American Idol '07
I'm ashamed to say I watch this show, but I do. And this year, I'll get to watch Paula's inevitable meltdown in HD! Truly, it's a brave new world.
Anyway, the fun starts tonight. Apparently this year the contestants get to use instruments, so I'm sure that won't be painful in the least.
My wife and I regularly watched seasons 2 and 3. By the fourth it was starting to wear thin. Nevertheless, we are suckers and keep coming back, at the very least for the initial auditions. That is where all the fun is.
I'm the opposite. I have no interest in the audition phase - too dragged out, too mean spirited, and not really that amusing.
Originally Posted by BlueDev
Once the contest starts in earnest though, it gets pretty good. It's solid entertainment and so far the show has discovered some pretty worthy talent.
I know I'm eventually gonna get tired of it (and truth be told I did sit out one season a few years ago) but tonight I'm psyched!!
I watch the Spanish version with my wife, it's in its 5th edition here. The initial auditions can be hilarious, and sometimes you can even catch a nice performance of a good song.
As "crap tv" goes it's pretty decent entertainment, but yes, the snob within pokes me into feeling guilty too.
I'm fairly excited to see the Seattle auditions. My wife heard Ryan Seacrest on the radio saying how bad the Seattle auditions went, so I'm hoping for a few "great" performances from my humble state.
But it does, suck you in everytime!
As for me, it's all about Hollywood Week. We're usually past the "Look at the untalented freaks!" aspect, and it's the time when the contestants interact the most. That's what I find the most fascinating and is what I wish the show lingered on longer (no, field trips and the car commercials don't count). Maybe I've been watching too much Project Runway, but I really wish the 24 and the 12 had to rely on each other more (duets, trios, just like Hollywood Week).
Originally Posted by Troy S Goodfellow
Paula has infamously backed him up on that one.
Originally Posted by nixon66
It seemed ALL they showed was the freaks. I could count on my hand the number of people that could actually sing and got through. Wasn't impressed with any of them.
What gets me is that on Hollywood week, you suddenly see tons of people you never saw audition. I wish they would split it up a little better.
I usually watch until the people I like are eliminated, when I know it's going to be the typical R&B/pop stuff. I watched last year because I wanted to see the underdog win for once.
The first year we watched the show (year 2) we thought the auditions were funny. Now it's degenerated into people striving to be the next William Hung and appearance insults from Cowell. So we skipped the first show, and we powered through the Seattle show (thank you, Tivo) in about 15 minutes.
Annoying Taylor Hicks Wannabe Hairdresser works in the salon where my wife gets her hair cut. (We've never noticed him there, but we recognized the place.)
We'll start watching when the Hollywood shows hit.
Man, HD is severely unflattering to a lot of these contestants, most of whom probably look bad enough in standard def. Seeing the fine detail of every pimple, pock mark, and crooked or broken tooth is a bit much. Makes me wonder if they'll eventually start digitally cleaning up the more homely reality TV participants for HD broadcast.
Yeah, I'm kinda having the same feeling. The novelty of watching talentless plebes embarass themselves and then throw a fit has worn out a bit, and as you note a lot of it just seems contrived, either on the part of the show or the contestant. I simply cannot believe that some of these people believe they actually have a career ahead of them in singing when they're obviously tone-deaf. A few, sure, but almost every single contestant? Come on.
Originally Posted by DennyA
"You've got no trousers on,
At most of these cities, they start with 7-15K contestants, which are screened down, off camera, to a small number seen by the judges (perhaps 150 or so?)
Those who appear before the judges fall into 3 categories:
1) Those who actually have some talent
2) Those who have a compelling story, but possibly not so much talent
3) The 'William Hung' category.
Some of those who are in the 3rd category seem to know it, but it's surprising how many apparently don't. Given their inability to sing, I'm not convinced that their ability to act is so good that they are all faking it so convincingly - some of them clearly don't know what's up. It's kinda sad - they're being set up to be the butt of a joke, but they don't realize it.
So far this year, there seems to be far more focus on category 3 than on 1 or 2, which is irritating. Even my 7 year old daughter was complaining about the judges being mean.
Also, Simon has a verbal phrasing that is grating on me more and more. Frequent variations of this:
"I'm not being rude, but [rude comment]"
Prefacing your rude comment with the claim that it is not rude does not get you a free pass.
The absolute cruelty of the judges, all three, this season is making this a very unpleasant viewing so far. I understand that if you subject yourself to an audition you should expect to be open to criticism, but the judges are just coming across as assholes so far. And Paula and Randy playing their "get Simon" games, such as whatever bizarre noises they were making that one time while Simon tried to talk to the contestant, is also coming across as tiresome and juvenile.
Randy is the worst. Simon seems to be fairly sincere in saying what he feels, but Randy just appears to be trying to figure out how to be cool. Unsuccessfully.
A couple of seasons ago, there was a fairly clear range:
Simon - Harsh, sometimes cruel, but usually accurate.
Randy - Middle of the road. Sometimes critical, but usually in a nice way. "That was kind of pitchy. I don't think you have it, dawg."
Paula - Comments ranged generally from positive to gushing. Sure, it was meaningless, but it softened the blow from Simon.
Now, Randy and Paula are nearly as harsh as Simon. Paula is useless - her commentary was never good, but she made the show more friendly. Now she doesn't even really do that. Randy snickers at the contestants. And the producers put in obvious sight gags - I'm not talking about the contestants in weird costumes, but rather, the ones with an odd or unattractive appearance and no charisma, who are then beaten up on by all three judges in their own ways.
I don't know...I consider it to be a kind of intervention for the delusional.
At least the programmer from Utah said he was going to have to reconsider some things.
People are complaining that the judges are too mean? I thought that was the whole point of the first half of the season.
These early shows are simultaneously awesome and terrifying. You can't help but laugh at some of the nutcases, but then you realize these are actual loons that live in our world.
I mean, the platinum blonde girl with the glasses singing "Dont'cha?" with her bizarrely lookalike mom standing next to her? The huge kid warbling "America The Beautiful"? His friend with the bug-eyes doing the N'Sync dancing? It's like watching "America's Most Emotionally Stunted." /shudder.
Last edited by sluggo; 01-18-2007 at 12:06 PM.
Oh, I love this. It's become like a drinking game, to see if he can top the last thing he said.
Originally Posted by Phil_Stein
"I don't mean to be rude, but your singing was so awwwwwful that it made me want to kill babies."
I crush dreams all day at work, so I don't need to watch someone else do it when I get home.
I have to echo that the delusional folks are getting a little old. I'm unsure if it's that I'm waiting for the show to start -- these initial shows are kind of like warming up the engine -- or that the initial shows don't have as much balance as they used to.
I like that they make an effort to convey how difficult it is to find talent. I just want to see more of the folks that are headed to Hollywood.
I really think that the platinum blond girl and her lookalike Mom were not real. My daughter pointed out that both had on obvious wigs, and when we played it over again via Tivo, I became fairly convinced this was a couple of women who were trying to play parts in order to laugh about how they fooled them.
Originally Posted by sluggo
So given that 30-60,000 people show up for these auditions, there have to be multiple audition rooms. Also, given that some of the auditionees are saying that this is the second or third time that they've tried (and yet the big three judges have no recollection of them), then there have to be mulitple panels of judges. We also see montages of many people singing the same song (badly), some of which we've seen audition. So in some other room they are asked to sing a Michael Jackson tune or something.
So really the first hurdle is to get in the room with Randy, Paula, and Simon.
Anyone who's seen the show knows that the big three see the really good ones, and the really bad ones. So if you're passed on, you are one of the two. So do the preliminary judges lie to the delusional? If you weigh three hundred pounds and you've never sung in public before, do you really think you're going in to be praised by Simon?
Has anyone seen a "behind the scenes" type of article about what really happens at these auditions? I'm interested.
The fat guy and the bug-eyed guy both seemed... not exactly retarded, but somehow slow. Especially the fat kid. I noticed they couldn't be all out mean to him, they told him how special he was, and how much they liked him, but that this contest wasn't for him. I guess even Simon draws the line at crushing the developmentally disabled.
Yes, they pre-screen.
The A.I. apparatus rolls into town a day or two before the judges and cuts things down for them.
As I mentioned above, I think there's a 3rd category besides the two that you mentioned (really good and bad), which is the 'story' contestant - someone with a particularly engaging story, but talent that is not necessarily at either extreme. I'd say the woman who was the huge Jewel fan sort of fits into that category.
I'm not aware of any real 'tell-all' story or book by a junior behind-the-scenes producer on A.I., or any of the other main reality shows (Survivor) for that matter, but I would be interested in reading one.
Last edited by Phil_Stein; 01-19-2007 at 09:55 AM.
Yeah, the crack baby contestant was a "story" person. She was okay, not horrible and not great, but she had a great background.
msnbc had a pretty good article written by someone that auditioned.
Here's the MSNBC article that I think you're referring to.
I like the Indian chick. I hope she makes top 12.
Her brother though looks like he could be in the next shadow hearts pegging that feminine young boy look.