Archive for February, 2011

American Idol – The Reconciliation

February 28, 2011 3 comments

OK.  So no one thought I was serious about breaking up with American Idol last spring.  But I was.  Dead serious.  Last season was so painful to watch, I vowed I wouldn’t go through a bad season again.  But then they changed things up.  Simon, Ellen, Kara – out.  Simon Fuller back in as producer, saying he wants to focus more on the talent and less on the judges.  And then JLo and Steven Tyler are in.  Well, I had to give it a chance.

And boy am I glad I did.  The last few weeks, this past week especially, I have remembered why I used to adore American Idol.  I just love to hear amazing vocal talent, especially undiscovered talent.  I love seeing unknowns have their lives change, and having it mean something to them.  It’s not because of the judges (I’ll put Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler aside because enough has been said about them, and because I am fully enjoying them as well).  While it’s still early to make a true judgment call, I think Idol is surely back from what I heard last week in the final 24.  And I am on board again until I think that the majority of the folks actually lack talent.

But that’s not going to happen.  Because Simon Fuller must have told them there judges that this year, they should put through the most talented folks – not just the folks who will be most marketable or will make for the best television.  I swear, there are tons of folks who wouldn’t have made it through on Simon’s watch.  Simon would have said – “I’m sorry, but America won’t vote for a guy with Tourette’s.”  This year’s judges were instructed to pass through talent to the next round.

Surprisingly enough, most of the talent we saw was also way more genuine.  In recent seasons, the auditionees knew exactly what they were going to get when they entered the room.  They prepared for it.  They milked it.  They exploited it.  But this year, no one knew what they were going to get because they hadn’t seen it before.  Sure, there were a lot of the same schticks as there were in the past, but so far, I have found the folks who made it through way less annoying than in previous years.

A bunch of you have been asking if I would blog again.  I think I will.  Here are some thoughts to get you going…

Sizing Up The Final 24 – My Opinions

Again, I haven’t seen enough of them yet to make a definitive comment, but from what I have seen, every single singer in this year’s final 24 is more talented than Lee Dewyze.  Thank goodness.

I’ll start the handicapping in earnest with this week’s shows.  But here are my thoughts on the final 24 from what I can remember.  I reserve the right to be wrong about everyone but the first four as I haven’t been paying that much attention yet.

Top Talent (in no particular order)

  • Jacob Lusk. Holy cow.  Male Fantasia.  Actually got chills and teared up.  First time I have felt that way since Season 3.
  • Casey Abrams. Wow.  This guy was a huge surprise to me.  Looks like a teddy bear.  Is actually a combination of Taylor Hicks and Elliott Yamin.  With an upright bass.  Blown away.
  • James Durbin. Tourette’s aside, dude can sing.  And scream.  But in a controlled way.  Incredibly talented.
  • Lauren Alaina. Yeah, she’s basically Kelly Clarkson + Carrie Underwood.  Already picked as the winner by Steven Tyler.  Can likely sing anything.

One of these four will make it to the final four:

They all vaguely remind me of one another.  They are all very, very strong.  But I think they also cancel each other out.  I’m rooting for Thia right now because she’s good and because the strongest representation from an Asian-American on Idol was from Jasmine Trias in Season 3, which is ridiculous.  I did really like Pia as well.  Oh, I liked all four.


  • Julie Zorrilla
  • Karen Rodriguez
  • Pia Toscano
  • Thia Megia

Solid, Not Particularly Memorable.  In Danger in the Semi’s.  Better Be Good This Week:

  • Ashton Jones
  • Jordan Dorsey
  • Jovany Barreto. Victim of parents who didn’t look up the actual spelling of ‘Giovanni’ prior to naming their son.
  • Kendra Chantelle
  • Lauren Turner
  • Tim Halperin
  • Tatynisa Wilson
  • Tim Halperin
  • Stefano Langone.  My favorite of this bunch, for some reason.

Barbara Streisand Entry:

  • Robbie Rosen. Talented kid.  But is America really going to give someone with the name ‘Robbie Rosen’ and with a schnozz like his the title?

One-Trick Pony?

  • Scott McCreery. As far as I can tell, he sang one song 10 times and one other song once.  Phenomenal bass.  Could be a great country singer.  But will he be able to last through theme weeks and does he have any range?  Dunno.

Nadia Turner Entry:

  • Naima Adedapo. Haven’t really seen enough of her to judge just yet, but she reminds me of Nadia.  Talented, unique, and striking, but perhaps not talented enough and perhaps too funky for America on the whole.

Will Get Swallowed Up

  • Paul McDonald

Too Weird

Both talented enough, but I think both a little too weird for America.  Also both likely too much of their own person to really change to be more mainstream.  Then again, Siobhan Magnus made it far.  But then again, that was on THE WORST SEASON OF IDOL EVER.

  • Brett Lowenstern
  • Rachel Zevita

And The Michael Lynche Award Goes To…

  • Clint Jun Gamboa. Michael was incredibly talented, but his attitude made me hate him and root against him from the first time I saw him perform.  Ditto Clint Jun Gamboa.  But Clint also chucked poor little Jacee what’s-his-name out of his group on group night.  And he’s got those pretentious glasses.  And he works at a Karaoke bar.  Please dump him now.

Some Predictions

  • Lauren Alaina and Jacob Lusk are locks for the final 12.  Lauren will lose weight over the course of the season.  Jacob may not resonate with the viewers as he is not stereotypically masculine.
  • Casey Abrams could be a big shocker.  His talent may be overshadowed by his being so unique and not “pop” enough.  May not make it to the final 12.
  • We’ll know a lot more about James Durbin next week.  We finally got to see some of the tics last week when they had to film him sitting there waiting for the final judgment.  Wicked talented, but what’s going to happen live?  Will America warm to the tics?  What happens if he starts dropping the F-bomb?  Regardless, I don’t think he’ll win.
  • Scotty McCreery, Tatynisa Wilson, Rachel Zevita, Paul McDonald, Lauren Turner, Kendra Chanelle, Jovany Barreto, Haley Reinhart, Clint Jun Gamboa, and Brett Loewenstern will be cut before the final 12.

Would love to hear your thoughts…

Categories: American Idol, Television
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