Holiday Candy Extravaganza 3: Candy Canes & My Love/Hate Relationship with American Idol & X-Factor
Junk Food Nation, last night was the finale of X-Factor, during which singer Melanie Amaro won a $5 million recording contract, the largest prize in US game show history. She’ll also be in a Super Bowl Pepsi Commercial, which is pretty boss. Just YouTube her – she’s good.
After Melanie won, she was immobile with tears and could barely get through her final song before the other eliminated contestants awkwardly came on stage and mobbed her while she was singing her final refrain. (Get out of the way, losers, the winner is singing!) It reminded me of when Kelly Clarkson won American Idol 1 over ten years ago, and was tearing up as she belted her first single.
I’d long left the watchers of American Idol after Fantasia beat out some chubby teenager in Season 3 (she ain’t chubby no more), and the reason was simple – I felt like America cheated Jennifer Hudson and was pissed when she was eliminated. I felt like America got it wrong, and I never went back.
And as I checked in with American Idol over the years, I felt like my spurning of the singing competition reality scene was justified. Carrie Underwood – huge star. But then Daughtry voted off? Jordin Sparks, Katherine McPhee….ok, they’ve had some success. Where the hell are the rest of these “winners?” Taylor Hicks? Lee DeWyze? I’m pretty sure Mr. DeWyze works at my local Radio Shack, stocking the battery section. It became clear to me that AI was dying.
So when X-Factor came on, I was hesitant – more singing shows??? Ughh…. Still, I was intrigued by the new format, the entrance of people over the age of 30, and the groups category of performers. It was a bigger stage, a bigger prize, and I was hooked on all the gimmicks that they provided…and after many weeks of watching, I think America came to the right decision. Nice work, people.
Onto the junk food. With Christmas is approaching quickly, stores have been out of control when it comes to holiday candy. I’ve already done some previous posts about holiday candy being sold, here and here. One trend I’ve noticed this year, however, is the alarming amount of wackadoo candy canes which are out there! Candy canes of all flavors and sizes!
I remember when I was younger candy canes came in the sole peppermint variety. Then they started making the cherry rainbow variety, and my mind was blown:
I remember these would be hanging on our Christmas tree and I would sneak one off the tree into my room, breaking off tiny pieces to eat before I went to bed. I don’t know why I was so afraid to openly take the candy canes and eat them, or why I thought my parents were counting the number of candy canes on the tree at all. (Newsflash: they weren’t.) But the idea of NON-mint candy canes was so awesome to me, “You mean I can get hard candy shaped in a cane formation that ISN’T a breath mint!?”
But now? NOW companies have gone off the deep end with this sh*t. Here’s a sampling of candy canes I’ve seen this holiday season:
“Tis the Season to be Jolly!” — with Jolly Rancher Candy Canes! Ok, they set that one up nicely. Jolly Rancher Candy Canes, eh? In “Bold Fruit Smoothie” flavors!? What the – I guess what they did was take the crystalline Jolly Rancher candy base, stretch it and twist it with some general white-colored sugar confection. The result? Fruit smoothie flavors. Lame. Weird colors too – those red and green ones look like Aquafresh.
Candy canes that taste like Sour Gummy Worms!? Now THESE I can get behind…except for the whole reason people EAT sour gummy worms is because of the GUMMY part of it. Otherwise I have to imagine these just taste like…sour fruit candy. Er….that’s not innovative. I don’t care that you called them Sour Brite Canes.
Now and Later candies are like Starburst – a tangy taffy-like square of candy. My entire reason for eating Now and Later candies, and Starburst for that matter, was just because it was a CHEWY square of sugar. I don’t think there was anything REALLY distinctive about the taste. Now and Later candy canes, therefore, seem useless. And what mom is rushing home to show her child, “Look, Timmy, I didn’t get you regular candy canes, I got NOW AND LATER CANDY CANES!” Timmy: “What? What does that even mean?”
(And why are some of the canes like a dark purple/black? That’s grape flavor?? Blech – it’s like I’m eating darkness.)
Speaking of Starburst…
See above paragraphs, emphasized. Sidenote: since when is GREEN APPLE a popular flavor of Starburst? WTF? When you open a starburst package, there’s four flavors: Red, Orange, Yellow, and the weird pink ones you give away. And none of those are Green Apple.
I’m sensing a theme here – candy companies taking their signature candy and “transforming” it into a candy cane. I have to be honest, it’s a cop out. You don’t just get to make your candy into cane form and think it’s a winner. Jelly Belly candy canes??? Jelly Bellies are JELLY BEANS! WE LIKE THE LITTLE NUGGETS OF FLAVOR! I don’t want my Tutti Frutti jelly bean flavor in cane form – it’s barely tolerable in jelly bean form, for goodness sake!
I had to laugh when I saw these. Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll Candy Canes. Incredible – when fast food bakeries are getting in on the candy cane craze, you know the world has lost it. I’m waiting for Baken Robbins candy canes, TCBY candy canes, Orange Julius candy canes, Robeks candy canes, and of course, Pinkberry candy canes.
Hell where are my Gatorade and Coca Cola candy canes? Let’s take everything and move it into cane form! And who will be the first to do SAVORY candy canes??? Chik-Fil-A, I’m looking at you.
Sincerely, Junk Food Guy