15 minutes of pain

Jan 29, 2003 at 12:00 am

In October, News Hits caught up with thousands of pimple-faced Britney wannabes lining the streets of Greektown in hopes of earning a spot on “American Idol,” the obnoxiously popular Fox talent-search TV show.

After camping out in line for days, the throng of would-be pop stars showed their respect for Detroit by leaving the street flooded with a tidal wave of garbage, discarded blankets, and “I Love Justin Timberlake” buttons.

Last week, the Detroit segment aired on the second season of “American Idol,” and News Hits was shocked and dismayed to see our fair city so poorly represented and blatantly mocked. The segment opened with a clip of a 16-year-old teen from Troy, who gleefully told the camera he’d slept in the street for two days to garner a prime spot in line, and ventured with a hearty laugh that bystanders probably had thought he was homeless. Then there was the clip of the Backstreet Boy reject of a host, huddled in his coat among the steaming manholes of Beaubien, lamenting “They could have sent me anywhere, Maui, Hawaii … but they sent me to Detroit.”

Predictably enough, the show then cut to an arsenal of bad talent mangling through crappy Top-40 songs, while the panel of “celebrity” judges questioned how a city that gave birth to Motown could unleash so many wretched singers. “I think the Mo done left the Town,” commented one.

Hey guys, it’s called Motown, not Vapid-prepubescent-corporate-manufactured-soulless-pop star-town.

Other highlights included a former male stripper from Detroit, who looked like he raided Prince’s wardrobe from 1985 and couldn’t hold a tune if you put it in a bag with handles, and a female boxer who referred to herself solely in the third person as “Lady Tiger.” Lady Tiger brought along her young son for support, and after having her hopes crushed by the judges, the cameras mercilessly zoomed in on the tears that streamed down her face, as she ranted about the trials of being a single mom.

Then, just a half an hour later, Lady Tiger had her own segment on the Fox 2 10 p.m. news. What was that Andy Warhol said?

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