After much labor – four weeks of terrible auditions, one hurried Hollywood episode, one hour in an elevator – the behemoth that is the AI juggernaut produced… the fiasco that was guys’ night. You know it’s a bad night when one of the highlights involved Teletubbies. Fortunately for us, girls’ night was good enough to wash away any memories of the Tuesday night calamity. We may get an Idol out of this bunch yet.
What made guys’ night so bad wasn’t so much bad singing or song choices. It was because we didn’t hear anything that was particularly distinctive. It wasn’t good or bad, it was just mind-numbingly dull. There was very little that could make one say out loud “He sang that one well,” or “he was terrible beyond reason.” The reaction could be more accurately described as “who are these people?”
There’s something that the top 12 guys and all future Idol contestants should take away from this week. Viewers don’t just want to hear an okay performance. They want to be wowed and entertained! It doesn’t have to be technically perfect. The goal of an Idol contestant should be to make people at home sit up and take notice. More than a night of bad singing, it was dull and unentertaining. That’s where Tuesday night went so badly wrong.
In contrast, let’s take a look at Wednesday night. It was a good night, but it wasn’t technically perfect. Consider Stephanie Edwards, who opened the show. As Randy noted, there were some pitch issues. Does anyone actually remember that? No! What people remember is that it was an entertaining performance, whatever imperfections were there (and there were a few). The same could be said about most of the other performances on that night. At the end of two hours, we felt we had been entertained, not bored beyond belief.
So long, farewell, auf Weidersehen, goodbye: “Bad Day” is out, replaced by “Home.” Different background song, same ending: Paul Kim, Rudy Cardenas, Amy Krebs, and Nicole Tranquillo all went home.
None of the four cuts are really surprising. Paul and Amy had disastrous outings. Rudy and Nicole weren’t as bad as the two, but they still weren’t all that impressive. It’s true that there were worse singers out there (Antonella and Sundance come to mind), but let’s be fair: none of the four were going to advance very far. It was just a matter of time. Let’s use our litmus test: were we entertained? Answer: not really. Maybe they weren’t the four worst singers, but we doubt they would have lasted into the top 12 at any rate.
You have officially been pimped: longtime Idol viewers will note it was a little hard not to miss the blatant pimping that Lakisha Jones got on Wednesday night. We can’t help but wonder if the powers that be have erred here. She was very good on the show, but her versatility is still an open question. The closest parallel may not be to Fantasia Barrino, but to Mandisa. That’s not such a good thing – Mandisa bowed out 10th, after all. The real front-runner may not be Lakisha, but someone like Melinda Doolittle or Jordin Sparks.
The Simon and Ryan Chronicles: while we don’t have the distaste that others have for Ryan Seacrest, we have to admit this act of him and Simon liking or not liking each other is getting tired. We have no idea what the whole “sweetheart” exchange on Tuesday’s show was about. If we didn’t know any better, we’d say it was some kind of elaborate publicity stunt. But American Idol would never resort to that, wouldn’t it?
From the Overblown Stories Department: we’ve heard about the leaked photos of Antonella, the most (in)famous of which had her sitting on top of a toilet. Our reaction: what’s the big deal? No doubt they’re dumb, but to paraphrase Scott Adams: at one time or another, we’re all idiots. AI contestants are no different.
On the topic of boobies: Tyra Banks on Kat McPhee: “I squeezed her boobs and they are real! They’re jiggly and soft!”
According to Article 43, Section 19c, Subsection A: the rather dubious quality of the male half of the top 24 made us wonder about some of Idol’s rules. Specifically, why are contestants who make the top 40 but not the top 24 not allowed to come back?
When Idol had the original format from seasons 1 to 3, the rule was if you made it to the group stage you couldn’t come back. The rule made sense – America had decided, and it would be unfair if people who made it that far could come back again.
With the change in format to the 12 guy-12 girl format in season 4, however, the rule changed to something that made no sense. What was the merit in banning someone from coming back if America hadn’t had its say? More often than not, it seems, good talent is left on the plate while mediocrity gets through. Where’s the benefit of not letting people like Marissa Rose, Tommy Lewis, and even ex-Brokenote Cowboy Matthew Buckstein come back for one more try? They can’t be worse than what we’ve been subjected to, right?