Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Some Idol thoughts

So it does finally appear that Nick Mitchell/Norman Gentle is done--although I'm still a little stunned that he was there tonight in the mix for wild-card consideration. But I'm still not sure I want to go back to full Idol blogging, because the show this year is a complete mess.

I have many times criticized the producers of this show, particularly Nigel Lythgoe, for not really knowing what they were doing. But I now apologize to Nigel--he may have been evil, but he knew how to run the show better than the people he left behind. Has it ever been so obvious who the producers wanted to advance to the top 12 than this year, when the people who received the most attention in the earlier rounds also got the pimp, or 12th singing spot in the first three rounds? Even more puzzling is why those three people are getting pimped so hard. OK, Danny Gokey is a good human interest story because of his dead wife, but that's already getting old. And let's be honest--so far, he seems to me to be a good singer, but certainly nothing unique or special. Adam Lambert? I'll admit he's got a very good voice--but he's not everyone's cup of tea. Personally, I prefer my singers a little less over the top. As for Lil Rounds, she seems like a nice person, but is she really much different from the various belters we've had on the show over the years--from LaToya to LaKisha to Jennifer Hudson?

Even worse is that the first three-quarters of the final 12 appear to have been picked to satisfy some kind of diversity/interesting backstory requirement, with no regard for actually singing talent. We've got a blind guy, a blue-collar guy, a Puerto Rican, a single mom, a gay guy...And most of them have voices that are not unique or particularly interesting or memorable. Come on, let's be honest--Scott McIntyre is still around because he's blind. I love Bruce Hornsby and was glad Scott picked one of his song to sing. And Scott has a very pleasant voice. But every wild card they picked tonight has a better voice than he does--and probably almost all are better singers too.

In fact, that group of eight picked for wild cards is a really good group--if they were the first eight of the final group, I'd be really happy. They're a much more interesting group than the actual first nine finalists. You've got some really good, interesting male voices in Anoop and Ricky. You've got some really interesting female voices in Megan and Jesse. Tatiana is only there because she's completely insane--but she does have a good voice. I thought Von was surprisingly good last night. Even Jasmin and Matt seemed to have some good potential in Hollywood and the audition rounds.

So we're going to lose four or five singers Thursday night and keep a bunch of mediocre singers. Wow, how exciting. And we'll get to hear Kara say stupid stuff like "that song didn't tell me what it's like to go shopping with you." Since when did this become all about "what kind of artist" you are in the first week? Can't we figure out who is a good singer--because the judges sure aren't doing a good job of it? Kara, please don't give Duke University a bad name by continuing this ridiculous focus on personality over, um, talent. This show is just making me angry. Hopefully I can make it through tomorrow night.

Fingerhut out.


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