Idol thoughts

So I've completed my first week of “American Idol” for the year. I'm now invested in Season 9, whether I wanted to be or not.

Ryan Seacrest told me at the beginning of last night's "Hollywood Week" that this is the event I’ve been waiting for … We’ll see about that. Thank goodness it was only an hour; otherwise I’m not sure I could have handled it.

I will say this, though -- almost immediately I got a different, more civil vibe from “Idol” last night, and I liiiiked it. For once the judges didn’t appear as though they were trying to upstage everyone else in the theater. Ellen Degeneres’s presence on the panel was a breath of fresh air and a welcomed exchange for Paula’s incoherent critiques. Yeah, so I wasn’t so sure about Ellen joining the Idol panel either -- and we’ve still got a long way to go. But even Kara seemed more restrained, more credible, just because Ellen was sitting next to her …

Slezak, I’m so glad to get reacquainted with your commentary. Preach it …

"... Season 9 of the nation's favorite talent competition was suddenly getting strengthened from root to tip. It was clear we were benefiting from a much-needed infusion of Ellen DeGeneres (the judging equivalent of jojoba or cocoa butter or some such rich, restorative ingredient) ... Because on a night — and to be honest, in a season — where her addition to the judges' panel was The Story, the comedian/talk-show host seemed to take a deliberate back seat to the contestants. Eyes forward, focusing on the performances. Expression serious, reviewing her notes. Demeanor firm, sending contestants home with constructive advice that could serve them well if they return for season 10. And never once stirring up contrived drama/chumminess/ hijinks with Simon, Kara, and Randy in an effort to make sure all cameras were on her."
So with two shows under my belt for Season 9, I’ve already got some clear favorites I’ll be looking forward to seeing …

Katie Stevens sang “For Once In My Life.” Great natural talent. Loved her tone.

Andrew Garcia singing Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up” was straight up sweet. He made it all his own. And, dude, if it were available on iTunes, I’d download it right now.

Michael Lynche sang “Waiting For the World to Change,” with his fellow Idol hopefuls singing the background vocals from their seats. I loved his soulful take … But missing the birth of his first child to do audition for “Idol” -- there’s no way I would have done that.

I’m also placing my bets that Janell “Easy Yes” Wheeler, Mary “Sober” Powers, Lilly “Lullabye of Birdland” Scott and Crystal “Natural Woman” Bowersox will go far …

I’m not going to waste my time on the bad auditions -- because they were bad. … Haeley Vaughn must’ve sounded really good in the theater to deserve all the cheers coming from the seats, because I was caught by surprise when the judges kept her.

And Skiibobs -- he was destined to get the boot from the moment he started pimping his dumb nickname. Ellen called him out for being just plain creepy.

As for tonight’s group performances, the drama was sky-high as usual … But the bulk of the show was a let down. I was disappointed that so many of the performances seemed to be cut ... And none of the performances even came close to achieving legendary status.

Then again, if the bulk of the performances were anything like most of the ones we saw tonight, the producers were doing viewers a favor. I didn’t like either of the “Bad Romance” performances and was surprised all of the hopefuls who participated were passed to the next round. The groups that tried to do “Sweet Escape” were dreadful, too.

Idol reading ...
a DeGeneres judges herself as honest in 'Idol' debut
a A low-key debut for Ellen DeGeneres on 'American Idol'

No comments: