There. I said it. And the craziest part is, I think I mean it. Yes, despite the complete improbability of such a thing ever happening — and some obvious dissention within my own EW ranks — I am officially, nationally, declaring my candidacy to replace Paula Abdul as the next judge on American Idol.
My friend Annie Logue even started me a Facebook group: “Whitney Pastorek for Next American Idol Judge.” As of this morning, it has nearly 200 members, not all of whom know me personally. And what the hell? What harm is there in proclaiming my cockamamie dream to the world? It would be one thing if I declared my intentions to be the next starting left fielder for the Houston Astros. But a judge on Idol? I can do that! I’m a music writer for one of the planet’s last remaining entertainment publications, with extensive knowledge of pop, rock, alternative, country, and the classics; I’ve covered the Idoldome for three years; my parents are symphony musicians; I’ve had formal voice training; I taught theater at NYU; I was even a camp counselor. I work hard, and I work cheap — just ask my editors. Beat those credentials, Katy Perry, and I’ll eat your fruit hat.
I haven’t yet decided how to get the Idol producers to notice me — I’m fairly certain they’re looking for candidates with slightly more ratings-boosting fame — but as we’re learning through the current health care debate, no one can ignore a screaming mob. So, PopWatchers: Do you think I deserve at least an audition for Judge Four? Post your support here, join the Facebook group, tweeter my campaign to your friends. If the winner of American Idol is supposed to reflect the will of the people, why shouldn’t the judging table?
This is my solemn vow: If selected, I will never say “pitchy.” (I will say “sharp” or “flat”; there’s an important distinction.) I will never show up in an altered state. I will never dismiss a contestant out of hand because they don’t seem like a “package artist.” I will never say “package artist.” I will bring to the table an appreciation of modern music that goes deeper than Mary J. Blige and Adele. And most of all, I will never, ever make it about me instead of the contestants. Sound like change you can believe in? Raise your voice! Storm the castle! Power to the people! Etc.!
But no, seriously. How awesome would it be if this worked?
Photo credit: Ocie Ward