The second surprise elimination of American Idol's Season 10 is much less likely to cause a stir than the first. It's not that people won't be surprised that Casey Abrams was shown the door instead of color coordination-challenged Jacob Lusk. Most of America was certain that Jacob was heading for the door. But Casey's time was drawing near, so the outrage over his elimination will be limited, if evident at all.
Friday, April 29, 2011
Thursday, April 28, 2011
In reading the outline of the new show The Voice, there's a key phrase that stands out. "The television audience will help to decide who moves on." The operative word there is "help." It's a word that American Idol has never embraced, and it's one that's likely to knock out one great vocalist after another until only the weakest one remains as the champion. OK, so that's a bit pessimistic, but what else are we left with when the Idol who continually plays it safe and fails to impress critics is constantly seen by experts and bookies as the one most likely to win. Last year that Idol was Lee DeWyze, and his victory in Season 9 came as close as anything to putting a nail in Idol's coffin. This year, the nail driver is equally likable, but he's just as handy with a hammer. (Note: Stick with me on this one. The review of the Top 6 is just ahead...)
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
We've given it ever chance. We really have. For 10 years, we've devoted countless hours to American Idol and its pursuit of the "next great American singer." We've watched as the great (Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood), the good (Jordin Sparks and David Cook), the so-so (Fantasia and Taylor Hicks) and the ugly (Lee DeWyze) were crowned as America's next singing "idol." And in recent years, we've watched the show disintegrate into a popularity contest controlled by teenage girls and their mothers.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
It's an understatement to say that American Idol is a juggernaut. The show is as strong as ever in its tenth season, even after losing Simon Cowell to his X-Factor launch this fall, and even after adding two judges who have little but sunshine and lollipops to offer each week.
It was bound to happen eventually. After three previous trips to the Bottom Three, self-admiring vocalist Stefano Langone was finally shown the door. That's not to say that we think that he deserved to go just yet. Our pick for the worst of the week was Scotty McCreery, and the one we thought would and should go was Jacob Lusk. That said, few tears will be shed over Stefano's exit because he was living life on the bubble and was struggling to find a strong, core audience.
This week will be a quick post. My "day job" requires a lot of time in the week preceding Easter, so I'll be cutting to the chase. As much as I'd love to skewer AI and it's foolishness (such as the horrific pre-show reunion of the six eliminated Idols and the in-vain search of Paul McDonald for something known as pitch), I simply don't have the time. So we'll be cutting to the chase with a brief review of each performance followed by our updated odds to win and to leave the Idol stage.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
As we move into the Top 7 of American Idol, the producers have given the cast a theme that is the musical equivalent of tofu for most of them -- "Songs From the 21st Century." With a theme that broad (somewhat narrower than the moon, but broader than the Pacific Ocean) makes predicting exactly what the Top 7 will sing a virtual impossibility. But we've come up with some ideas about the types of songs they should sing, based upon what they need to show voters this week.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
After five weeks of American Idol 10, it appeared that the Americans didn't want their Idol to be a girl. Week after week, Ryan Seacrest had the tough task of telling a female that their Idol journey was over. And when Haley Reinhart ended up in the Bottom Three tonight, it looked like that trend was going to continue for a sixth week.
After last night's disappointing Movie Night, very little has changed in our odds to win or for elimination. Of course, based on the way last week went, who really knows who's going home? It certainly won't be based on talent, at least not necessarily. So going into tonight's elimination, we offer you the updated odds, but admit that when it comes to Idol these days, no one really has a clue anymore.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
I'll admit that I'm still more than a little hacked about the way-too-early elimination of Pia Toscano last week. But Pia's exit aside, I was still hoping for a strong night of "Songs from the Movies" from the Top 8 on American Idol 10. It didn't happen. From the very opening number it was clear that a season that started with great promise is starting to unravel, in part because of the foolishness of the Idols in choosing their songs, and in part because of the complete unwillingness of the judges to offer any real criticism. So tonight, I'm going to start doing what they won't do. I'm going to pick apart these performances so that you'll have at least one opinion that is something more than sunshine, lollipops and roses.
One week after the unexpected exit of Pia Toscano, the Idols will tackle the theme of "Songs from the Movies" for only the fourth time in the show's history. This is a theme that could have used a big voice, but there are some solid choices for the remaining eight Idols. Please, God, just don't let any of them sing songs like "Flashdance (What a Feeling)" (Julia Demato, Season 2), "My Heart Will Go On" (Diana DeGarmo, Season 3), "Endless Love" (Danny Gokey, Season 8) or "Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)" (performed seven times, and never well).
Monday, April 11, 2011
In our last entry, we left no doubt about how we felt about Pia Toscano's much-too-early exit from American Idol. It has been rightly ranked as one of the most shocking eliminations in Idol history, and we consider it to be at the top of that list. The other two biggies for us are Chris Daughtry and Jennifer Hudson, who went out at number four and seven in their respective seasons. Pia's status as the presumptive frontrunner and her elimination in ninth place is the reason she ranks ahead of the others in shock value.
Thursday, April 07, 2011
On Thursday night's American Idol elimination show, we entered knowing a few things:
- Paul, Stefano, Haley and Jacob were in danger of elimination.
- Casey and Lauren were on the bubble of the Bottom Three, but were certainly safe.
- Pia, Scotty and James weren't going anywhere but the Top 8.
In the first four eliminations of American Idol 10, we've seen more than half of the ladies exit stage left. Each of them had their quirks that seemed to rub the viewing public's collective nerves. First came Ashthon Jones and her wild hair. Then Karen Rodriguez and her bilingual lyrics. Then the double dip of Naima Adedapo (too reggae) and Thia Megia (too young and naive). That has left us with all six men and just three ladies. Now in week five, something is ready to give.
Monday, April 04, 2011
As we head into this week's performance show centered around the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, not much has changed. The leaders who have led all season are still leading. The stragglers who have been struggling as of late are still at the back of the pack. And unless we have another shocking vote (ala Casey Abrams two weeks ago) we will see American Idol cut loose someone who has absolutely no chance to win Season 10.
Sunday, April 03, 2011
This week, Idol revisits a theme that it has only touched once before -- the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which was the inspiration for Season 7's Final Four. In that season, each Idol sang two songs supposedly from the catalogs of artists in the Hall (though eventual winner sang "Hungry Like the Wolf," a song from Duran Duran, which is not in the RHOF.) What we now know is that the songs are from the Hall's "Songs that Influenced Rock and Roll" exhibit. (Yes, "Hungry" is in that list.) The "Influence" list expands things a bit, and it changes some of our original selections. Today, we offer you an updated set of suggestions for the Top 9 of American Idol 10 from a theme broad enough to drive a
truck minivan through.
Friday, April 01, 2011
This week we correctly picked two of the Bottom Three (Naima and Paul), which happened to also be the two we thought would be tabbed for elimination. While the pick of Naima seemed to be an easy conclusion, the fall of Paul into the bottom group seemed to be a bit of a surprise.