Thursday, March 5, 2009

I used to like American Idol, but now I think it sucks. Plus: Now these guys know how to play piano!

I admit, I love the idea of American Idol, i.e., an on-air talent show for singers. But let's face it, despite what Simon says, American Idol is a popularity contest or really a warped beauty pageant where the talent happens to be singing. And often we don't really get to hear much singing until the show goes live, over a month into the season, which annoys me (though I know there are plenty of folks who take pleasure in watching people humiliate themselves or fail and adore the audition phase).

But this season of American Idol, the eighth, may very well be my last (though I think I swore that in Season 7, too). While I applaud the show for helping to find and launch some great talent -- Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, Carrie Underwood, Chris Daughtry -- the singers and judges have gotten to be so predictable and boring, I can barely watch.

Sample American Idol judges comments:

Randy Jackson
a) Yo, yo, yo, dawg. That was the bomb!
b) Yo, yo, yo, what's going on, dawg? You know, that was just all right for me.
c) Yo, yo, yo, dawg, you doin' all right tonight? I don't know, man. (Winces.) That was kinda pitchy. Definitely not your best performance.

Paula Abdul
a) Eyes red and teary, unable to speak, then bursts into some emotional rant.
b) I. LOVE. YOU. I love you, I love you, I love you.
c) I love you. You know I do. But I would not have picked that song for you. You have a great voice, a great instrument, but that was not the right song for you. Sorry. But you know I love you.

Simon Cowell
a) Right. If I'm being honest, that was dreadful.
b) Brilliant. Best performance of the evening.
c) I'm not sure what's going on here tonight. That was like karaoke singer meets cruise ship performer. It wasn't awful, but there are millions of bar singers and wedding singers who are doing that night after night. No one's going to remember that performance.

Kara DioGuardi
a) You have a beautiful instrument.
b) A nicer version of whatever Simon said.
c) A harsher version of whatever Randy said.

Seriously, print out my judges comments and next time you watch American Idol see if I am wrong.

As for the format this season, I hope they ditch it and go back to the 12 girls, 12 guys format of last season. The current 36 semi-finalists singing for the 12 finalist spots format has been downright painful.

And speaking of those 12 finalist spots, if blind singer Scott MacIntyre makes it into the finals (and there is an excellent chance he will), it will be further proof that the show is a popularity/emotional sob story contest and not a singing competition. Scott was okay, but nowhere near as good as the judges would have you believe. Trust me, if you didn't watch the performance or know anything about this guy but just listened to the song, you would be scratching your head about how this guy even made it to this point.

Yeah, yeah, I know he has a great story, and can play a mean piano. But is he really as good or as entertaining at the piano as these guys?

(Remember guys: It's not the meat, it's the motion.)

But getting back to Season 8 of American Idol, here's who we're rooting for in our house: Danny Gokey, Alexis Grace, Lil Rounds, Megan Joy Corkrey -- and Kristen McNamara and Felicia Barton, though they don't stand a chance of making it into the finals. (There were other contestants we really liked, too, or did -- Matt Giraud, Jasmine Murray -- but they totally blew it with their lame song choices and performances in the semi-final round.)

Btw, for the inside or early scoop on who won the evening, check out The site's predictions are typically accurate.

I am now off to sing in the shower.

UPDATED 3/5/09 at 8:10 a.m.: It is now confirmed: American Idol SUCKS this season, though the J-TWO-O family is pleased with the Wild Card picks, except for Tatiana Nicole Del Toro (Del Terror?), which we all know was purely for entertainment value (though she can, technically, sing). And as much as I hate to admit it, I have been sucked (or suckered) into watching tonight's Wild Card show (the power of children), though I like the Wild Card singers more than many of those who already made it into the Top 12 (yes, I am talking about you, Kris Allen, and you, Scott MacIntyre, though I also think Allison and Jorge don't stand a chance). Feh. Maybe they should call the show American Vile.

UPDATED 3/6/09: And now we have our first Top 13. I actually think some of those Wild Card picks (Jasmine, Matt, Anoop) are better than some of top nine (Kris, Scott). All in all, a pretty good show last night, with only Von Smith really blowing it, thanks to a lame song choice. So, maybe there's hope. Btw, I love the idea of Simon picking the songs one week. Then he only has himself to blame if the choice turns out to have been a bad one.


TommyMac71 said...

American Idol is just Star Search on Hollywood crack. (Ed McMahon is rolling in his grave....Wait? What? He's not dead YET??)

And I thought I was the only boy whose instrument was complimented by Paula Abdul. That bitch!

Oh and it does suck..... Uh.... Taylor Hicks? Hello??

EMM said...

I've never really watched AI...the endless coverage on all other infotainment shows keeps me culturally aware. To me it has been one endless season.

I do like Kelly Clarkson though - great car music!

Dave S. said...

I watched a bit last week and was driven from the room by the performances. Also, Paula Abdul's psychopharmaceutical condition is more a matter of concern than amusement now.

Meanwhile, if those two guys (I guess we can call them "penists") tried Rachmaninov's Third Piano Concerto they'd probably need medical attention. Ol' Sergei had big hands, if you know what I'm sayin', and some of his pieces (ha) are difficult to play for those less well endowed (ha ha).

This piece would also take its toll on that particular playing style, at least for one of them.

GSA said...

Those pianists have got to be kidding! Seriously, what kind of instruments have they attached to their... instruments?

Cee Bee said...

Wow, J. It sounds like you love to hate this show. You watch it just to have some fodder for the! And I applaud that! That's exactly why I watch Rock of Love Bus. It's a train wreck (or a bus wreck)... I just can't look away.
Sing on, my friend, I'm listening!

J. said...

Yeah, I definitely have a love-hate relationship with Idol, CeeBee. Welcome to the blog -- and thanks for commenting!