Thoughts on American Idol: Audition Week 1, Part 1

January 20, 2011

Original image from Wikipedia

Note: This is a new thing for me. I have watched American Idol for a few years (seasons 1, 5, 6, 8 and 9), and I’d like to throw my opinion into the mix. I watch these episodes on my DVR and review them as soon as I can watch them.

  • I predict that this will be the last season of American Idol. I think Fox wants this show to go out with 10 seasons and I think that it wants to buy time until Simon Cowell can port X-Factor over to the States. The show’s ratings have been dropping over the past few years, it has had trouble holding onto its judges, and fratty-looking white guys with guitars have won the past three years. If there isn’t a turnaround with the talent and show themes, I predict a cancellation.
  • I’ve held a few factory jobs, both as an hourly worker and as part of management, and one of the things I’ve found is that to have an appreciation of your job, it helps to know how it fits into the greater process. I bring this up because I’ve read a write-up or two that say the “cattle call” auditions and the actual “judge auditions” are separate. They would have to be. There’s no way those three judges can judge thousands of people. Instead, only a few hundred people make it to the judging rounds. The show’s producers cut thousands during the “cattle calls,” but that is never shown. The show is edited to make it look like it all happens over the course of two or three days. It’s so deceitful. I’m not saying they have to show the producers going through every contestant. Just acknowledge that it exists and that they pass both the stars and the freaks for ratings.
  • Kathy brought up a good point this past summer: the original judging panel had a producer (Randy Jackson), a singer (Paula Abdul), and an executive (Simon Cowell). This dynamic worked because you had judges who had worked with singers, marketed singers, and found commercial success singing. Each brought a different perspective to their critiques. While Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez may look for different things in singers, they both come from performance backgrounds. Jimmy Iovine, not Steven Tyler, should have been the third or fourth judge. Leave the “mentoring” to the guest celebrities.
  • Tyler and Lopez have demonstrated some ability to deliver feedback, although the judges early hemming and hawing and high accept rates were annoying (probably the fault of the editors). I must give props to Randy for stepping into the role of the constructive criticism curmudgeon, although his personal taste still rings far too conservative for me.
  • Man, the judges just can’t process contestants with musical theater performance styles. When I looked away from the guy in the plaid shirt, glasses, receding hairline, and chest hair, he belted halfway decent. He would have done well on Glee. At least they put the manic pixie Britney fan through. If she performs consistently, she could have the quirk + cannon vibe that made Siobhan Magnus my favorite contestant from season 9.
  • That 16 year old from North Carolina annoyed the snot of me. Her singing voice was halfway decent, but her talking was high and grating. I completely understand if she makes it through to the top 24, because she seems wholesomely cute and can sing.
  • Alright Steven Tyler, I am calling you out! Stop being such a damn perv around the 16 year-olds! You’ve been in a relationship since 2006. You’re a grandpa. It’s not cool when R. Kelly flirts with teens and it isn’t cool when you do it either.
  • I was digging Devyn Rush, the singing waitress. She seems to come from a quirky performing background (when you serve burgers and sing in some Johnny-Rockets-type establishment for a living, you have to have a sense of humor about it) and she can belt like it’s no problem.
  • Hey Fox, what’s with the stereotypical Japan music intro for Yoji Pop? Hey J.Lo, what’s the deal with talking to him like he’s 5 years old? The man actually sang pretty well considering the linguistic barrier. Kathy made a good point – “I’d like to hear J.Lo sing a song in Japanese and know the song only by hearing the sounds.” Y’all are just mean.
  • So far, no fratty white guys with acoustic guitars. I can only hope this trend will persist.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: