Monday, March 9, 2009

American Idol

The finals (a baker's dozen 13 this year) start on Tuesday, so I'm going to do my recap of the audition, Hollywood, and semi-final rounds before the finals.

I've been an AI fan from almost the very beginning. I still remember Kelly's Natural Woman (and her cool hat). Her upset over Justin was very dramatic. (I even saw, and liked, From Justin to Kelly.) I will undoubtedly watch again next season, but I may have to wait until the finals start. The auditions this year seemed okay, although I didn't see every episode. Hollywood week, where you typically see some of the good singers start to break out, was a complete disaster. One one-hour episode spent the entire first half of "group night" on the petty drama between two of the groups. No singing. And an entire episode to hear, "it's not good's great news" or "it's bad news. . . you're going to have to see a lot more of us." AI is very dramatic. It doesn't need the producers manipulating the story.

But the semi-finals were a complete train wreck. First, a ton of the singers blew. The format, one girl, one guy, and the the next highest vote getter was designed to bring gender equity, but that failed miserably as all of the "next highest vote getters" were guys. So the wild card was half girls and half guys, and they still had to stretch credulity to get two girls in. So they spent at least twenty minutes of one of the Hollywood rounds showing the judges pouring over polaroids and fretting over the final 36. And we're supposed to believe they decided the wild card winners during one commercial break? The fix was in.

But enough ranting. Here are my thoughts on the finalists (in alphabetical order):

Adam - He's a very good singer, but a little too cocky and over the top. He'll pull a Constantine and do something a little off and lose that week in a "shocker."

Alexis - I don't remember her song so she probably won't do too well. She was just the best girl out of an otherwise forgettable bunch.

Allison - Good singer, but I hate '80's Heart. No Hollywood week momentum, but the fact that she won with no pub bodes well for her.

Anoop - Couldn't even beat the roughneck, but the judges love him. Proof the fix was in: singing only for the judges and presumably to impress them he sang something they had already heard. That made no sense. Does seem likable.

Robert Downey, Jr. - Already crowned the winner by the producers/judges.

Jasmine - Are you serious? She was terrible in the semi-final and not much better in the wild card. More proof the fix was in. She did seem to have promise in the Hollywood round.

Jorge - Very likable and sings Elton John, so can't be all bad. Don't see him winning, though.

Kris - Nothing in the Hollywood rounds on this guy, but he made it in cold on his own so could be a surprise. Not enough info. to predict more than that.

Lil - See Danny. Producers/judges co-favorite.

Matt - I love piano bar singers, but he stunk on Coldplay. Dude does have soul. His Ray Charles in Hollywood week was great.

Megan - Cute.

Michael - Not a good enough singer. Did out-poll Anoop in semi-final.

Scott - Scott is clearly a great musician (he's some kind of child prodigy) and technically a good singer. His voice just isn't that interesting and neither are his song choices (Bruce Hornsby?).

I guess I can't see a girl winning this year although Lil would have to be considered a favorite. I'd wager Allison and Alexis came in no higher than fourth in their weeks. Jasmine and Megan couldn't even do that well.

That leaves the guys. Adam's probably the best singer, but he's a little too cocky. We'll have to wait and see if Danny's got the ability to walk the line between Rocker/Too Cool For School and Self-deprecating/Willing to Submit to AI Judges. Daughtery was perfect at this. Toward the end, David Cook had it down, too. Matt's my dark horse, but he may also have one really bad week (see Cold Play) and lose. There are some decent singers this year, so consistency will be the key.

I'd be interested to hear your predictions and/or comments.


Little Z said...

Dave, I think you underestimate the women. Alexis, Allison, and Lil tore up the stage during the semifinals. Don't you remember Simon commenting that Alexis reminded him of Kelly?

As a devoted fan of AI, I feel totally betrayed by the farce known as the wild card round. Jessie and Ricky sang their butts off and deserved to be in the final thirteen over Megan and Jasmine. The judges already had their minds made up. Jessie and Ricky were just there in case Matt and Jasmine performed as horribly as they did in the first semi-final round and could not be put through to the finals with a straight face.

And what's with Kara's obsession with the "package artist"? AI is not about the "package artist"--it's about a geek like Clay Aiken getting a break. Would Elliott Yamin, one of my favorite contestants, have made the finals this year?

Thanks for writing something of general interest, Dave! I've been preoccupied with the wild card fiasco for the past few days, and it's nice to vent.

Jade said...

Dave. Thanks for the posting! Now more than five ppl will be interested in your blog this week...kidding.

I'm impressed w/ your memory recall on past Idols, though.
I agree w/ Little Z above that you are underestimating the women in general, but do agree w/ your comment about Jasmine. Stop being sexist.

I personally thought that the identity-crisis girl should have made the finalists.

Anoop is going to be like Sanjaya (sp). He does't deserve to be there.

Adam is amazing. Period. Don't be so jealous.

Jade said...

After last night's top 13 performances, I feel like I have to update. Maybe I should just be a guest blogger for AI. It's an idea.

Anyway, Adam was amazing. Despite what Simon said, I think Lil looked great. And despite what all of the judges said, I loved Megan's "Rockin' Robin." I thought it was an excellent choice for her.

Jasmine was ok but just not polished. I was unimpressed w/ Jorge, Anoop, Scott, and a few others whose names I still do not remember. Still liked Allison, but she's done better.

Alexis did well, as did the guy w/ the red glasses, and the JT-look-a-like that followed Adam.