JB: You can accuse the French of many things but, up to now, being better at producing TV talent shows than America was not one of them. I have, in the past, seen some French TV. Lots of infuriated philosophers wearing tweed jackets with patched elbows arguing in smoke-wreathed libraries. And puppets. Smoking puppets. I don't know that the French have radically improved but I do know that after last night's American Idol, we--and by we, I mean, everyone with a drive-on pass to the CBS studio between Fairfax and Beverly where American Idol is shot--need to re-apply for our jobs. Because last night's show...that wasn't karaoke. Karaoke can be fun. That was just...nobody knew what they were talking about. Nobody knew what they were singing about. It left me numb. NumbER.
But this morning, I was deep in the exhaustive research process that comes with the birth of a new novel. Which is how I came to be looking at YouTube clips of last year's Nouvelle Star aka French American Idol. And, specifically,sixteen year-old petite mademoiselle Camelia Jordana who didn't win but, from what I'm able understand, was the season's breakout star.
Obviously, I'm still reeling from last night's bottomless bucket of heinousness, but this girl... okay, she's no Bowersox. She's not reeking with authenticity and patchouli. She doesn't look like you could catch anything off her(except cuteness!). I'm not going to overstate the case but she's got the right amount of quirky and she knows what songs work for her. And you could imagine her as a pop star. A French pop star which, okay, contradiction in terms, but that still makes her more of a pop star than anyone who participated in last night's national disgrace.
Here's some clips of the jeune fille in question. First, `Killing Me Softly':
Second, something plucked from the Carla Bruni catalog:
That Moldy Peaches song from Juno:
The Lily Allen arrangement of Womanizer:
And last and maybe best, a duet with the unwashed snaggletoothed dissident poet who actually won the show. Lou Reed's `Walk On The Wild Side'. Lyrics unaltered.
If you can even be bothered making your way through these, you may well end up shrugging your shoulders and muttering a Gallic `Eh'. But we don't even have `Eh'. At this point, we're a drowning nation flailing around in desperate need of `Eh'.