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Mama Deb
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Mama Deb [userpic]
American Idol, again

Okay, Kevin was cut, and, yeah, it was time.

And Barry sang, and if I hadn't been cooking dinner at the time, it would have been lots more fun, but, well. Hunger=bad.

No, what I want to talk about is Kellie. Kellie Pickler, for those who aren't watching, is a young woman from Alabama. She has a thick, impenetrable and unirradical Southern accent that intrudes even when she sings the country songs that are her forte. And they're postioning her not just as the Country Singer (which is wrong because there is Bucky, who does country-rock, and has a gravelly voice that I like and that fits his songs without, you know, intruding.) but also as the Dumb Hick. She has never eaten spinach salad or "sal-mon", she thinks false eyelashes are like tarantulas, but she assures us that they aren't - that sort of thing. When Simon calls her a "minx", she has no idea what that is and has to have it explained. It's already gotten boring.

But last night, it was absolutely scripted. Simon called her "ballsy", which Ryan, the host, (who seems really tired of this routine as well) repeated last night. And she replied, "What's a ballsy?"

And that...makes no sense. It's not just that I can't believe she never heard the word before, although I can't believe she never heard the word before, it's the question itself.

If it has been real, she'd have asked, "What's 'ballsy?'"

She may not know the names of the parts of speech, but she knows what they are. She has internalized the rules - as ozarque has said, we all do that. If she hadn't, she couldn't use coherent sentences - and even if they're dumb, her sentences parse just fine. She heard "ballsy" used as an adjective. There's no way she'd ask about it *on her own* as if it were a noun. Which is why the joke fell flat and left most of confused - we *know* no one does that.

On the other hand, I can also believe that the scripted question was "What's 'ballsy?'", (the writers wouldn't make that mistake, either) and she got it wrong. That's something else.


Argh. I thought she was kind of cute at first, but she's so southern, and so dumb and oh-so-blonde, that I feel like people are going to get sick of her soon like I have.

But! I did like Barry Manilow! I don't care fo his voice at all, but I like him and after seeing him work with the contestants, I have a new-found respect for his talent with music.

Yeah, see the thing with The Pickle is that she's a one-trick pony. She only does country which, okay, that's fine -- maybe she'll get picked up by a country label after AI is over. I read the recaps at Television Without Pity, and they were spot on when they described Kellie as a "shit kicker" . . . which may sound mean, but, well, if the horseshoe fits . . . I had a roommate in high school who liked to play the dumb, southern blonde card, and it was so very off-putting after a while.

I think a versatile artist is more appealing. While I think Chris Daughtry is amazing, he's also kind of a one trick pony himself. It's okay to know your style, have a specific style, and stick to what works. But, I think that versatility is very important in AI, which is why I give the ultimate edge to Mandisa or Katharine.

Actually, I know someone - one of my sisters-in-law - who does that. She's also Southern. It might be a quirk of the dialect.

She's not from Alabama, actually. She's from North Carolina... totally different accent. Taylor, however, is from Alabama. I personally prefer Alabamian accents to North Carolinian accents.

I really hate how they're portraying her (rightly or wrongly) as stupid. Southerners, and their accents, are often stigmatized as "stupid" or "bumpkin" or whatever, and that's not always the case.

Julie, who believes southern dialects are just as valuable as any other. :)