by Four of Eighteen-Abromowitz
(Burbank, CA) After a stunning performance in last night’s episode, Eleven of Thirteen became the first Borg to reach the final round of an American Idol series.
Despite his massive internet popularity, many insiders did not expect Eleven to make it this far, claiming that his delivery was too “emotionless” and “impersonal”. Last night, however, Eleven conquered audiences and judges alike with a heart-melting rendition of “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)” that sent the audience into a frenzy.
Simon Cowell complimented Eleven for projecting such warmth, hinting that it would be a useful asset in the next round against Hannah Beaufort, whose folksy performance of “All Summer Long” by Kid Rock earned her the other spot in the finale. Judge Ruben Studdard was even more impressed, who uncharacteristically lost his composure in claiming that the song “glistened more cheeks than Peter North.” Studdard later apologized for his overenthusiastic remarks, but not for loving Eleven.
Eleven’s first appearance was a watershed for the venerable franchise, which has prided itself on balancing all-American values with telegenic diversity. In a contest normally dominated by husky women and nonthreatening gay men, Eleven’s appearance instantly set him apart from his peers, a distinction which was only accentuated by his refreshingly direct interaction with the judges and audience.
After offering what was originally interpreted to be a threat towards the individualism of all listeners, Eleven began his first performance, a bold interpretation of Kelly Clarkson’s “Because of You”. Simon Cowell was unimpressed, commenting that leading off with a song made famous by a former Idol alumnus was a callous choice. Critical reaction was even more severe, with many taking issue with Eleven’s unusual singing style of playing an mp3 of the song from a speaker on his abdomen. However, popular reaction was immediate and manic, and internet sales of “Assimilated!” sweatpants and hoodies instantly skyrocketed.
Initially-hesitant critics were gradually won over, especially with Eleven’s third performance: a sweeping, album-version take on Bon Jovi’s “Dry County” – a Jovi devotee favourite, but less well known among casual fans. After last night’s performance, the conversion was made complete and total, as evidenced by judge Paula Abdul’s remark, “I remember when you first stepped on the stage, you told us that ‘resistance was futile’, and I didn’t believe you. But now, I believe the hype – Eleven of Thirteen has won us over. Bring on the Borg!”
His appeal has altered the nature of the entire Idol season. Many former contestants have seemingly adopted an Eleven-inspired Borg appearance for themselves, possibly hoping to jump on a bandwagon that shows no signs of slowing down. Anti-Borg bloggers have criticized these and countless others for what they claim is mindless imitation and acquiescence with what is doubtlessly one of the most aggressive, brutal races in the known universe. However, this vocal minority is often obliterated by Eleven’s ever-growing following and incurably infectious melodic styling.
Whether or not Eleven wins the final, his chart domination is seen as inescapable by analysts. A leaked, purportedly Eleven-performed version of Sean Kingston’s “Beautiful Girls” has become one of the most-downloaded tracks from the iTunes store, generating speculation that an album is already in the works. Rumours are also circulating that he has already enlisted former members of Def Leppard, Alien Ant Farm and Kraftwerk for what Entertainment Tonight speculates is either a “musical collective with mainstream pop sensibilities” or a “rudimentary hive-mind incorporation with the aim of eventually establishing a quadrant-specialized Borg Queen.” In either case, we’re all on pins and needles!