| Culture |

American Idol Finds Magical Misfires in the Magic City

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

American Idol came to town this past August looking for some magic from the Magic City for the first time since Season Two. The results, which aired last night on FOX, were less than magical. Actually Miami fared as well or better than many other audition locales this season, with several fine singing specimens, but we don’t watch the preliminaries for the talent; we watch them for the train wrecks.

The heartbreaker of the bunch was Shannon McGough, an 18 year old from the rodeo town of Okeechobee. The producers had shot a bio segment about her, but you never know if that means they’re going to pass the audition. Still, in this case the odds seemed good: Shannon has been singing since she was 3, and her proud parents (who own a carniceria) touted her victories as Okeechobee Idol and even South Florida Idol. As the contestant talked about her life over b-roll of herself grinding meat into hamburger at her parents’ meat market, you couldn’t help rooting for her, even if the boasting about her belching prowess was a tad obnoxious.

Then came the audition, and to everyone’s surprise – including Shannon’s – the girl couldn’t sing. At all. (In a typically astute observation, Simon Cowell told her she sounded like she was eating.) She left in tears, of course: No one had ever bothered to break the news to her that she has no voice, apparently, and like most rejects, at this point she was not about to believe it.

There was much more satisfying schadenfreude to be had at the expense of Julie Dubela, 16. She came down from New Hampshire overbrimming with confidence, thanks to a stint on “American Juniors” four years ago. She sang “Me and Bobby McGee,” and was truly awful. A quick flashback to her performance as a 12-year-old revealed real potential, but it seems to have been squandered. You got the feeling that instead of being encouraged to practice, Julie was overpraised and coddled for much of the last four years.

Kind of like American Idol itself. But aside from the battered contestants, who's complaining? --Frank Houston

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.