Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Where American Idol Went Wrong

The many things I would like to see change about American Idol. The auditions: I do not like to see people making fools of them. I guess a good portion of America likes to see that (it makes them feel better seeing other people fail). I never really thought it was that funny and kind of felt sorry for them. The main thing is that I wanted to see some decent singers. Part of the enjoyment was to ‘play along with the show’. I want to see singers that are 6’s, 7’s, and 8’s in addition to the 9’s and 10’s. The 6’s thru 8’s are more fun to assess. Do you agree with the judges or not? Where is the anticipation of seeing whether they go to Hollywood or not if the singers are primarily 9’s, 10’s and 0’s? The save: Here is the problem I have with the save. There is no way they are going to use it in the first 3 weeks or so. Just no way. So, why bother? Oh, I know. Much of America is well. not very smart, and probably thinks there is a chance they use it early on, so AI wanting to boost ratings in any way possible, will sell out to do so. The judges: I did not watch it for the first five years, and part of the reason is that I did not like how the judges influenced voting. It just seemed clear to me. In season 6, when LaKisha Jones sang in the round of 24, Simon said something to the effect, “Everybody else might as well pack their jobs; this competition is over”. Well, according to Dialidol (which estimates number of votes), she was head and shoulders ahead of everyone else in the voting that week. She did end up finishing fourth, but the fact is that she lost her luster and in my opinion it was because she fell out of favor with the judges?. Did she lose her singing ability in those few weeks? No. This is not to say that the judges dictate all winners? But their influence is strong. You know what I think would be a neat idea. Let the judges assess the NEXT night. That way the vote is completely clean. Do we really need judges? Nicki Manaj? Steven Tyler, who had used the word ‘beautiful’ 7481 times. Okay, I am exaggerating a little, but not by much. The other problem with the judges is the criticism they have when a singer does not want to be ‘pigeon holed into singing a certain way. For instance, if they expect a singer to sing a soft rock song, and they sing something else, they might say something to the effect “you have not defined yourself”. If that is the case, then I guess the Beatles, Lady Gaga, and others never defined themselves either since they were quite versatile also. I think the judges have to say something, to make it look like they are really mentoring. Spare me. People such as Jimmy Iovine are more needed than the judges. The judges are also too partial to some of the newer music. I guess much of the public likes it (yes, I am as dumbfounded as you), but further, they not only deter singers from singing older music but will then likely say that that ‘song did not fit you, ya da ya da ya da’ , as they did with Charlie Askew when he sung a somewhat obscure song by Genesis, it only reached 73 on the American charts …… I thought he did a nice job, and it was soooooooooo nice to see him pick what I thought was a catchy song from the eighties from a big name group. Keith Urban said he thought he was disconnected; I thought the song perfectly captured him and his admitted struggles in life. So, the judges dissed him, America followed along, and he was out. Another case where I can almost guarantee you that if the judges had praised him, he would have been safe. The last song on the final night of the competition: With the finale, both singers should end with the exact same song. The voting is too song dependant (you remember the last song by each more vividly), and this was never more clear than last year when Phillip Phillips had the catchy song ‘Home’, and I have to believe it heavily swayed the voters. He might have won anyway. Of course, AI likely does this so they can market two new songs. They never miss an opportunity to sell out. The voting: Speaking of selling out, the voting is really laughable. Restrict it to one vote per person, and you have a more legitimate process. The guest singers; the overall production: There is way too much dancing and newer stuff. Can’t we just see people sing great songs? Interview them for a few minutes (I think that would draw viewers also). If you saw somebody like Phil Collins and he talked for a few minutes about what he has been doing recently, I know I would be watching. I know that it is hard to get some of these singers from the 70’s and 80’s, but you have hundreds to choose from. As it is, I surf the net (or go to the kitchen to make a smoothie drink) during much of the AI telecast. My wife and I watched about 10 minutes of AI this year, after being devoted followers for the last 6 years. Sadly, we do not even miss it. Bring back Charlie Askew, and get judges who will say relevant things, not just talk for the sake of talking, and we may rethink our position.

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