Tuesday, January 16, 2007

American Idol Season 6 Premiere - Auditions Week 1A - Minneapolis

Greetings Idol Phanatics across the Globe! (Yes, I'm just going to assume that my Blog Fame has gone Global now!) Welcome to the American Idol Blog, the one that started the craze in me needing to write about every show I watch or people asking me to write blogs about shows THEY watch! (and yes, I still am not getting paid for it!) So here's the big question folks. Are we really ready for yet another season of awful singing, fantastic unintentional comedy, awful INTENTIONAL comedy, unnecessary guest appearances and potentially a COUPLE of showstopping performances that this season will bring? I'm going to guess that America is more than ready and willing to crown a new Idol and submit his or her name (and a few of the near winners) into the Idol Money Machine.

And what a machine it has become! You can't turn around these days without seeing a former Idol contestant in your face on a TV Show, a Billboard Advertisement, a song on the radio, SYNDICATION (American Idol Rewind anyone? I'm watching!) and some former contestants at awards shows winning prestigious awards (Kelly - Grammy's, Carrie - CMAs, Jennifer Hudson - GOLDEN GLOBE? wow!) Did I mention Thanksgiving Parades? Did I really need to wake up Thanksgiving morning to Ace Young singing with his falsetto voice (lip synching, might I add!) with weirdly dressed teenage girls dancing around him? Ahh gotta hand it to Philadelphia for booking "talent" for their parade!

But come on, we all get caught up in it from time to time. And we all have our favorites. I know some Claymates out there are probably enjoying floopy haired Clay's follow-up album and the Soul Patrollers of the world will support Taylor and his mediocre single "Runaround" until the very end. Chris Daughtry is also finding some success with his band titled similarly to the likes of Van Halen and Bon Jovi, aka "DAUGHTRY." And a slew of other Season 5 contestants released albums this year as well. And Ugh....Fantasia has herself a hit Hip-Hop single....gag me!

Then, of course, there are some of us that just like to stick with supporting the REAL Talent that came off of that show! (oh come on, you know I'm bound to have at least ONE low blow per week!) Last year I gave you a status on how I spent the "off-season" fueling the Idol Machine and I shamefully told the tale of going to see Kelly Clarkson in concert. Well folks, this year was NO different! Well maybe a little different. I think I finally realized how ashamed of myself I was this summer when I forced my girlfriend to go to a Kelly Clarkson concert with me fully knowing the show was already sold out. And yes we bought high priced scalped tickets to see it! I still am shaking my head in disgust at myself over the whole thing! (You see a wise straight man, would tell you that it was the girlfriend forcing him to go! Not me! I'm coming clean!) I think some of my shame comes from the fact that the show this summer just wasn't that good! It was way too big of a production and Kelly wasn't quite up to the challenge. She did much better last year with just singing and rocking out with her band than she did this year with the huge light show, set pieces and remixed songs. It just didn't work for me. Oh well, we'll see if she gets back on track in March when her new album debuts! In the meantime, Carrie Underwood has been on quite a roll with her 4x Mutliplatinum album success and her recent tour with Brad Paisley which I was fortunate enough to see twice! I gotta say, this show was fantastic and even has me coming around on country music! Carrie really put on a spectacular show. I was sold when she busted into a little Guns N' Roses "Sweet Child of Mine" and actually pulled it off! No shame in seeing that concert, not even twice! I'd go again if they were still on tour! And I encourage everyone to climb on board of the Carrie Underwood Train. She has a bright career ahead of her. My only advice for her would be to not bring Anthony Federov to another Country Music Awards show. And if she's going to stick with NFL Quarterbacks, she might want to find one that actually CAN hold a football for a kicker in a big playoff game!

See? The Idol craze has officially taken over life as we know it worldwide. The Brand has been merged into our daily lives and FOX, Clive Davis and the Crazy British People behind Idol couldn't be happier! Because what does all of this IDOL MADNESS translate into? MONEY, RATINGS and POWER. Why Power? Anyone notice how Friday Night Lights decided to leave Tuesday Nights and move to Wednesday at 8, out of Idol's way? No accident folks. How about LOST moving to Wednesdays at 10? The truth has set in.....NO ONE can compete with Idol. Not even huge ratings hits. So everyone has cleared the path for this to be the highest rated season for the show yet. When on earth will this madness end? I'm hoping for sooner than later. I just can't imagine what a few more seasons of Idol will do to the music industry! But when you pull in ratings like they do, it just seems like it will continue for as long as Simon Cowell is alive and getting paid millions to bring his tight t-shirts and snide comments to the show. It will last as long as Paula keeps on taking her meds or drinking that juice that makes her so ummmm so....."intriguing!" It will last as long as Randy has a Dawg Pound and can think up a few new words or phrases per year to use the whole season. STANDING O DAWG, We Got a Hot one RITE HEEEYA! And of course, it will last as long as Ryan Seacrest can maintain his status as the most boring person alive while continuing to make mediocre jokes that the world seems forced to laugh with! Well, I don't know about you....but I just can't say no to that winning formula! So sign me up for one more year!

Okay....now onto Recaps! I know I promise this with every blog, but I'm gonna try to stick to it this year. The Auditions....while funny and entertaining to watch, I just don't see much BLOG material in them. Last year, I documented in detail the BEST and the WORST that performed at EVERY.....SINGLE.....AUDITION. And knowing me, I'm probably going to be swayed into doing it again. But I'm going to try and keep the Audition Blogs simple and try to just point out some noteable performances. Some people who actually might have a chance down the road. When this blog really should start to get interesting is when we hit the Top 24 and then definitely when we hit that Top 12. Obviously, this blog is an exception since I feel the need to tell you all about myself before starting off a season of Idol! So buckle your seatbelts kids....IDOL is about to begin, again!!
WEEK 1A - Minneapolis Auditions
Okay, so I wrote everything above BEFORE watching tonight's episode. Now all I can say is thank God for TiVo. I feel sorry for anyone that watched tonight's show with commercials! Sometimes it seemed like there were more of them than the actual show! Of course, maybe all of those previews for next Monday's 24 were better than tonight's episode because let me tell you....it was HORRIFIC! I've never been afraid to tell people that I'm no fan of the Audition episodes. But for some reason, most of America just takes it all in. I can't get past the whole concept that most of it is staged. You saw it yourself...they fill up the stadiums and arenas with 10,000 people (100,000 auditions in total)....everyone is screened by various groups of judges before they narrow it down to the group that will meet our infamous "TV" Judges (and Guest Judge Jewel...conveniently promoting a new album!) I'm sure I've mentioned this all before, but how are we supposed to accept the fact that these PRE-judges let in all of this bad talent to see Simon and crew? Do the Pre-Judges talk them up and tell everyone how good they are? Only to see their hopes and dreams crushed on National TV? I dunno, but the whole formula just seems OLD now and there is just nothing very original coming our way (yet....I know...we're only in Minneapolis so far). And the worst thing is....there wasn't really much Talent that we saw either. Even of the people that COULD carry a note, No one really wowed me. Is this the best America has to offer? I sure hope not or this is going to be a long long season. Here are some "high"lights of who got through:
  • Denise Jackson - aka "Crack Baby" - A 16 year old girl with pizazz but with a tortured past. Yes folks it's a cross-breed of Paris Bennett and Fantasia Boringo. If America likes her story, we may see her for awhile. But boy did I find her atrocious!
  • Perla Mendeses - aka "Shakira 2.0" - Well...they thought she was INTERESTING enough to go to Hollywood. And they like her singing Shakira like songs...like Simon said, that will limit what she can do. And well...who needs another Shakira? I guess we'll find out.
  • Jarrod Fowler - aka "Token Navy Guy 2007" - He wasn't too bad on the Rascal Flatts tune. Randy pulled out the normal "Pitchy" card in his descrption but it's okay...SIMON thinks American is going to like this guy! Wonderful!
  • Michelle Steingas - aka "That Blonde girl we saw on the commercials" - She was good. Picked a weird song. But is she an Idol? Too early to tell, but doubtful. But it's okay...Simon thinks America is going to like this girl! Wonderful!
  • Matt Sato - aka "ZIT NOSE" - Well he's 16 and he has a mature voice. We've heard it all before. Has a 16 year old ever won this competition? I've yet to see it! But he's got a sad story that he couldn't afford to sing professionally because his parents are struggling...ooooh can you hear America crying everyone? It's okay if you weren't....because our buddy MATTY was crying when he got his Golden Ticket! Like a little 16 year old baby! awwww It's okay Matt, just pop that zit and you'll feel a lot better!
  • Rachel Jenkins - aka "Token Army Reserve Girl who only joined the army because her Husband was in Iraq" huh??? also known as "I'm cool because I talk to a picture of my husband on National TV!" - She started off her audition well but faltered at the end, but it's okay. Simon thinks America is going to like this girl! WONDERFUL! (Wow...Simon is getting repetitive this year, isn't he?)
  • Sarah Krueger - aka "I'm trying to be Katharine McPhee but I'm not!" - They just threw her audition in like a 1 minute clip of her singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and then they just said she was "refreshing"....so refreshing she only got 1 minute of airtime! niiice Sarah! Good Luck!

The rest was just more of the same ol' BAD auditions. And I already explained how they all seemed fake. You had your Wizard of Oz singing Lion girl, your Disney Theme Park singer (Randy/Simon banter was mildly amusing on that one), The secretary whose Boss is in love with her and flew her out for an audition, the American Idol obsessed fan who loves ACE YOUNG (need we say more?), the URBAN AMISH GUY? Seriously???, The rambling guy who thinks he can sing like Mariah Carey, another cowboy wannabe, the list goes on and on and we've seen it all before. And of course somehow, after the judges crushed all of these contestants' hopes and dreams, they were still able to get them all to come back and sing a line or 2 of their hometown hero PRINCE's "Kiss." I still don't know how they do this!

Before we close up shop for the night, let's have our first PAULA ABDUL WATCH of 2007. Did anyone notice she barely said more than 3 words in every audition? Was she edited out for being obscene? It seriously looked like she was being held up by puppet strings...she kept falling over...flopping her arms about and just looking pretty much incoherent. At times I was wishing JEWEL was always the 3rd Judge. But what fun would THAT be? If this is any indication of what we can expect from Paula in season 6, then there might just be a reason to still tune in!

I know I'm being harsh on the show tonight, but come on! This was pretty bad! And we have 5 more cities to go through in 3 weeks? (or is it 4? I always forget). Whatever it is, it's way too much! I'm sure they'll give more attention to the Southern States' Good Singers. Remember, all 5 of our Idol winners have come from South of the Mason/Dixon Line. I don't know why this year would be any different!

Well, tomorrow is Seattle. And from what I've read and now what we've seen in the preview...it looks like there are absolutely NO good singers to come out of Seattle. I may be forced to blog about these crazies that they dug up to be on the show. It's okay folks, week 7's ABBA THEME NIGHT will be here before we know it! YES!!!!!

But I promise you, my sarcasm will NEVER go away! Have a great day and see you after the Wednesday show!


Unknown said...

Tonight was definitely awful! I would even say worse than that KC concert last July! ;-)

Anonymous said...

I have to say I somewhat enjoyed the episode last night...other than it being an hour too long. Here's why: I think people are getting to involved with the actual process and not focusing on the pure entertainment of the show. It was supposed to make you laugh at the clueless and try and guess who will make it far. Plain and simple. Everyone knows it is staged and set up. They couldn't possibly do it any other way. I frankly enjoyed Simon last night egging on Randy and his set up facial expressions. But that is only my opinion!

Mike V. said...

Yeah, it's true. I agree that it HAS to be staged and that it can be entertaining. I think my real problem with it is that if you've seen one audition, you've seen them all. This is the 6th Season we're seeing it. Idol has always been tweaking the format of the show to improve on previous years. They do not touch the format of the AUDITION process because it consistently pulls in the high ratings. Not only is a 2 hour episode of auditions way too long (my bad an hour and 25 minutes with commercials!), but it's the 3 weeks of these auditions that gets annoying too! I understand that they have 6 cities worth of Auditions to air, but some of the stuff they aired last night was just pointless. The endless crying of the Jewel Clone, the 5 minutes of the person who didn't know the words to KISS. Like you said...it was all to fill the 2 hours.

And I probably would've enjoyed the banter between the judges (which I agreed in the blog that I liked Simon and Randy's banter) if it weren't for the Guest Judge messing up their rhythm. Thinking about it more....it seems like Paula may have been annoyed that Jewel was there stealing her spotlight. Hence, maybe why there were barely any comments from her.

I just think every year there are less GENUINELY BAD singers out there and it's more people grabbing the spotlight. Sometimes it works anyway, sometimes it doesn't. Last night, for me, didn't work. I'm just tired of the Auditions. But watching them is essential to start building relationships and associations with the eventual Top 12!

I'll try to be a little less harsh with tonight's blog! lol

Thanks for your feedback Laura. I always like different opinions than mine!

Of course, I like when people agree with me too! lol So, thanks for agreeing with me Shanna! ;-) I agree that even Kelly Clarkson on a bad day could top any of our featured Golden Ticketers last night!

Anonymous said...

It is 9:15 Wed. and I am done for the night with Idol. They need to be showing more of the good singers. The judges just seem annoyed and not very funny. I already lost interest. That being said... last night was much better than this episode.

I agree with a lot of what you are saying Mike believe me... I just like to write stuff for you and be different!!! I think it was a little first episode fun and I don't normally watch these episodes. I tune in when they narrow it down more... but there is nothing on TV!!!

Mike V. said...

that's hysterical that you said that, because I liked tonight's episode better! lol...but i'll save it for the Blog!