Austen Idol

Have you ever wondered what it would have been like, if Jane Austen had written a novel about American Idol?

No? Why ever not?

Sorry, “I’m not crazy” is not sufficent explanation. Because I know you’ve all been wondering!

Lucky for you, that’s just what today’s post is. In the spirit of Austen Trek, here’s…

AUSTEN IDOL. Or, if Jane Austen Wrote American Idol.

After Jason Castro ended his performance, the applause was notable.

Ryan Seacrest turned to the judges. “And what did you think of the young gentleman’s performance, Mr. Jackson?”

Randy Jackson nodded. “He has as good a kind of hair as ever lived, I assure you. Ah. Jason Castro. A slightly pitchy voice, but there is not a bolder hairstyle in America!”

“And is that all you can say for him?” cried Mr. Seacrest, indignantly. “But what is his vocal technique on more intimate acquaintance? What his tastes, his talents, and genius?”

Mr. Jackson was rather puzzled.

“Upon my soul,” said he, “I do not know much about him as to all THAT. But he is a pleasant, good humoured fellow, and whenever I see him, I shout ‘Dog’ with great exuberance.”

Now it was Mr. Seacrest’s turn to be puzzled. “Sir?”

“Dog! After all, he has got the nicest little black bitch of a pointer I ever saw. Will she be performing later today?”

With more precision than elegance, Ryan Seacrest then turned to the lady seated next to Mr. Jackson. “Would you be so kind as to share your opinion on Mr. Castro’s performance, Miss Abdul?”

Paula Abdul beamed. “Oh! my dear Mr. Seacrest, how are you this evening? And my dear Mr. Castro–I come quite over-powered. Such a beautiful head of hair! You are too bountiful!”

“But what,” persisted Mr. Seacrest, “did you think of his singing?”

“Well!” cried Miss Abdul. “That was brilliant indeed!–Mr. Castro was admirable!–Excellently contrived, upon my word. Nothing wanting. Could not have imagined it.–Such pretty hair!– Randy, Randy, look!–did you ever see any such thing? Oh! Mr. Castro, your dear mother will not know her own child again. I saw her as I came in; she was standing in the entrance. `Oh! Mrs. Castro,’ said I–but I had not time for more.”

“I…see,” said Mr. Seacrest, after a confused pause. “And…Mr. Cowell? What were your thoughts upon hearing Mr. Castro sing without either backup singers or band?”

Simon Cowell scowled. “To sing three notes, or four notes, or five notes, or whatever it is, while playing the ukelele, and alone, quite alone! what could he mean by it? It seems to me to shew an abominable sort of conceited independence, a most country-town indifference to decorum. I could hardly keep my countenance. Very nonsensical to perform without a band! Why must he be scampering about the stage, pretending that he knows how to play that undernourished second-rate guitar? And with his hair so untidy, so blowsy!”

“Oh, come now,” cried Mr. Seacrest. “You cannot have seen such lack in his performance!”

“How could I not? And the cruise ship on which he is doomed to perform; I hope you saw his cruise ship, six inches deep in mud, I am absolutely certain; and the hair which had been let down to hide it not doing its office. He has nothing, in short, to recommend him, but having an inexplicably popular coiffure. I shall never forget his performance this evening. He really sounded almost wild.”

Ryan Seacrest looked exceedingly at sea, and without the safety of the oft-mentioned cruise ship to keep him from drowning. “Very well, Mr. Cowell. If you think that Mr. Castro’s singing is lacking, then pray tell: what does it lack? What do you require in a singer if you are to bestow your praise?”

“Certainly,” cried Simon Cowell, “no singer can be really esteemed accomplished, who does not greatly surpass what is usually met with. A vocalist must have a thorough knowledge of music, singing, drawing, dancing, and the modern languages, to deserve the word; and besides all this, he must possess a certain something in his hair and manner of phrasing, the tone of his voice, his it-factor and song choice, or the word will be but half deserved.”

So….what do you think? How did you like my “casting”?

All comments welcome!

By the way, I forgot to announce the next topic of discussion for the Jane Austen Movie Club! Because we all need to catch our breaths (or, at least, I do), on May 6 (first Tuesday of the month!) we will all share lists of our favorite Austen adaptations, favorite performances, and that sort of thing. Please join us!

Cara
Cara King, whom Miss Bingley would think sadly unaccomplished

About Elena Greene

Elena Greene grew up reading anything she could lay her hands on, including her mother's Georgette Heyer novels. She also enjoyed writing but decided to pursue a more practical career in software engineering. Fate intervened when she was sent on a three year international assignment to England, where she was inspired to start writing romances set in the Regency. Her books have won the National Readers' Choice Award, the Desert Rose Golden Quill and the Colorado Romance Writers' Award of Excellence. Her Super Regency, LADY DEARING'S MASQUERADE, won RT Book Club's award for Best Regency Romance of 2005 and made the Kindle Top 100 list in 2011. When not writing, Elena enjoys swimming, cooking, meditation, playing the piano, volunteer work and craft projects. She lives in upstate New York with her two daughters and more yarn, wire and beads than she would like to admit.
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