Fresher than ever: Slices of Life [American Idol]

I may not be watching much news recently (thank you hot day that makes me bum), but I’m in the mood for something… and that something is a little bit of verbal therapy. Today: we talk Idol. 

First of all, I’m a very very proud girl/woman, but I find the pink-ness of Star World rather annoying. [Sorry]. Secondly, the word gorgeous is starting to annoy as well. I have absolutely no idea what has happened to this once badass channel, but I’m not liking it one bit. What the execs at Star World should realize is that you don’t get a female audience by painting your channel Barbie pink and having ghostly women drive convertibles through false cityscapes. It isn’t appealing at all (at least, in my opinion). 

But let’s get to the point here. 

Season 8 was Idol’s last great season. It’s also the last season of Idol that made standing ovations seem as rare as meteor showers or comets passing through the skies. These days, the standard has clearly dwindled ever since Simon’s exit. The show’s execs decided to downsize on quality and instead guarantee viewership by employing judges with the gloss but not the ‘tech’ factor. Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler are two names in the music business who are well-known. In fact, well-known is a bit of an understatement. Tyler’s pedigree music-wise far exceeds Jen’s, but it’s her entrepreneurial skills and her million-dollar empire that makes her a formidable name: singing talent aside. Some would consider the move a great money maker, and it’s what keeps the show afloat. People want to see Jennifer’s next clothing choice and Tyler’s antics, and it makes for a great show. 

 Unfortunately, the judges don’t seem to offer the critique needed, and lucky for us some of the show’s execs decided to bring in an upgraded (and older) version of Randy Jackson to give the much-needed Cowell factor. Jimmy Iovine is a good addition to the show. As chairman of Interscope records, he’s definitely the person for the job when it comes to dishing it straight out the way Simon used to. Yet in the same way that Simon had conflicts with his fellow judges in the past, Jimmy’s straight up critiques end up irking the judges as well (yet not in the same degree as Simon, of course). 

 Hopefully Jimmy manages to help America decide objectively when voting the same way Simon brought out future superstars like Carrie Underwood in seasons past. They shouldn’t take the standing ovations at face value and make voting a decision that’s based not just on endless praise poured from millionaire mouths. These guys are indeed successful and legendary in their own right, yet they don’t always seem to give the constructive criticism that the contestants need to improve themselves and succeed in the music business. Rare moments of clear critique are there, but it does nothing to alleviate the image of the judges in Idol today. Last week’s standing ovations barrage killed the significance of the standing ovation in the Idol world, considering the judges were giving them out like free samples at a supermarket {well, not exactly}. If we remember right, the last standing ovation that made headlines was given to runner-up Adam Lambert’s haunting rendition of ‘Mad World’ and that was it. The judges only gave ovations during the finale, and no where else. Yet that’s not the case anymore. Randy Jackson, Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez stood up five times during last week’s show, and now it seems to me if they stand up again in the near future, it won’t be as significant anymore. Who’ll give a crap if someone gives a genuinely haunting performance of a song and the three stand up? No one. Suddenly the standard slips, and we have them to blame. But then.. they could be right. Are season eleven’s contestants truly deserving of the ovations some of them received last week? Are they really that talented? Maybe. No one is born a pitch-perfect singer. Some of us are born with talent, and it’s shows like Idol that are supposed to help these natural talents hone what they have so they can succeed in the music business. If they just praise, praise and praise: these kids will not end up more successful, they’ll end up with big heads, and that won’t really be a big help if they want to become big stars in the future. Don’t get me wrong, though: Idol does manage to find some great singers. Case in point: Jessica Sanchez. 

 Let’s just hope that they continue having Jimmy Iovine mentor the contestants, and that America doesn’t get carried away by the praise. Plus, they should stop booing criticisms and give their bets a chance to improve by actually getting to hear whatever the judges say. Yet, these are my predictions. 

AI is a juggernaut, yet just as stars rise, they fall. 

The Voice will slowly take the throne. 

Their objective and sinfully sexy band of judges can easily topple the three sitting on the Idol desk. 

They better keep their act together and continue improvements if they have any intention of reaching season twenty. Let’s hope, for their sake, that they do. 


–chervs 🙂




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