Elimination Night is a fictional, behind-the-scenes-account of what really goes on behind the scenes of the country’s at-one-time-wildly-popular-but-now-fading-fast talent competition Project Icon. Supposedly “found” on a production assistant’s hard drive, the manuscript touches on the wide-eyed contestants seeking stardom, the drama of working with demanding celebrity judges including an aging rock legend and a Grade A diva known for her hit song “Bibi from the Hood.”
If the whole thing sounds a little too American Idol-like, it’s no coincidence. Rumor has it Elimination Night was actually penned by someone who worked on Idol, whose last season featured an aging rock legend and a Grade A diva on the judges panel. Hmmmm…and wasn’t her big song “Jenny from the Block?” I’m sure there’s no connection.
On the one hand-the book has its moments. Who wouldn’t want to be a voyeur and see what really goes on behind the curtain of one of these talent contests? From the contestants that make it through to the live shows, to how the audience is manipulated and the team of lawyers the show has to encourage these kids to sign their lives away on the million-to-one-odds of gaining fame and fortune. On the other hand, why the anonymity? Rather than this thinly disguised peek into what was once appointment TV, why not offer a real expose? Go big, or go home in my opinion. Put yourself out there and stand your ground. While I am sure that there is a concern that the author could be sued by any number of entities who have been called out in this volume, but every reader is sure to see through the descriptions of dominant characters such as Joey Lovecraft (Steven Tyler) and Bibi Vasquez (Jennifer Lopez). Personally, I had trouble reading even Project Icon and not mentally replacing it with American Idol.
As I said, it has its moments, but I found the ending to be weak and unsatisfying. If you have a passion for these talent competitions and enjoy the backstage tabloid-level drama, then Borrow It from the library, but do not invest $25 on a hardback book written by someone too cowardly to attach their name to their prose.