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American Idol: We’re there… finally!

May 25, 2011

Season 10 of American Idol has been touted as the season with the richest and deepest talent pool in the show’s history and I don’t dispute that. But I think season 10 has also been the most boring – and predictable – in the show’s history.

Bottom line for me: I miss Simon Cowell and American Idol isn’t the same without him. Yes, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler were fun to look at and, at times, listen to, but as talent judges who were on-hand to, one would assume, offer feedback and criticism to the competitors, they were useless. Jennifer less s0 than Steven for obvious reasons.

Oh well. I knew all that going in and I still made the choice to watch and here we are over four months later and the show is set to crown the season’s winner. But not before we get to hear the two finalists sing for us again. A coin flip determines the order of the singers and we’re off.

Round One: Favorite Songs
Scotty McCreery: I liked it the first time he sang it and it was alright again last night. Would it still be good if I had it on an album or was hearing it for the 1,000th time on the radio? That’s the key question and I think the answer is no.

Lauren Alaina: (A doctor, complete in scrubs just like on Grey’s Anatomy, is brought on stage to explain to us how Lauren blew out a vocal cord or something and he compared it to a sprained ankle. He doped her up and all is well and we can all thank him for saving Lauren’s life… and the show.) Lauren’s song: I liked it the first time she sang it and it was alright again last night. Would it be… blah, blah, blah, you get the idea.

Round Two: Idol Choice
(Random thought to self: Why am I watching this show?)
Scotty: If this were a concert I’d be fidgety and wanting the headliner to come on stage already.

Lauren: What can I say that matters. The song was pretty, she was pretty and she sang it well. Beyond that I don’t care.

The judges begin the laborious – and meaningless – task of deciding who “won” each of the first two rounds. The most relevant comment goes to Steven who said he gives the edge to Lauren because she’s prettier than Scotty. I think Randy said something about someone being in it to win it. “In It To Win It” t-shirts, bandanas, temporary tattoos and bumper stickers available for purchase in the lobby after the show, folks.

Round Three: The Original Song
The icing on the cake; the original song the winner will be saddled with singing for however long. I was ready to turn the volume down at this point, but honestly, I thought both songs were pretty good. Scotty’s was a little corny (“I Love You This Big”) but it was also tender and sweet and he sang it well and he made it believable for me. Lauren’s song (“Like My Mother Does”) made me think this was the song Lauren was born to sing. I loved it, and maybe I’m a sap, but I loved Ryan trotting over to escort Lauren down the stairs so she could hug her mother mid-song. The hug was a beautiful American Idol moment that I think transcended the show and into the hearts of everyone watching. Love Lauren or hate her, I think it’d be difficult for anyone watching not to feel connected to her during that song.

Best of the night:
Scotty is Scotty. He’s a good singer and he seems like a nice kid and he’s already got an “image”, but I’ve been bored with him for the last few weeks and he didn’t do anything to change that for me last night. I imagine Scotty to be the type of performer who will give concerts where the exact same set list will be performed each and every night and the songs will be, note-for-note, identical. His stage banter between songs will change only with the name of the city he’s performing in and he’ll make hundreds of millions of dollars. I think Lauren has the ability, at least after what I saw last night, to rise above that and be a performer who actually connects with fans. I’m not sure I would have thought that about her a few weeks ago, or even last week, but now I blame that on the fact that she was singing songs – and being judged on songs – that weren’t hers. With a song of her own it’s a completely different story. I guess that’s a long way of saying I thought Lauren was the best of the night, besting Scotty in all three rounds.

Who will win? Nigel Lythgoe.

Which singer will come out on top? The smart money has to go with Scotty, but my prediction is Lauren had enough going for her last night (the medical emergency, the doctor’s appearance, playing through the injury, two good performances and an emotional third performance) that when combined with what I see as a less than reputable voting system, should put her over the top and make Lauren Alaina the 10th American Idol.

If you’ve stuck around and read my American Idol thoughts over the weeks here I’d like to say thank you for doing so!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Sherece permalink
    May 25, 2011 6:20 am

    I think I’m ready to say outloud that I’d like Scotty to win, but that comes with reservations. I thought the doc, the medical emergency and the walk over to Mom may have all been scripted to give Lauren the edge. Not fair to Scotty. However, Scotty seemed so unexcited (is that a word?) to be there. It’s like he knew the powers that be already had their winner – and it wasn’t him. He did his thing like only Scotty could do. Lauren is good, too. But I think she was given more opportunities last night that were not provided to the Scottymeister. It looks like VFTW has Scotty as their chosen one. Not sure how much weight they carry this year, but he may have rec’d a push for votes through their website. Regardless of who wins, we’ll be seeing both these kids again for a long time to come.

    I would say it will be interesting to see who wins. But, I’m not sure “interesting” will follow through! lol Maybe the guest stars will bring the added zing to thrill us during tonight’s finale and they will help to catapult Season Ten into everyone’s favorite season ever! Yeah, yeah!!!!! Season Ten!!!! Best Ever!!!!! Wooo hoooo!!!! It could happen….. right??? ;)

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  2. May 25, 2011 8:24 am

    I’ve enjoyed reading your thoughts on AI this season. I had to read your post to find out anything about the show last night. I gave up the season when James went home. After he was gone, I didn’t care who won.

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  3. CELT permalink
    May 25, 2011 1:19 pm

    I can best sum up the end of this season of American Idol with 3 words – “I don’t care.”

    With the elimination of Haley last week I lost all reason to watch AI ( and all respect as well)and indeed I did NOT watch last night’s show nor do I intend to watch the season finale because you see, with Haley gone, the choices of this season’s Idol come down to Tweedle Dum or Tweedle Dee and by saying that, understand I mean no real disrespect for the artists themselves. I’m sure they both will have successful careers, but I won’t be following them.

    The fact of the matter is that there are two people left, both teenagers in the country genre and therefore I have nothing in common with them, will never probably listen to anything they record and indeed, being country, their music will not even form a blip on my musical radar and good voices or not, I personally don’t feel they truly represent “American Idol”. Perhaps if it was “American COUNTRY Idol” or American TEENAGE Idol” then perhaps their membership in this continuing lineup of winners would feel legit to me but the truth is, for me at least, I think Idol went WAY wrong when they lowered the age of entry.

    Both kids are attractive, sing well, and seem to be genuinely “nice” people who have every right to do well in a musical career but should fame, fortune, and a hefty head start on a golden musical path be something awarded to two TEENAGERS for crying out loud? Sure, there have been OTHER wunderkind performer through the years (think Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Paul Anka, etc. etc.) but in their cases, they paid their dues, did the hard work, were lucky enough to have backers with brains and knowhow to steer the talent they already possessed, but weren’t handed the brass ring on a silver platter just because they were cute, had some talent, and teenagers with too much money and time on their hands text voted for them to become stars.

    I can see the writing on the wall. This trend will not end any time soon I predict and thus, for me, Idol as we knew it is over and if you are over the age of 20, you probably won’t have a ghost of a chance in this competition as long as the teenagers with the itchy texting fingers and computer savvy are the ones controling the vote. There were far more talented people in this year’s competition who fell by the wayside because they weren’t tweenybopper approved voteworthy material.

    Those Idol hopefuls already cast adrift, luckily for them, will also in all probability do well since they have the vocal (& musical) chops to parlay the Idol expsure they got into healthy musical careers (Casey, Haley, Pia, James come immediately to mind) and so Idol hasn’t been a total waste of time. Former Idol hopefuls like Jennifer Hudson and Adam Lambert, to name but two, have proved that not winning the title can sometimes allow them the artistic freedom to use the Idol exposure as a a springboard to better careers and so it serves a purpose for them without them needing the title to do well but American Idol as it is now appears to be to me is nothing more than a marketing juggernaut designed more to promote Coke and Ford and provide untold millions of advertising revenue to Fox and as a sideline, afterthought if you will, foist some wet behind the ears teenager into a business that might eat them up and spit them out as easily as it can make them rich, famous, and robbed of the rest of their formative years and any hope of going to college and completing an education to provide them with the educational cushion to soften their eventual fall from the heights of instant, fickle, fame.

    Each year I am seduced into watching Idol (the early audition shows being my guilty pleasure and easily the most entertaining phase of the competition for me) and I admit to losing interest as the season wears on and more and more deserving singers are starved of the votes to keep them in the competition and cute young teenagers or more Bible Belt Acceptable singers rise to the top while those with less physical appeal or checkered backgrounds or history or lifestyle choices fall away despite greater talent because they aren’t what seems to be what is fast becoming the Ideal Idol Apparent – the cute, teenage, God-fearing, conformist, fresh-faced singer, acceptable more for what they DON’T show than what they do, namely, they don’t rock the boat and create waves, and will never alienate the middle American, Bible Thumping, CONSUMERS whose dollars drive the commercial turbine engines of the Corporate Machine that is really what Idol is all about. They have enough talent but not necessarily the MOST talent and therefore, each year the public will be eagerly ready to eat up and spit out yet another fresh face (lamb for the slaughter?) while they fuel the bottom line for Fox, Coke, & Ford.

    I wish the about-to-be-crowned winner the best of luck and my congratulations are reserved for the Idol castoffs who have managed to avoid being shackled to the Idol Machine (beyond the summer tour that is) because they have already received the best Idol can offer – the exposure – without the cost and they have emerged out the other side of the Idol Machine relatively unchewed and free to steer their own course in their musical career using TALENT as their engines. I hope they realize that Idol was just a shadow that crossed their paths and they have avoided signing their souls away in blood for the sake of just a title that is more of a burden than it is ultimately worth. To them I say, count your blessings – the best is yet to come!

    Michael, I thank you for the Idol discussions over the course of this season. I haven’t always commented but I surely enjoyed reading! Next time?

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