'American Idol's' Behind-The-Scenes Drama Satirized in New Book
"Elimination Night," a novel written by an anonymous author, takes aim at the tenth season of a thinly veiled fictional TV singing show.
Does American Idol have a "deep throat" among its ranks?
An explosive new novel, Elimination Night, written anonymously, claims to have “first-hand knowledge of the inner workings of a top TV talent show." Billed as a “satire in the vein of The Devil Wears Prada,” the 281-page work of fiction tells the story of a young woman who's privy to the behind-the-scenes insanity of a hit series.
The book, a thinly-veiled, scathing tell-all of the tenth season of a top-ranked talent show, is told from the perspective of a lowly production assistant, Sasha, and her dealings with everyone on the show -- from two characters seemingly based on departed judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler, to a slew of contestants, whom she skewers.
Of course, the names have been changed to protect the innocent -- or guilty. The show is titled Project Icon, and the judges, Bibi Vasquez and Joey Lovecraft, are brought in after the departure of a certain Mr. Horrible, who leaves for a new program on the same network: The Talent Machine. Get where this is going?
The salacious storylines paint Vasquez, a Queens-born Latino singer, as a diva that forbids the crew from making eye contact with her, requests an $1 billion dollar insurance policy in case of injury (breasts and buttocks to be valued at $100 million each) and a white limo with a strapping young chauffeur of the artist’s choosing. She is painted as a clueless judge, relying on cue cards for her ad libs and hand signals from a Marc Anthony-like character guiding her in her voting decisions.
Lovecraft is a 62-year old rock star that just had a falling out with his band (sound familiar?) and shows up with two porn stars in tow, off of a rehab stint. In the book, the aging rocker tweets naughty messages and pictures to female contestants from underneath the judges desk, while fighting with producers over Vasquez’s salary, bigger dressing room, and use of a chartered jet.
Not to be left out, there is a Randy Jackson-esque character, JD Coolz, who repeats the phrase, "Booya-ka-ka!" throughout the season. "In it to win it," anyone?
Besides focusing on ego clashes between the two judges, the book tears apart its host, Wayne Shoreline, nicknamed “HAL 9,000,” and takes aim at producers using a secret rating system of colors, letters, and symbols to vet contestants before they even make it to the judges' table: "N" means a definite yes, they’ll go onto Hollywood; "X" is maybe; and a "Y" is an absolute no but "the kid looks like a crier or a psycho, so roll the cameras," or so says the book.
It also suggests that the show purposely sabotages the singers they want to see rise or fall, with contestants' stories being ghost-written and the judges coached to bluff during a particularly strong audition.
There is even a vocalist named Mia Pelosi (Pia Toscano and Karen Rodgriquez melded into one?), and an 18-year old country singer, Jimmy Nugget, with a secret.
There are no clues as to the identity of Anonymous, but one could speculate that this is someone who worked on Idol for a stint -- maybe as a former production assistant or a contestant eliminated during the Hollywood Rounds.
The book is scheduled for release on Jan. 8, 2013.
What do you think Worshippers? Is this fictional tome a true look at the backstage antics of Idol or a ridiculous piece of fan fiction meant to cash in on instant book fame a la 50 Shades of Grey? Let us know in the comments.