Thursday, January 27, 2011

American Idol, Thursday 1/27/2011

The judges were bringin' it tonight, Dawg! I enjoyed the interaction between the three. How intimidating would it be to sing in front of these three. Everyone knows Randy from his past years on Idol. Jennifer Lopez has done it all in the entertainment industry. Aerosmith, with Steven Tyler, is one of the top 10 bands of the last 5o years

I liked Randy taking on the bad guy role and all of them recognizing talent when when it was there. Randy will be a nicer Simon Cowell. Not quite as abrasive or rude to the contestants or audience, but still telling the singer her singing is terrible.

Steven Tyler, we find out, is very encouraging of the singers. He lets the bad ones down easy and praises the good ones well. His asking them to belt it out, or let it out, is just what most of these wanna-be Idols need to have heard before, but didn't. Sing from the diaphragm! The singer who really sang from her diaphragm was the African-American girl from the farm who was raised by white parents. She knows how to belt it out! And best of all, she is in tune. She may go far, if she gets the right songs.

Jennifer Lopez is the taskmaster, piano teacher, not quite the Tiger Mother, but I wouldn't want to sing in front of her. She has the gravitas to be taken seriously as one of the best Idol judges.

No, we did not see all of the contestants that were let through. That's why we're judging the judges at this time. We'll wait until Hollywood to get settled in for the eliminations. But have we at last found three judges who can ensure that American Idol returns next season? Maybe.

I predict we're going to see much better talent sent through than we saw last season. Sure, the top 2 or 3 last season were good. But this year, we may just see a final 10 worth buying a ticket to see on the Summer Idol Tour. We're keeping our roasting skewers crossed for good luck!

After four shows, Idol is turning out to be not so annoying as early episodes in years past. I don't think we'll see hollywood be the zoo it has been before. If you have not been watching, I think you'll notice a difference this season. Bottom line:
Better judging - Better talent let through - Better show format.


American Idol, Wednesday 1/26/2011

At this point in the AI season (3 shows in) we can really only judge the judges. We get only snippets of the good the bad and the ugly contestants. So how do we judge the judges here at the NMR Institute? Between bites of our S'mores and sips of our hot chocolate with mini marshmallows, we look at their comments, jokes, and insightful knowledge of the contestants' abilities.

Randy Jackson talks straight to the contestants and after ten or eleven years, we are reassured that he is truly able to discern the talented from potentially talented from the talentless. I've come to realize that he has an ear for good, on-pitch singing and will let a contestant know when they do not meet the standard for moving on. He is likely to be swayed by tears and in a split Yes/No between the other judges, he will give a contestant the benefit of the doubt. I agreed with Jennifer that the 15 year old girl who drove with her family from Colorado should not have made it through, but her pleading sobs brought a yes from Randy.

Jennifer Lopez showed that she really does not have a problem saying 'No' to contestants with limited talent. That 15 year old should have been told by the other two judges to come back when she is older. Jennifer rightly told the girl it was a 'No' and she would get chewed up in Los Angeles. What a refreshing judge after Paula Abdul, Ellen Degeneres and Kara Dioguardi. Jennifer is alert, knows talent, and knows what it takes to make it in the business. Very combobulated! She may turn out to be the best judge we've had in all of AI - Simon Cowell, notwithstanding.

Steven Tyler has not yet added a lot to the show. He could add so much to the show and to his image. I fear he is being laughed at by the majority of the audience (the majority of the audience likely being under 21 years old if the ages of the contestants are any indication of the target demographic.) We now know what Steven's signature comment will be, and the ducks have all gone into hiding. I think he quit maturing when Aerosmith had their first hits 3 or four decades ago. Will he step it up and become a judge on par with Randy and Jennifer? Dream on!

I've visited Milwaukee and it seems like a nice place to live and raise a family. A bit cold at times - understatement notwithstanding. I ate at some fine restaurants downtown and felt safe walking around. I drove to Walnut Grove and walked along Plum Creek (a la Laura Ingles Wilder) and had a beer and tour at the August Schell Brewery in New Ulm. Yes, a very nice place to visit in May through October. It was American Idol's first time in Milwaukee, but I hope it's not the last.

Do you have any ideas where you'd like to see the show go next year? Birmingham? Boise? Baton Rouge? Allentown? Akron? Apalachicola?

Bonus question: What has been my favorite word to use in this blog? - combobulated notwithstanding.

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