Tuesday, January 26, 2010


The auditions are arguably the most entertaining episodes of American Idol, featuring a plethora of some of the most pitiful renditions of popular songs. True, there are some stunning performers who walk away with a ticket to Hollywood, but it’s the talentless who inevitably win a ticket to the viewer’s heart, most notably, William Hung with his version of “She Bangs.” During this year’s premiere, “General” Larry Platt upstaged the talent in Atlanta with his song called “Pants on the Ground”. The 62-year-old civil rights activist’s song about droopy drawers had the judges howling with laughter. It even earned a hesitant endorsement from Idol judge Simon Cowell who said, "I have a horrible feeling this song could be a hit." Platt’s video went viral; millions watched the video on YouTube and late-night talk show host, Jimmy Fallon’s Neil Young version got thousands of hits. Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre did a locker-room rendition of the now famous song and more than a million people have joined a Facebook fan page for Platt. It was pretty clear from the moment Platt appeared on the show that this was a PR ploy. Auditions are usually limited to people aged 16 to 28. At the age of 62, Platt is about three decades too old to qualify but producers let him through, hoping he would attract viewers. The show has suffered some setbacks lately. Ratings have been declining every year and were expected to take a hit with Paula Abdul’s departure and news that Cowell will be exiting at the end of the season. Platt’s performance generated so much buzz, that many people who weren’t watching were inclined to tune in. While some of the talentless performances might not be music to our ears, the publicity they garner can hit a high note. Following Platt’s performance, American Idol dominated the ratings, bringing in more than 26 million viewers. Touchdown.

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