Just in case anyone had thought that the Idol franchise had departed us, we are currently getting down to the business end of the 9th season of the American version. As much as the names and the faces have changed, it is pretty much the same ol’ same ol’ this year… And that folks, is not a good thing. Although, I must admit that there have been a couple of positives worth mentioning this time around and I’ll get to them later.
The usual controversy occurred with one contestant who had been named in the top 24 being disqualified due to an existing contract with some kind of (surprise surprise) boy band. As if to put us through hell and back on purpose, the powers-that-be replaced him with some kid named Tim, who subsequently stunk up the stage as the worst performance on top 24 night. Of course, this is Idol, so Tim survived based on his looks and his ability to be drowned out by screeching 15 year old females! A month later and Tim is still sucking, except now he’s made it into the top 10.
With 4 contestants initially being eliminated each week, there was some potential to be heard in the top 16. However, almost half of that was eradicated by the American public when Alex, Katelyn & Lilly were voted out heading into the top 12. All 3 of these contestants had at least a semblance of originality about them and could have even been considered likely winners come season end. Alex’s elimination especially made no sense, while Katelyn was not assisted by new judge Ellen DeGeneres, when the “actress” and “talk show host” referred to her excellent rendition of Coldplay’s ‘The Scientist’ as “sleepy”.
The less said about Ellen, the better. As for the other judges, one of those aforementioned positives does occur here. No, it’s not Pitchy Jackson. Nor is it Simon Cowell, who last week had the gall to be critical of someone for “not being contemporary” one minute, and then gloating about working with Susan Boyle the next! No, the positive is Kara DioGuardi, who has progressed tenfold from her debut season and has hardly put a foot wrong. Not only is she more forthcoming this time around, but her strike rate of being right on the mark with her comments is phenomenally high. No wonder Simon is quitting after this season… Kara is making him look like a fool.
So we are now down to our top 10 and I just wish they would hurry up and get down to the top 5, because there are still some shocking singers left remaining. How the likes of Tim, Andrew, Casey, Aaron, Michael & Katie still remain is beyond me. Well, in the case of the good looking males, it’s actually quite obvious, but you know what I mean.
As you can probably tell from the above list, the quality of the female contestants is above that of the males this year. Only the David Cook like Lee has any kind of talent that can be harnessed in the near future. He will hopefully make the final 3 with two of Crystal, Siobhan & Didi. And there is the other positive concerning this season; an influx of quirky females who appear to have found an audience. It’s a pleasant surprise when the crowd begins singing along to acoustic folkie Crystal performing a Janis Joplin song, or clearly enjoying Siobhan’s eccentric re-working of The Rolling Stones’ ‘Paint It Black’.
Of course, this is American idol. And as Kris Allen’s victory last season proved, anything is likely to happen on this show.