Monday, March 8, 2010

American Idol: The Drinking Game

So I'm a little obsessed with American Idol.

I used to sweat my picks in my weekly Idol pool as if the well-being of the entire western hemisphere rested on whether Mandisa or Kellie Pickler was going home. (Knock it all you want, but I did come in second one year.) When the pool ended, I needed an outlet, so I began to grace this space with my trenchant blog posts about Season Eight. Did anyone read them? Not really. But I had fun.

In one of my, um, less stellar moments as a mother, I allowed my then-three-year-old son to watch a little too much of Season Seven. And then I shamelessly exploited him shared his adorableness on You Tube.

But lest you think that eight seasons of attentive Idol watching (I missed the first one; I think I was too busy planning my wedding? Or was that the first season of The Bachelor?) have all been for naught, I give you this, people. Something tangible. Proof that I've been paying attention. You can thank me later.

The Totally Un-Official Clever Title TK American Idol Drinking Game

Drink Once Every Time...

  • Randy uses the phrase, "You can really sing!" (Drink twice for "Dude, you can really sing!")
  • Randy says someone has a "[insertartistnamehere] vibe jumping off."
  • Randy says a song or an artist is one of his all-time favorites. (I mean, for real. The man says this about everything.)
  • Randy seems uncomfortable having to go first, and gives a review that could sort of go either way, as if he's waiting to see what every one else thought before staking a claim.
  • Randy calls a performance "dope" or "hot."
  • Randy says, "You know I'm a fan, right?"
  • Randy calls anyone "dawg."
  • Randy says, "I don't know. It was just aw-ight for me."

Drink Once Every Time...
  • Kara references another contemporary artist that the contestant should have covered, but mostly just shows how much Kara knows about other contemporary artists. ("You could have done Adele, or Duffy, or Lily Allen...")
  • Kara uses the phrase "changing it up."
  • Kara references the singer's tone.
  • Kara calls someone "sweetie" when she's being critical.
  • Kara uses the word "artistry."

Drink Once Every Time...
  • Simon calls a performance "cabaret."
  • Simon calls a performance "indulgent."
  • Simon uses the phrase "complete and utter" (Drink twice for "complete and utter mess.")
  • Simon says, "If I'm being honest with you..." (So is he just bullshitting us the rest of the time?)
  • Simon calls a performance "forgettable."
  • Simon likens the performance to something he could have seen in a hotel bar.
  • Simon predicts the contestant won't be coming back next week. (Drink twice if he somehow cleverly links this prediction to the lyrics of the song. Drink three times if Simon predicts the contestant is the winner.)
  • Simon accuses the singer of shouting or shrieking.
American Idol Grand Finale Broadcast

Drink Once Every Time...
  • Paula says something completely incomprehensible. Oh wait. Paula's not on the show anymore.
  • Ellen wears a tie.
  • Ellen comments on the contestant's "look."
(We're thin on Ellen, obviously, because she's yet to show us her go-to phrases. So, just drink every time you see Ellen, 'k?)

Drink Once Every Time
  • Any of the judges congratulates a contestant for knowing exactly who they are.
  • Any of the judges scolds a contestant for "not knowing what kind of artist they want to be."
  • Any of the judges says a song was too big for someone.
  • Any of the judges lauds a contestant for making a song "their own"
  • Any of the judges criticizes a contestant for not making a song "their own."
  • Any of the judges belittles a performance as "karaoke."

You should now be totally drunk. Which is probably the best way to watch Idol anyway.

What about you? Got anything to add? Let's hear it!


  1. Sorry, they lost me as a viewer (sober or drunk) when they added Kara. But as long as you're having fun, Jen, who cares what the rest of us think? Just be sure to take two aspirin before you go to bed. ;-)

  2. How about....

    -Drink once when Simon insults Ryan, once when Ryan insults Simon, and twice when either one involves a homophobic comment
    -Drink once when the eliminated contestant cries during their "goodbye" performance, and twice if the song lyrics involve sadness, loss, or saying goodbye (WHY do they choose songs that are just begging to get them voted off?)

  3. If we play drinking games during Idol, we will never be dehydrated!! :)

  4. "I forgot for a while that I was listening to a singing competition, and was just being *entertained*!"

    (The fact that they view these things as mutually exclusive is pretty hilarious, really.)

  5. I forgot:

    Randy wears an Archie-esque cardigan sweater.
    Kara wears some sort of funkified ponytail.

  6. Hi Jennifer, I just read your NYT article on Bloggy Boot Camp and saw that you write about AI too. I do get sweaty with my picks each week and I run a pool for family & friends. I wanted to quit Idol forever with Lilly getting eliminated this week. In my pool the 3 Jens (I sort of collect them) had all chosen her to win. Were you as upset as we were? Great to find you. I look forward to your AI posts.

  7. This is too funny. Unfortunately, I can't play along because I live in China, and we get the show through a station in the Phillipines. I think drinking and watching commercials in Tagalog might mess me up a little too much. And then there's Kara. If I'm drinking and watching her talk, I'll likely start throwing stuff at the tv in annoyance. So maybe best to watch sober...

  8. Jennifer, I don't know if you'll remember me from knot days (LA_bride! That's me!), but I thought I'd say hello... Thanks to the conversation surrounding you recent NYT article I came across your name I thought "Huh? I know her!"

    Looks like things are going really well for you. Your boys are adorable. Nice to see you again!

  9. No, you about covered it. See, this is why I don't watch the judging, if I watch the show at all.

    Wait-- did anyone say anything about one of the judges referencing the wrong identity that the singer is building for herself? Or singers who say they don't know who they ARE yet and they're trying to figure out who they ARE?

  10. Funny stuff.

    I actually stop watching after the bad auditions, I'm ashamed to say.

  11. How about when they tell them to make the song their own, the following week, the kid comes out, makes it his own and they tell him he messed with the song too much. It is now unrecognizable.
    This happens every single week!

  12. drink once every time a contestant says "I had a blast"

  13. Hilarious. And I may have to join you in rehab after the winner's crowned.