I try not to think about The X Factor, but this became difficult following the night 15-year-old rapper Astro nearly refused to perform his “save me” song after learning he’d landed in the Bottom 2. The backing track kicked in for “Never Can Say Goodbye,” and the little brat was just listlessly wandering onstage, asking L.A. Reid, “My mentor, do you think I should perform?” UM, YES. YOU’RE A REALITY SHOW CONTESTANT. Get over yourself.
It took Simon Cowell’s suggestion that Astro was disrespecting his mother to get him to finally uncross his arms. So since then — and this truly makes me want to die inside — I’ve been using “Stop disrespecting your mom” as a catch-all way to confuse people or win arguments. You think I could lose an accessory or three? Maybe you should uncross those arms and show your mother some respect. You don’t want to order another beer? Stop disrespecting your mom! It’s time to go? Well, stop disrespecting your mom already and let’s get out of here.
The point is, Astro’s rude indifference — combined with the achingly over-orchestrated vibe of the show and the supreme awkwardness of host Steve Jones (who jauntily assured the boy, “I’m very happy you performed, sir!”) — made for a truly bizarre moment on The X Factor.
My other suggestions for 2011’s Most Bizarre Reality-TV Moment: The American Idol judges’ inexplicable tendency to shower every contestant other than Haley Reinhart with meaningless, repetitive praise; Ozzy volunteering to go to Redemption Island on Survivor; the general idea of Jersey Shore filming in Florence plus The Situation ramming himself into a concrete wall; and the fact that the Kardashians continue to get away with whatever mind-control mechanisms they are inflicting upon America.
And since Maks telling the judges “It’s my show” is an obvious choice for Dancing With the Stars, I’ll go with this high-flying stunt from Tony Dovolani, who would run into an actual Mission: Impossible moments later as his partner Chynna Phillips forgot all of the steps to their tango. Maybe it was his fault for being such a stunning bird!
Also, I cannot believe I have retained this, but I randomly watched the episode of The Bachelor in which Brad visited Emily’s hometown, and at the end of the night they were on her ugly gilded sofa and there were these TERRIBLY AWKWARD few minutes during which she clearly wanted to start hooking up with him but he wouldn’t even make eye contact with her because her daughter was in the house? And she was like, “I wish you could stay in Charlotte forever,” and he was like “GOOD CALL,” and then spun around desperately trying to find the front door. It was like he had suddenly realized how uncomfortable it could be to have a zillion cameras surrounding him. Just right then! Not at any time before that! I know this is a really weird and dumb moment to choose as the most bizarre of such a ridiculous series, but it just stuck with me. I almost wanted Emily to lock Brad inside so he would “freak out.”
And of course, all of 2011’s Reality TV Meltdowns were truly odd in their own ways.
What’s your pick?