Wednesday, Apr 25, 2018
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio

The parents are innocent

I work late on Monday nights, but usually make it home in time to watch the headlines segment on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Though I was dead tired by the time headlines was over at midnight, I decided to try to will my eyelids to stay open for 20 more minutes because Leno said that the men of American Idol would be up next.

After endless commercials during which I nearly zonked out listening to this woman gush about just how much she liked her vacuum cleaner out came judges Randy Jackson and Simon Cowell along with host Ryan Seacrest.

First topic up for discussion is whether the judges felt that they are being much harder on contestants in this sixth season of Idol. (Umm - yeah! See my blog entry yesterday.

Of course Cowell the cruelest judge says no, he and the other judges aren t the ones to blame for all the broken hearts they send out the door without a golden ticket. He blames the parents.

I think we have to blame the parents, Cowell said. They re the ones I think who have been cruel ... They re giving [contestants] this fake encouragement.

Before I address his comment, I have to make it clear that I do not have kids but I do have parents and I made sure to talk to parents with kids before sitting down at the computer and typing this: Whether he was joking or not, Simon s comment was downright ridiculous.

The way he put it, parents are knowingly setting their children up for failure and embarrassment for their own enjoyment, something I think is horrible to think about.

I spoke to one parent who said he would never discourage his children from reaching for their dreams, no matter how out of reach they might seem. He said he would ask a lot of questions, but would ultimately stand aside and let his children learn from their own experiences.

Another parent swung the other way and said if she knew her child was a horrible singer, she would attempt to steer her away from trying out for a show like American Idol to save her the heartache.

But neither said they'd smirk while listening to their children make a fools of themselves.

What I do know is that no one should comment on a person s physical appearance when they re auditioning for a singing contest. A modeling show would be different.

Later on in the interview with Leno, Cowell said he wish he wouldn t have told Kenneth Briggs that he looked like a bush baby. Though he didn t formally apologize, at least he was man enough to admit he was wrong.

Hopefully in the near future he ll acknowledge that the parents aren t to blame.

While I ll admit that he s honest to contestants most of the time, some things are just better left unsaid.

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