Written anonymously (by an insider?), this thinly veiled account of American Idol’s first season with Steven Tyler and JLo is a hilarious tour into the world of reality divas.
Sasha King is a recent college grad working on her Novel of Immense Profundity. While struggling on the second paragraph, she takes a position at the Rabbit Network as an assistant’s assistant, but when her boss, Bill, becomes injured, Sasha (known as the new Bill to everyone on set) becomes the acting assistant producer of Project Icon. Since the flaky judge disappeared and the mean judge, Nigel Crowther, left to start his own talent competition, Project Icon is in the hot seat; ratings have been down, and they need to find two judges before Rabbit’s owner, Sir Harold Killoch, cuts the show. After the kind of surreal demands only the most childish humans—stars—can negotiate, rock icon Joey Lovecraft and actress-singer-merchandiser Bibi Vasquez come on board. The novel’s impersonation of Steven Tyler’s verbal gymnastics is so dead-on, so charmingly nutty, kudos are in order. Bibi Vasquez (the JLo stand-in) comes off less attractively—as a driven, foulmouthed hunter, out for blood, even if she’s not sure why. The most sneering portrait is reserved for the show’s host, Wayne Shoreline, a workaholic sociopath who is sexually neutral and whose culinary tastes are satisfied at the pet store. Occasionally, Sasha has a few moments to devote to a personal life: trying to reconnect with her stoner boyfriend in Hawaii, working on her novel (which consists of deleting most of the first paragraph) and even finding happiness tentatively with an LA guy, found by her nosy Russian landlord. But of course, even Sasha knows her life pales under the starlight of the Icon universe, what with the drugs, the sex and the scandal lurking at every turn.
Anyone who has ever watched American Idol, and that will be almost everyone, will have the immense satisfaction of the “inside scoop,” real or not.