from seven seasons of watching American Idol is that there is an extraordinarily huge number of people who have an inflated sense of talent, but who are otherwise tone deaf. It's such a sad, sad thing. But you know what's even sadder? Otherwise talented people reduced to a joke in the Age of Paris Hilton.

Take the case of Julie Dubela (official website here)...

She is a well-known young singer around New England who, when she was quite young, appeared in TV talent shows such as Fox's American Juniors and PaxTV's America's Most Talented Kid. Listen to her old rendition of "Rainy Days and Mondays" and you can feel the purity and promise of her young voice. She sounded like the real thing, indeed.

She has grown up since then.

Tonight, Ms. Dubela auditions for American Idol ... and falls flat on her face. It was a horrible audition: she slurred her words, she overdramatized, she approximated a drunken gorilla who thinks she is Christina "Skank-o-Rama" Aguilera in Dirrrty. Gone is the precious precocity of her young days. And so she gets three definite no's from the judges, and she emerges from the audition room almost shell-shocked, angry and unable to believe that her "singing" did not even pass muster during the first round. Ouch.

Mark makes this observation: she now sounds like a young teenager trying too hard to seem like Paris Hilton. Listen to that affected lilt, Beverly Hills-style, of her speech, where she sounds like an annoying clone of Nicole Ritchie or Paris. Look at her vamped up appearance. Consider the effect of dumbing down Paris-style: Simon Cowell calls her precocious, and she says, in perfect character: "What's precocious?"

Look at what Paris Hilton, Jessica Simpson, Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Tara Reid, Ashley Simpson, Mary Kate Olsen, Tara Elizabeth Connor, and Lauren Caitlin Upton have wrought. Stupidity and skankiness as currency to fame and notoriety. I fear for the next generation, indeed.

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