Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Few Words on Season 9 of "American Idol"

What can I say? I've been watching this season, somewhat desultorily, since Hollywood Week, but haven't felt in the least like blogging any of it. Either the "Idol" talent pool is just especially underwhelming this year, or I've finally outgrown the show. Or maybe both. As a show, "Idol" is really showing its age. Even the addition of Ellen, who's perfectly adequate, if not exactly inspired, as a judge, hasn't been able to inject much new life into this lumbering old warhorse. Besides, four judges is too many; I've started fast-forwarding through their comments, esp. since they keep giving conflicting advice. Plus Simon looks bored, Kara still bugs (it's more her manner than the substance of her comments), and mentors like Miley Cyrus add nothing to the musical cred of the show.

That's not to say there's no talent to be found - there is, though it shows mostly in flashes and glimmers - but far too few of this year's contestants have it all together as performers, which has made them something of a chore to slog through, more so than usual. Or maybe I just miss David Cook and Kris Allen.

Anyway, here are my general thoughts on this year's field:

IN A CLASS OF HER OWN: Crystal Bowersox. Unlike the other contestants, she sounds like a professional artist already, one who's already found her niche and what works for her. It works for me, too. Her one flaw, so far, is a certain lack of originality. But hey, this is "American Idol" we're talking about.

MOST LIKE ADAM LAMBERT: Siobhan Magnus. Great pipes, arguably the best of this lot, but too fond of wailing...and it's difficult to pinpoint what her musical identity would be, esp. as a recording artist.

SOLID BUT NOT TERRIBLY INTERESTING: "Big Mike" Lynch, Lee "I sound kind of like David Cook but don't have one-tenth of his stage presence or charisma" Dewyze, Casey "Cougarbait" James

BROOKE WHITE VERSION 2.0: Didi Benami. I rather like her, mind - she's got the kind of tone and vibe I dig in my personal listening preferences. But she has really got to become more comfortable and consistent as a performer to go the distance.

DAVID ARCHULETA, VERSION 2.0: Aaron Kelly, though he's a pale shadow of Archuleta vocally. I think he should have waited a couple of years before trying out for "Idol."

HIT OR MISS: Paige Miles. There's something about her I like, and she has a good voice. But she's still very amateurish and has had some awful performances, tonight being one of them. Would not be surprised if she goes home tomorrow.

WTF IS SHE STILL DOING HERE?: Katie Stevens. Is like a lesser, WAY lesser Kat McPhee or Diana Degarmo, both of whom could sing circles around her. She *so* did not deserve to outlast the quirky silver-haired girl (Lily?) and the curly-haired blond chick (Katelyn?).

YAWN: Everyone else

I AM STILL MAD ABOUT: Alex Lambert not making top 12. That kid was as green as they come, but musically he had more potential than half the contestants still in the mix.

And that's all I got. I'll probably continue to watch, and if any of this group does something to change the above opinions, then I may resume weekly recaps. But until then - I just don't feel compelled to blog the show regularly. The bloom is off the rose.


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