July 18, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Simpsons Did It!: “A Star Is Torn”

In which Lisa totally does not enter a contest that is anything like American Idol.

You know something…I never really dug American Idol.  Reality TV ain’t my thing, and every year when it came back, there was Simon Cowell on my TV, doing commercials for that behemoth, talking about how they were going to find America’s next big singing star like that was important.

I’m pretty sure we have a ton of singing stars already.

Oh, and as an added treat, this episode has a guest vocal from one Fantasia Barrino, who came in third the year she was on Idol.  She plays a little girl who enters a similar contest and…comes in third.  Man, that’s kinda mean.

I’ve mentioned before that actress Yeardley Smith actually has a rather impressive singing voice, which is the only explanation I can find for why The Simpsons taps her to sing solos as Lisa from time to time.  But let us consider combining that with Homer’s occasionally-referenced songwriting skills, and the fact that when he really wants to, Homer can really pull off a Long Con.

So, since the Kwik-E-Mart is being robbed, Lisa convinces her hungry relatives to try some organic produce for dinner from a stand run by Cletus.  That should have been their first warning.  But after a big veggie meal, everyone but Lisa gets really sick since she alone was used to skipping processed foods as her primary diet.  Lisa sings her family to sleep with a lovely lullaby and the following day, after the other Simpsons have chowed down on a bucket of chicken, the family learns of a kid singing competition that sounds an awful lot like American Idol even though we are told it totally isn’t the same at all.  Krusty is going to be the host, and Lisa is encouraged to enter.  As it is, while there may not seem to be much competition from many of the kids in town, one little girl named Clarissa (Barrino) not only has a dynamite singing voice, but she sang the same song Lisa had planned.

Enter Homer and his Long Con.

Thinking quickly, Homer runs into the “Toothless Elephant Piano” store and pens Lisa a new song that says how awesome Springfield is unless you’re Ned Flanders.  That gets Lisa on the show.  Homer continues to write Lisa more songs with such heart-rending topics as the death of Lisa’s cat, and soon, Lisa is a finalist when Clarissa is eliminated at third place.  Lisa’s only competition is a boy named Cameron.  But it is then that Lisa notices how abusive Homer is to, oh, everybody.  Lisa doesn’t like that and fires her dad, though she doesn’t really want to do such a thing since the two were bonding so well.

After a car ride home that consisted of Homer shouting at Lisa, causing Marge to want to go to the arcade with Bart, and Bart so desperate he’d even go shoe-shopping, Homer takes his revenge by becoming Cameron’s song-writer and manager.  Cameron is now Johnny Rainbow.  Homer is now Colonel Cool, the captain of a ship taking Johnny to the stars.  Is he a colonel or a captain?  Both and neither.  Pay attention.

As it is, Lisa sings an original song about wanting her dad back, and then Cameron comes out with a new song Homer wrote.  What was it?  It was a stuck-up piece about how Johnny Rainbow was better than everybody.  Homer had sabotaged the competition so Lisa could win the contest even after she’d fired him.

See.  Long.  Con.