American Idol - I blame Randy Jackson

So… Anyone watching American Idol this season? I abandoned it two years ago, but decided to give it another chance when I heard who the new judges are. I always liked Harry Connick Junior, and he was always entertaining as a ‘mentor’ on the show. And I knew Keith Urban was smart and talented, and Jennifer is smart and easy on the eyes, so I jumped back on board to see if it was any good.

At first, all was good. The judges didn’t disappoint - best judges ever. The make smart, informed comments. Harry Connick Jr. is smart and funny but makes very pointed comments about the contestants’ performances. Keith Urban is fine.

The talent looked good. Based on Hollywood, the top 30 looked really strong. So I was thinking this season was going to be fun.

Then came the first live show, and suddenly Randy ‘dawg’ Jackson is up on stage, and they’re telling us about his special ‘workshops’ to groom the contestants. They’re going to be hammered with advice on singing, movement, hair, clothing, and most improbably, ‘spiritual advice’ from two ‘non-denominational spiritual advisors’. A shark-jumping moment if ever there was one.

Anyway, the poor contestants were forced to run a gauntlet of conflicting advice from Randy’s crew, and in the end, after watching the top 15 girls perform, every single one of them was a disappointment. Not one lived up to the potential they showed earlier. Most of them sang songs way out of their comfort zone, no doubt on the specious advice of Randy and crew. It was an amazing drop in quality.

I’m just watching the guys now, but unless anyone really comes out and does something spectacular, I may be done with this show. It’s amazing how much damage they managed to do to the girls already.

I don’t have a lot to offer other than to say, like you, I pretty much gave up on this show several years ago and was drawn back in this year because the judges seem so much better than they have been since Simon’s final season.

Having said that, I have to admit because of my work schedule and the Olympics I haven’t caught every episode. Just bits and pieces here and there. So, honestly I missed the Randy Jackson mentoring. This is the first I’ve heard of it. And I agree, having him still involved will only make it suck suck suck. Too bad, I thought it might be turning a corner and getting some of the old magic back.

I was just commenting that I wish we could do a final ten of all guys, all of the girls sucked and almost all of the guys were awesome tonight.

Fortunately, Randy isn’t involved much with the parts we get to see.

I was finished with the show when they voted off Melinda Doolittle. This was proof to me that most Americans aren’t qualified to decide what kind of music they like (yes, I know how that reads, and I still say I’m only mostly indulging in hyperbole).

As for Connick, I finished with him about seventeen years ago, when he decided he wanted to be a rock star, instead of a jazz artist.m

I started again (after a probably two year hiatus) this season, and made it as far as watching the girls the day before yesterday. Last night, The Long Riders was on TV on another channel so I figured it was an omen - I’m done with Idol. Period.

I’m liking this season. I got really sick of Nicki and Mariah really quickly. They could be fun to watch, but the fighting got old. I have to believe Mariah when she said she dreaded going into work [at Idol] every day. Harry and Keith or polar opposites of Mariah and Nicki. They’ve been a lot of fun to watch.

I understand what you’re saying, but also don’t forget that Melinda’s goal in life was to be a backup singer. I have a feeling a lot of that was due to her lack of confidence. That might have had a lot to do with her not winning or at least not making it a step further.

Also, after Randy talked about wanting to be out of the show, I have no idea why he’s back. Someone should go and find interviews of him from last year, from before the show ended and see if he actually said he wanted to step back from judging (like he said last night) or if he said he was ready to be done with the show (closer to what I remember). Not that it really matters, but I just get the feeling he came back and begged for a job.

I feel like the talent isn’t exactly stunning so far, BUT… the judges are pretty darn entertaining. I came back this season for Harry Connick Jr and he hasn’t disappointed. I even thought Adam Lambert and Chris Daughtry were good as mini-mentors.

So, overall, this is the best the show has been in at least 4 or 5 years.

Same here. I’ve only watched a show here and there the past few years because it’s been so awful. Harry has really lifted the show back up. Have you ever seen him sing live? It’s unbelievable.

I was so happy to see CJ make it through. He is one of my favorite guys. The girls can sing but are all so cookie cutter. None of them are interesting.

Other then Malaya, I think she’ll make it far. She’s different and she’s good. I remember for this week she was doing a Ray Charles song and the coach told her to look at the audience more so they could really see her personality more. She said “No that’s not gonna work. My personality doesn’t match this song at all…I’m weird”.

The people who had to sing last night were all much better than they were the night before - again, I blame Randy and his crew. This time they were singing the songs they picked before Dawg and his crew got to them.

I notice they haven’t said a word about the spiritual advisors again. They must have realized what a boneheaded mistake that was.

I’m still enjoying the show - primarily because of the judges. But there are at least a few interesting singers on this show and some of them can really play, too. So there’s still hope for an enjoyable competition.

Top of my list so far, in order:

Alex Preston (the weird looking guy who wears the guitar on his chest. Strange, but great singing and playing)

MK Nobilette - The trans-gender person. Sings from the heart.

Malaya Watson - Lots of talent, but unknown where she’s going with it

Ben Briley - Maybe a little too country, and maybe thinks he’s better on guitar than he is, but still interesting

Jessica Meuse - the one with the purple/red highlights in her hair. She’s got a Sheryl Crow kind of vibe going, and seems fairly authentic to me.

Jena Irene Asciutto - Great when she’s behind the piano, forgettable when not.

The rest are in a big pack. None are terrible. Some might really surprise.

It interesting that almost all the survivors also play instruments as well as sing. Remember when Idol didn’t allow instruments at all? This is much better.

And I’m so, so glad that Harry called out the band for sucking. Ricky Minor and his band are consistently weak on that show, and I have no idea how they’ve managed to stick around. After one of the mediocre performances Harry said to the contestant - “I didn’t think that was very good - but I’m not sure it was your fault. There was something going on behind you that just wasn’t right.” Then he looked right at the bandleader and said, “You guys have got to go back and sort out what you’re doing. That was not good.” Ha! Finally, a judge who really knows music and isn’t afraid to impose quality control wherever it’s needed. He should assign them a task - listen to the band on The Voice to hear how it’s done right. Then maybe they should go take some lessons or something.

MK isn’t transgender, she’s a lesbian.

Well, you say that… And certainly she isn’t ‘out’ as being trans, but it sure looks like it to me - right down to using a gender-neutral first name, probably chest binding, wearing male clothes, etc. I know a few trans-gender people quite well, and MK has that look to me. Which is fine. And it’s fine if she’s not. Just a supposition on my part.

She’s very out as being gay though. Is (and don’t anyone get mad at me here, I’m just asking because I honestly don’t know) dyke non PC yet? That’s how she comes across to me, as a very butch lesbian. BTW, if were not supposed to use dyke, what’s the current word for a very butch/manly lesbian?


She doesn’t strike me as ‘butch’. Which is why I think transgendered. The transgendered people I know don’t come across as ‘butch female’ or ‘flaming male’. They’re simply… trans. Generally being just their own individual self. Or sometimes just passing as a normal male or normal female opposite of their birth gender. The trans people I know aren’t trying to prove anything to anyone, they just want to be themselves - it’s just that their own identity doesn’t fit their birth gender. That’s how I see MK. But not being trans myself, I could be wrong.

Being 20 years old with ‘two moms’* it’s entirely possible she doesn’t know what she is yet as well. On the other hand, I’ve had at least one friend that I think we all knew was gay before he did. He set the closet on fire about 5 years before he came out of it.

*A)I put it in quotes because the first random article I read had it in quotes, I didn’t have any interest in researching why it was in quotes. B)I was hoping she was younger the 20 when I planned to make that statement. By 20, I’m guessing she has a better grasp on who she is then if she was, say, 15.

I generally like the picks better this year. This group of judges seems to go more for talent than just pretty faces, though I really don’t understand a couple of the teenagers who got through over IMHO better voices. (I wish they would raise the age limits to 18; 15 or 16 is too young to deal with the stress exposure of the show.)

I rolled my eyes back into my skull at the “nondenominational spiritual advisers”. The contestants have spiritual/religious views already or they don’t, but I really don’t think that Idol is going to find anybody who unites 30 diverse people into 1 Kum Bah Yah to begin with or that it needs to address that aspect of their lives. Now a therapist to help them deal with sudden fame and stress, that might be more justified.

Yeah…just what these kids need are spiritual advisers selected by the pious producers of American Idol. I agree a good psychologist would have been a FAR better idea; many are away from their spouse and kids and family for the first time.

I am not blown away by any of the singers so far. A few are pretty good, but nobody I am actively rooting for yet…

And once again, they have to have their front row crowd of arm wavers who have no sense of rhythm whatsoever. You just know they are forced to be “spontaneous” and woe be it to anyone who doesn’t have their arms up for entire songs waving them tediously back and forth. Hopefully they are getting paid to be moron marionettes.

The best part of this season so far is they have finally stopped showing (most) of those insufferable sob stories for each and every singer.

The things that bugs me most about Idol is the little crowd around the stage that waves their hands during slow songs or claps relentlessly throughout upbeat songs, no matter how inappropriate it is.

Huge improvements this season, starting with Harry Connick, Jr. He is an amazing musician who is turning into a great judge. Yay for calling out the band or the contestants when they screw up–the other two are too nice. However, unlike Simon Cowell, he actually knows what he is talking about. I was also glad that the auditions didn’t include the deluded contestants who thought they could sing. That was just mean.

My favorites so far are M.K., the cute young boy with the dark hair who flushes pink, and Ben Briley. Ben is a hometown boy; the MT hats he wears are from our alma mater. I like Jena when she sings, but hate her speaking voice.