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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Top 100 (or so) Things I Hate About This Season

First of all, I had such a lovely day today that I was completely worn out and hit a wall about 4 PM.  So, I napped.  By the time I woke up, got the head fog cleared and made a necessary phone call, it was 7:30 PM and I went to my nest to "see what is on TV".  Imagine my surprise when I realized it was American Idol night.  So, I tuned in just in time for the tail end of Harry's antics at the end of Nick's performance.  I had no idea of the theme this week.  At some point Ryan sort of mumbled it but I had to wait until the next performance to figure it out.   It was top 100 Billboard.   I didn't watch the end of the show because the tornado sirens went off.  I really cannot recap the performances since I missed 4 of them. But to tell you the truth, the performances have now become secondary to the variety show that is now Idol.  We had 3 or 4 celebrity acts tonight.  None of which moved me.   Here is the list of things I'm peeved about this season: 

1.  Too many celebrity acts.  Once upon a time you got the mentor performing on results night for one song.  Now we get the mentor, plus 2 or 3 random acts and at least one of them features rap crap.  Iggy Iglesius is a pretty woman but I hate rap.  Florida Georgia Line was awful and I like country music.  Jason Derillo was ok but I could have done without the  45 JLo imitators in red and black underwear dancing behind him.  Not entertaining.

2.  Judges acting out.  Face it people, you don't have the chemistry of Blake and Adam on The Voice and you never will.  Cut out the crap and focus on the contestants.  

3.  It was announced tonight that only the top 5 will go on tour.  This is a departure from previous years.  I suppose the tour is not as lucrative as it once was but when you push losers like Caleb whats his name the Meat Loaf imitator down the audience's throat, what do you expect?  I consoled myself over the seasons thinking that at least my favorites (who were never the producer's favorites) would make some cash on tour.  Now at least 2 or 3 of those I like will lose out on that little gravy train.

4.  Random "twists" in the rules (see number 3) and most annoying the stupid fan save.  If you cannot fill up the 2 hours, let them sing 2 songs.  Let them do a group number.  But don't do that stupid fan save pitting one against the other. 

5.  Judges pronouncing in the little box before each performance what each contestant has to do with the performance.  It reminds me of a sporting event:  "the defense really needs to dig in or the other team will overrun them."   

6.  Idol judges have always had key phrases or words that they resort to when they get lazy about judging.  This year, the word I hate is "artist".  Sorry guys, but you are not Picasso and neither are the contestants.  

7.  JAX copying Joey.  I read her version of Poker Face tonight was a jazz arrangement with 40's vibe.  How original!  What an artist!   Oh I wish she would go home.  

I guess that is only 7 things, not 100 but I think it explains why I forgot tonight was Idol night and have zero interest in going back and seeing the performances I missed.  The show has just become a bore as I sit through all the offal the producers serve up to us as if it is prime rib.  After all, if the producers treat the contestant performances as filler for other more important things like already famous people pushing their latest song, or Harry flirting with JLo or introducing famous people from the audience...why should I bother?  

And I was in such a good mood until I remembered to watch Idol tonight!   

PS:  There was no tornado thank goodness.  Having lost power last week for 66 hours I was very grateful about that.  

Thursday, April 2, 2015

"The House That Kelly Clarkson Built"

Oh boy, does Idol owe Kelly Clarkson  big time! The title is in quotes because it is a phrase used by my blogging idol Michael Slezak and in case he googles himself and sees this puny little blog, or more likely, goes searching the phrase for copyright offenders, I want him to know I gave him full credit!  Oh those were innocent days.  I cannot recall them because I didn't watch Idol then.  But it does seem to me that the first idol is still the one that all others should aspire to be.  She was a waitress in a little Texas town and now she is truly a superstar.  And, as the show progressed we could see that she has not lost that small town manner, she is totally unassuming and even can be star struck a bit herself as her little interlude with Harry showed.  The best part of the show tonight were her 2 performances.  

The 2nd best part of the show was that finally Daniel is gone.  I don't know if the producers were trying to milk one more week out of this kid and therefore set up the "fan save" twist in the hopes that his fans would tweet him through or if they were done with him now that his voice is completely shot from changing and wanted to put him up against someone who can sing and hope the audience was smart enough to vote to save the better one.  Either way, I don't like twists.  And this is a twist Idol copied from The Voice and that is just lame.  In doing so, Idol just acknowledged the "other singing show" has surpassed it. 

In truth, however, with one or two exceptions, I thought all of the contestants had a strong night.  Before I begin, I confess I am not a connoissuer  of the Kelly Clarkson songbook and expected I would know about two or three of them.  Surprisingly, they all sounded very familiar to me and I loved them all.  

Nick is the first one saved and he is trying to get used to the camera.  Kelly tells him to love the red dot.  He sang Catch My Breath, a song Kelly wrote, and I think is starting to get the hang of this but he still closes his eyes too much (something a few of them do).  I thought he did a very nice job and Kelly says it is a hard song.   No complaints about pitch problems from the judges so that is good. 

JAX is saved next and typical to form, she goes all diva queen sitting on the piano in a slinky back dress (or half dress as it appeared to be short in front and long in back which I think is just so Real Housewives of New Jersey.  She sang Beautiful Disaster in her breathy soft voice until it got loud and then she went back to it and then she got loud and then she got soft again.  Keith says she is an artist.  JLo misses her unusual tone.  JLo,that tone comes and goes because it is affected.  Which is why I don't like this woman.  And, by the end of the show, I had forgotten what she sang.

Tyanna sings "Mr. Know It All" and does a great job.  She chose it because she was bullied in the past.  I like Tyanna a lot but I am tired of everyone talking about being bullied.  The judges didn't like her emotions on this one but loved her voice.  I think they were less effusive than they should have been.
Joey is back in form tonight putting a jazz spin on Miss Independent.  She is wearing a red sheath dress  ala "Mad Men" and evidently the band and back ups were i retro clothing too.  I enjoyed her performance.  Kelly was very gracious about Joey basically rewriting the music to her song.  Harry was not happy with the retro look and he has a point that Joey is verging on shtick with some of her staging.  Joey is engaged and her fiance looks nice.  I hope it lasts forever and ever.  

Kelly Clarkson then performs her "Heartbeat" hit from her latest album. I don't love the song that much but I did love watching her.

So, the girls are all safe and they call up Quentin next who sings Dark Side.  Perfect song for him.  Kelly loves his eyes.  I think Quentin still has some pitch problems and I believe Harry talks to him about technique but he felt the lyrics.  At the very end, he had a look on his face that reminded me of someone.  The person who came to mind was my nephew, KK's  little brother.  It has to be the eyes since my nephew's fashion sense consists of jeans, a t shirt, and a baseball or cowboy hat.  

Qassim is taking a risk by showcasing his vocals, which I have never thought were very good, on the song Stronger.  His runs were a bit off and Harry calls him on it.  Probably the worst performance of the night and while I really like the guy, I think he needs some training.

Clark Beckham performs and while I would not call it a "moment" it was pretty darn close.  He sang The Trouble With Love Is.  He was a hairs width away from letting go and when he does, I think he might win this whole thing.

And then the twisted fan save.  Daniel was just going through the motions on Break Away.  Rayvon, however, I think did deliver a good, soulful performance of Since U Been Gone.   The judges were unduly hard on Rayvon, I thought because this was the first performance of his that I found not bland.  

This is a good group.  Now that Daniel is gone, the only one I dislike is JAX.  So, obviously, the snark is going to be minimal from here on out.