Mama Deb (mamadeb) wrote,
Mama Deb
mamadeb

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.
Tags: language
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