Friday, April 8, 2011

Diagnosis: Idol Apathy


American Idol is strange for me this year because I don't have a favorite. The singers are good enough, but I haven't been voting because no personality or performance has reached out and grabbed me like Crystal Bowersox or Adam Lambert did in the past. I keep waiting for one of these contestants to draw me in, but so far it just hasn't happened.

Having said that, I do not think Pia should have been the one to go home last night. Her voice is pretty flawless, although her ability to engage and entertain the audience does need some work. Hopefully, she will get a chance to improve on that in the future.

Stefano has a good voice, but now that the judges have ordered him to keep his eyes open in order to connect with the audience, it's hard to watch him struggle through a song. He ends up with those eyes slitted half-shut, looking awkward and uncomfortable. Not a good thing, as it totally distracts me (and I suspect, him) from the singing. Just give in, dude...better closed eyes than squinty ones.

I'm not a big fan of Paul's either, whose tone is a little too squeaky, smile is a little too sleeky, and vibe is a little too cheeky for me. Besides, Rod Stewart has already filled that slot. As for Jacob, his pipes are definitely a cut above, but his onstage presence can be off-putting, and he occasionally goes way over the top in his vocal riffs. Thanks to the judges, Haley seems to be forcing that whole growl thing a bit; and James Durbin, though unarguably good, is no Adam Lambert. Lauren is cute and talented but hasn't quite come into her own yet, while likable Scotty seems to have his genre down pat. Casey (the judge's big save) is all over the place; he's done some things that were top notch and some things that almost made me cringe. He may have what it takes (jury's still out on that one) but still needs to overcome the performance anxiety or whatever it is that makes him try too hard at times. (I do think his last two performances have been more in keeping with his early, interesting ones.) By the way, is it just me or was his reaction kinda creepy the night the judges saved him?

Here's the thing. None of them are bad singers (quite the opposite). But none of them are wowing me, either. That's the funny part about American Idol this year. Pia was in my top three, yet my emotions are only marginally involved in her exit. I'm sorry about it; I don't agree with it, and it puzzles me. Yet, I'm not mad or even particularly disappointed. And feedback from friends and family tells me I'm not alone in this.

I can't help but wonder if the judges are partially responsible. While I do like their personalities, along with the kinder and gentler approach they use, there still needs to be some actual judging involved (ie. frank assessment and targeted criticism). Sometimes Lopez hits it dead-on, but those times are less frequent of late. For the most part, the judges' feedback is so generic and their approval so easily won that it becomes easy as an observer to just slide along with them into fan oblivion. Apathy reigns.

I've had fun with Idol in the past and am hoping my interest level kicks up a notch in the next few weeks. I'm definitely trying to get there. But I won't be holding my breath.

25 comments:

Anna M said...

hit the nail on the head

except I might like Paul and dislike Jacob a bit more enthusiastically. (what was Jacob's whole bit about "If I'm in the bottom 3, it's not because I didn't sing well; it'll be because America wasn't ready to look themselves in the mirror"? I wanted him to go home just for that remark!)

Ames said...

I don't watch this on a regular basis. I just happened to watch it while waiting on a new Bones episode to air. My take on Pia getting the boot? I think she is good enough to get a record offer already. Something told me there's more to her just getting voted off.That's my 2 cents.~Ames

BEAR's Mom said...

yes i agree with Anna
especially about Jacob's comment
no one is jumping out of the box
there's not an Adam Lambert or
Chris Daultry or Carrie Underwood
in this group, for sure!!!

~victoria~

Em said...

I cried. I really did. I have been yelling at the tv that I want stefano gone for three weeks now. He has a little band of teeny bopper followers that vote for him bc they want to be his girlfriend and not bc his voice is good. And let's not get started on Jacob and his hip thrusting.

Laraine Eddington said...

Spot on Sue. I can't stand to watch the Thursday shows where they boot one off, so I was horrified to find out that Pia lost. Paul has always been the one I would have got rid of. I think Pia will do fine on her own.

anitamombanita said...

I totally have Idol apathy this year. So grateful for the DVR... I've honestly fast forwarded thru more than half the songs. I'm just not into it at all this year. But, having said that, I still have to watch enough to know what's going on. Too funny...

On the other hand, I'm thoroughly absorbed in Celebrity Apprentice this season, which I've never enjoyed in the past. There's just so much juicy cattiness going on, it's mesmerizing.

Ah, those guilty pleasures...LOL

Terra said...

I think that part of the problem is that they all have so much potential we can see them all with record deals even if they don't win...so...what's left?

Lisalulu said...

Apathy is a good word and I've only seen it a small handfull of times and I'm just not really into any of the singers OR judges. I'll just rely on your critiques!

Jenny said...

Rats! I haven't watched the results show yet...but now I can save myself an hour - ha!

I agree with you on all your observations Miss Sue. There is that new show called "The Voice" starting the end of April. I'm looking forward to giving that a try.

Nancy said...

Lots of potential this year. Jacob makes me uncomfortable, although his voice is good. Pia has a future...voice and looks (onstage presence will come), love Scotty, although he needs George Strait to mentor him on his stage presence. Agree with assessment of judges...not enough input on how they can improve...too nicey, nice..especially Stephen Tyler. He's nice to look at tho. Randy is trying to help them at times as is J Lo. Interesting year!

Brian Miller said...

smiles. this has been my fav year actually...i feel the talent level is higher than previous years...was a little shocked...she was not in my top 3 but thought stafano would be the one going...got the back of my aspie boys though...not a jacob fan...

Cherie said...

I haven't been watching it every week - it seems dull to me this time. I also do not have a favorite.

You are right about the judges though. They need to be a little harsher or more honest - How can they really help these singersif they give kind of the same "O.K." feedback all the time?

Improvement needs to be made in many areas me thinks.

Darlene said...

You really did nail it. Pia was one of our top three too. I honestly like most of them, but the judges are too apathetic and I totally agree with Anna about Jacob. I was ready for him to leave. I must admit I gasped when they said it was Pia going home. I did know it would be someone who probably shouldn't go home though when Ryan made his announcement about who would be going home. (I can't remember just what he said, darn!) Anyway we did expect a big surprise. It will be interesting to see who will win. I think Scotty has a good chance, but I'm like you, I don't really care as long as it isn't Jacob. I do think though that it must be the young girls that do most of the voting. There are only two girls left,and not one of the guys have gone. That seems to tell a story, don't you think?

Janis said...

Wow! You said that well! I completely agree. A.I. Is the only show that I have followed every single week year after year. This year I either fall asleep or get up to do something else. None of them grab me the way Crystal did. Love her! I've pretty much given up on the show but... maybe just maybe I will give it one more shot next week!

karen said...

I've never been able to figure out when this is on, so I've not been a regular viewer. Maybe this season it's for the best. Will it be on the night I'm at your house? Maybe then I'll finally catch it!

Stef said...

We are not into Idol. I know. Don't shoot me (wait, you can't. No gun) It's not something I can share with Hubs. Plus he just makes fun of their mouths anyway. Kinda ruins it.

As Sistas in Zion said...

Yes! It would be great if the judges actually had an opinion. Great for us at home, great for the contestants so they could learn and grow,great for the judges so they actually sound like they know something about the business they are in, Sue we nominate you to send them a letter. ;-)

blessedmom's simple home said...

We haven't watched it this year. I don't know why, as we've followed it weekly in past years. I always hated it when one of the judges (Simon) said something mean to one of my favorites, but I think I'd miss not seeing him on it too.
Have a wonderful weekend and thank you so much for sending a card to Jordan :-)
Blessings,
Marcia

yaya said...

I havent' watched Idol in years, so I just have to go with your review! Have a good weekend!

Caroline of Salsa Pie said...

Honestly, I haven't been watching it enough to really have a true opinion, but I can say one thing--I am so blown away by all the talent that is out there in this country. Can you imagine all the talented people who don't ever try out for a show. And only a handful ever "make it" with their talent?
I saw an interview with Simon Cowell about his new X factor show the other night. I'm wondering if Idol fans miss him/his judging or are glad he's gone?

NanE said...

I was SOOOO disappointed that Pia was voted off, she was my FAV and I thought she would at least make it to the top 3! I think it was a bigger upset than when Daughtry was voted off. I personally think what happened is that everyone "assumed" she was safe and didn't pick up the phone to vote. My second fav would be Lauren. I think Scotty will have a recording contract no matter what happens to him on Idol. I was insulted by Jacob's remark, and hope he goes soon! Yes, he has an amazing voice but to me, he is more suited to Broadway. Naima made a comment a few weeks ago that really irked me too and the next week she was gone. I think I was not the only one that didn't like her comment. OK, I'll jump off my Idol soapbox now, lol, have a great weekend, Nan

Donna said...

I liked Pia a lot so was sorry to see her go. LOVED your take on the whole thing!!

Grandma Honey said...

Reading this is like being in a foreign country. Proves to me just how out of it I truly am. We need to turn our TV on and see what everyone is talking about. I have no clue.

Cathy Kennedy said...

Pia didn't deserve to be booted off, you're right. She's one of the best singers. Did you hear Jimmie Lovine from Idol offered her a record contract? That's marvelous!

You're so right about the judges, they tend to be too generic with their assessements. This batch of contestants are over all some of the best they've had in recent years.

~Cathy Kennedy, Children's Author
The Tale of Ole Green Eyes

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Pondside said...

This is one show I've never watched - feeling very out of touch!

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