Friday, May 12, 2006
He Had A Great Fall
The furor, the utter furor that's been directed toward Taylor over the whole Daughtry incident is just weird. For whatever misguided reason, plenty of Chris fans have decided that it's absolutely Taylor's fault that their man was ousted. It has nothing at all to do with his goat-like voice, his ridiculously over-coiffed eyebrows, shitty songs, mouth-breathing aggressive glares, over-accessorizing with sunglasses and wallet chains, or rising arrogance. No no. It's fucking TAYLOR HICKS'S FAULT! It's like Taylor kicked Chris more times than he went after that mic stand that one night.
Of course, Taylor had nothing to do with Chris getting ousted. But I made that picture up there to inflame people anyhow, because really, I like Taylor quite a bit. But if people get pissed at him that just helps my man Elliott. So hate on, haters.
Here are Chris's exit interviews, from MTV and EW.
I don't know the details, but as of this morning, I think Fuel again offered him the frontman job for their band. I don't know if they're willing to wait the year for him to ride out his AI contract, or if AI will release him early or what, but that makes me glad for him. Seriously. Just 'cause I think he's a fame-whoring, marginally talented, rapidly escalating egomaniac doesn't mean I wish him ill will. I sincerely hope he goes on to have a nice life and finds success.
As for the interviews. Well. Certainly doesn't inspire sympathy in me! He comes across as shocked, yes. And a bit miffed. And he doesn't even try to dial down the self-indulgence. Best, he blames his fans for not voting enough, which is always a really good idea -- place the blame directly on the people who you're going to ask to shell out money to you. But that's his inflated ego talking, and it's a defense mechanism of rationalization, I hope. Or maybe he really does believe it, which is likely to send him hurtling down the road to "bitter" before long, especially if he doesn't achieve the stardom he thirsts for with Fuel or whoever he ends up with.
The kind of stardom he tasted while he was on AI? I don't know if that's in his cards. Even the winners don't generally go on to keep that sort of profile, and I definitely get the gist that's exactly what he craves -- adulation and the spotlight and mega-fame.
What Chris doesn't see right now, what he might never process about his time on AI, is that his image, just like Elliott's, was manipulated. He was built up by everyone, yes. He realizes that. But, speaking for myself, I turned on him as soon as I got the gist he was not only enjoying the over-praise and promotion, but that he was also believing it. He definitely drank the Chris Kool-Aid. And that's bad. Bad, bad, fucking bad.
I don't expect everyone to be humble or down-to-earth. Some of the most fun people are cocky bastards. But there's a difference between a playful cockiness and a smug arrogance and a sense of entitlement, which is what Chris had cultivated in his run on the show. There's also a difference between being arrogant and being able to back it up with supreme talent, and, well, being a few notches above ordinary, which is what he was when all is said and done.
That attitude of his, it leaks out in his explanations for what happened, why he got booted off the show. His fans believed he was safe so they stopped voting. Pfft. That's not what happened, Chris! It was orchestrated perfectly to shake out this way. A rocker should know about rebellion. And people ended up rebelling against Simon and the AI machine and didn't appreciate having you glorified. Take that and mesh it with how you did not, in fact, bring it every week, and that's a recipe for a fall.
I've said it before: The only thing we love more in this country than creating a superstar is to then watch that superstar get too big for their britches and to then knock them off their pedestal. Chris had a fast ascent, and even faster fall back to earth.
When he started off on the show, he was roundly liked, but he became a polarizing personality. Polarizing is good on AI. Plenty of the previous winners were like that. Taylor is like that. (though Taylor is polarizing based on performance, not personality.) But the trick is to not let the balance slide too far into the negative spectrum, and I think with his combination of lackluster performances and visible attitude, Chris did exactly that. AI created not just his image, but the attitude he's developed. What he said in those interviews, whether it's for ego self-preservation or a true belief that he "deserved" to be crowned the winner and was simply let down by lazy fans, those kinds of statements and thought patterns will lead Chris to a world of heartache in the future. So for his sake, I hope he gets over it, and himself, quickly.
He'll have the spotlight this week doing the media circuit. And then he'll probably land on his feet with a good gig with a band that he likes so he can sing his eggheaded face off. Maybe by falling off his humpty wall it'll relieve some of the built-up pressure in his head and he'll start coming back down to earth. Maybe not. So long as he's not glaring at me through my television and singing bastardized shit music and pawning it as rock, it's all good.
And, if you're still unhappy about how it shook out, remember this: FUCKING TAYLOR HICKS DID THIS! TAYLOR HICKS IS THE REASON DAUGHRY IS OFF THE SHOW! LET'S ALL GET TAYLOR HICKS KICKED OFF BY VOTING FOR ELLIOTT YAMIN!! YEAH, MOTHERFUCKERS!!