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    Estonia Just Showed Us the Maniac Future of American Idol

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    Brian Merchant

    This insane video of an Estonian punk band performing on national TV went viral today, and, obviously. The band is Winny Puhh, or 'Winnie the Pooh' in Estonian, and they sound kind of like Overkill crossed with Thundercats and Cirque de Soleil. 

    The blogs are eating up the fact that the video seems edited with the intent to give you a seizure and that the front man boasts both a mean beard-face and a high-pitched squeal. But I say we look at everything else. Starting with the production here: The choreographed performance, the upside-down drums, the wild-ass spectacle. The clip is from EESTI LAUL, the televised competition for Estonia's slot in the Eurovision song contest, and if any show even offered a hint that it would ever air anything like this again I would watch it every week.

    This is what the future of American Idol should look like. There are currently approximately four dozen performance pop reality shows, and they are all exactly the same—rotating casts of vapid celebrities, embarrassingly bad/oh wow good performances, and the same dumb, empty stage upon which the same dumb, empty performers belt out mediocre pop songs. 

    That's not the future. That's 2002. Forget the Voice, America's Got Talent, American Idol, whichever one it is that currently has Simon Cowell on it. That's the over-hyped, under-produced past. I want eyeball-incinerating stadium rock and levitating punk bands and wall-climbing drums and fur-faced maniacs that sound and look like nothing before them. 

    It feels like I've been waiting my entire life to write this sentence: The future of reality TV is Winnie the Pooh.

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