World Idol
January 1, 2004 12:03 PM   Subscribe

Kurt Nilsen wins World Idol. Gap-toothed and described by judges as "with the looks of a hobbit," the Norwegian plumber with the voice of an angel proves that there's hope for all of us to become popstars. True talent triumphs!
posted by dagny (20 comments total)
Thanks for spoiling it on the front page.
posted by jca at 12:11 PM on January 1, 2004

Yeah, ditto. Not on tv here for another 10 hours. Nice one.

That said, yay for him, although I think the Pop Idol competition actually is about talent. Anybody who can't sing either gets punted out early on or amusingly dissed by the obligatory cranky judge until the viewers get the idea and kick them out. It's a glorified, over-publicised, well-sponsored talent quest, and all of the competitors in the World Idol show had talent in spades.
posted by John Shaft at 12:21 PM on January 1, 2004

World Idol: The results are in. Can't fault the quality of the winning act, but even so, the results was slightly reminiscent of the annual Eurovision naffness (made bearable only by the tongue-in-cheek Wogan). Simon Cowell wasn't present for the closing proceedings, so we are left to imagine what he might have said.

Or, I'm no xxx-idol fan, but it's all about the links, baby.
posted by nthdegx at 12:50 PM on January 1, 2004

Shame my man Guy Sebastian didn't win (hey, he's from my hood, he's a friend of a friend), but the song he chose to sing on World Idol probably wasn't a good choice. You should hear his version of "Climb Every Mountain"... But Kurt was our second choice, closely followed by the Belgian Heavy Metal Dude (just for sticking it to the industry).

xxx Idol's probably been the most decent of all the "reality" TV shows we've seen recently, and I think the kind of people who have won has been revealing - not necessarily the most attractive or sellable people, but (often, not always) the people with the best voice and personality. People, like Kurt, who normally wouldn't be offered a recording contract in a million years as the (otherwise horrid) American judge pointed out.
posted by Jimbob at 3:27 PM on January 1, 2004

jesus christ. turn it off.
posted by Satapher at 4:14 PM on January 1, 2004

I don't watch TV so I had very little idea what any of this was all about. Then I heard a clip of the Canadian Idol winner, Ryan Malcolm's final song when he did "He Ain't Heavy" and I thought "Ah hah, brilliant". You see, that song is the background music for a long-running anti-drug commercial up here that is actually quite powerful and tasteful, and there's no way people could vote against that. Unfortunately his little trick would be lost on the World Idol audience.
posted by Space Coyote at 4:27 PM on January 1, 2004

I'm watching this, and I must say, it's been entirely pleasant. Mostly because it's great watching Kelly Clarkson slowly realize that she's not going to win as Kurt Nilsen defeats her in country after country. The real killer moment was when she came in fourth in Poland; she couldn't keep the smile up for much longer after that.
posted by Bryant at 6:55 PM on January 1, 2004

Karaoke Media Stars.

Kill them. Kill them all.

Them, and the unimaginative, money-grabbing, talentless "masterminds" behind their insipid capitalist "product."
posted by Blue Stone at 7:12 PM on January 1, 2004

That's why I dug the "Pan-Arab" (heh) idol. At least she was singing something classical and respectable and not pop, even if none of the judges really knew how to appreciate it.

Which meant she had no chance of winning, of course... :P
posted by Foosnark at 10:49 PM on January 1, 2004

unfortunately, the links to videos don't work for me. I'd like to hear him sing. He's welcome to audition in my bedroom.
posted by Goofyy at 12:33 AM on January 2, 2004

You harbour fantasies of Tin-Tin, do you, Goofyy?
posted by five fresh fish at 1:14 AM on January 2, 2004

What the fuck is World Idol??
posted by salmacis at 3:08 AM on January 2, 2004

The results of the pan arabic idol was curious. Those who came after her.. if you think not winning was bad, remember you were beaten by someone who didn't sing in english, and the rest of you, your plumber sings better :)

I resented the way the whole thing was run.. it's practically spamming the general public. To quote Ani DiFranco "and all the radios agree with all the TVs".. "and I keep hearing that saaame dammmm song everywhere I go!"
posted by theducks at 4:06 AM on January 2, 2004

One thing that might be noteworthy is the way the American public voted: while Diana, the "Pan-Arab" idol, generally placed low in the other countries, she reached a surprisingly high ranking here in the U.S. (either third or fourth). This despite the fact that she didn't sing in English and wasn't rail-thin, either. I only heard half of her performance and I thought her voice was lovely, but I expected that she would be overlooked.

Of course, the U.S. ranked Heinz, the South African human Ken doll, right next to her. Cute 'n mediocre, like millions of pop stars before him. Makes you wonder what a demographic breakdown of the voters would look like.
posted by brookedel at 4:40 AM on January 2, 2004

human Ken doll

that's rich coming from someone who actually watches such drivel, barbs.
posted by carfilhiot at 10:21 AM on January 2, 2004

Drivel or not, in my opinion it's some of the most entertaining stuff television has had to offer in recent years (which of course doesn't speak too well for the television industry in general, but that's not exactly news). I was sorry to see Alex (Alicja Janosz- the Polish chick) totally misrepresent herself and a pick a song that wasn't suited to her voice and "little girl image" at all. Though I was cheering like mad when she told of Kuba Wojewodzki, the Polish judge, who believe it or not is ten times worse than Cowell.
posted by degnarra at 1:42 PM on January 2, 2004

that's rich coming from someone who actually watches such drivel, barbs.

That's rich? That's a fact. Look at the guy, he's even got the head shape and everything.

I'm sorry you think it's drivel. It's not Proust, but it is an interesting two-hour look at what different cultures prefer and reward in their singers. Why not look at some of the possible social implications of the U.S. ranking the Pan-Arab idol so high? Or the issues it raises about the music industry: what does it say about the seeming push toward a pop hegemony (at least on the part of the show's creators) when the third place winner sang a Nirvana song? What does it say about current cultural standards of beauty that this winner wasn't conventionally attractive (not to mention the last American Idol and Pop Idol, which both saw obese winners)? Or does the world just really like Bono? Etc.

I know it's not highbrow, but there are reasons for watching it other than being able to say "Oi! That Simon's a bastard!" (Although that's part of the fun of it, too).
posted by brookedel at 7:03 PM on January 2, 2004

the possible social implications of the U.S. ranking the Pan-Arab idol so high

Yep. But the political/social implications run both ways--the American Idol, Kelly Clarkson, got trashed in the Pan-Arab voting (fifth from the bottom, I think?), while she ended up in the top two nearly everywhere else.
posted by Asparagirl at 9:15 PM on January 2, 2004

In a hospital bed with limited TV choices last January, I caught some of the 'early audition' episodes of the last AmIdol, just enough to hear Slimin' Simon say something to the effect of "you sure don't look like a pop star but you sing good" twice. Guess which two ugly guys he said it to. Even after getting professional makeovers before the finals, neither finalist would've had a chance at Barbie...
(And on a live TV show recently, Barry Manilow called himself "what Clay Aiken will look like in 30 years") Kurt just extended the "looks don't matter" theme to the international level, and Pan-Arab Diana may be starting to apply it to female Idol contestants. Not the worst thing to come out of a cheesy TV show. (The worst thing to come out of Idol, IMO, is that grating three-second electric guitar riff played every four minutes)
posted by wendell at 9:45 PM on January 2, 2004

FFF: Um, you might have a point about Tin-Tin. My partner is a Belgian (and blond!).
posted by Goofyy at 12:21 AM on January 3, 2004

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