Well, having watched this week (I wanted to recap but just haven’t had the time) I have to say I was less than impressed. The judges kept saying that this year’s pool of talent is the best yet, but I just didn’t see it. I know, they have to say that. So You Think You Can Dance says the same thing every year. But whereas I would agree with SYTYCD it’s generally true that the talent is even better, I didn’t see it here. There were only a handful of performances that I thought were any good, which was surprising to me. I expected to enjoy the vast majority. So if people were talking about Simon’s unusual harshness, consider that there was simply more to critique this week.
That being said, there were a few comments by him that made me think, I know it’s sad that Simon is leaving but I think it’s time. If you notice, the one comment he said over and over again was “I’ve seen it before” to which I kept wanting to say, “of course you’ve seen it before, you’ve been judging the show for how many years and have seen how many auditions and performances? What are the odds that you wouldn’t have seen it before!” Because if we’re being honest with ourselves, rarely does American Idol churn out someone particularly unique, they just discover people who are talented and charismatic. I got the feeling that Simon is over American Idol, it was boring to him now, and if that’s how he’s feeling then maybe it’s better to have someone new and excited about being on the show. (I wouldn’t be opposed to replacing Randy as well. There are more things to music than “pitchy!”)
As far as Ellen goes, I was very skeptical about her coming on the show. Part of the value of the judges is that they have the ear and experience to know what does and doesn’t work. Their opinion holds a lot of sway and while at times America doesn’t take their advice, I think there are a number of times where their commentary is the reason someone gets sent home. (Probably in particular about contestants that they are on the edge about.) But, I was surprisingly pleased with Ellen. She hasn’t been particularly funny (minus the occasional odd remark) but it’s nice to hear a representation of “America’s opinion” among the judges. It’s always strange to hear something, think it’s great, and then find out that the judges hated it.
Allison Iraheta’s performance on the results show was so-so. I think she’s incredibly talented but all the songs she’s been given as an actual recording artist don’t show off her voice and are a little too childish. My friend and I were listening to her album once and noticed that virtually every song talked about texting and the web. It’s a shame for her songs to be so weak when she’s so strong.
Kris Allen on the other hand had a great performance. I love the song “Let It Be” so unless it’s poorly sung, I’m easy to please.
I don’t know why they feel the need to slightly adjust the format every year. It doesn’t make it any more exciting. I dislike this year’s format of cutting four people a week. I’d prefer a Top 20 with eliminating one guy and one girl per week than a Top 24 and cutting 4 people for the first few weeks. It’s so early on in the show that we haven’t had a chance to learn about the contestants, get to know them. Some have gotten a lot of air time during auditions and gained a fan base, others are relatively unknown. It would be nice for them to do what SYTYCD this past season of having a performance night that does not involve an elimination so we can just hear each person and get to know about them.
A last note, I was shocked that Tim Urban made it through to the next round. I agree with Simon about the assessment that he shouldn’t be in the Top 24. I guess he’s cute so that may have gotten him votes but really, he was awful.
Well, the first week is always difficult so I’m hoping that next week is a little better.