Monday, November 22, 2010

The Difference Between Female Music Stars and Strippers

It dawned on me after viewing the American Music Awards that there no longer is a fine line between America's female music stars and America's strippers or 'ladies of the night'.

Sure the venue might be different and the audience might not be allowed to approach the dancers, but the (lack of) clothes, dancing gyrations and and overall performance of the leading ladies leave little to the imagination and little doubt that what we're getting is a fair dose of what we'd see in Bada Bing, baby.

Who are they kidding?

Not me anymore.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

American Idol's Hollywood Week Didn't Live up to Expectations

Bring on the top 24.

In an effort to try and change things up this season, the American Idol team at Fox didn't do Hollywood Week any justice, in my opinion.

Instead of building the expected and anticipated drama leading up to the selection of the top 24, it felt more like we were watching a documentary narrated by Ryan Seacrest. Seacrest has made a fortune from his wit and charisma, but there's no reason why his should have been the voice that we heard most on an episode of American Idol, especially when there were still dozens of performers left.

This was especially true during the episode last Tuesday where the contestants were split into three rooms; the episode started by showing us how the AI hopefuls were already split, before knowing how any of them performed. Nice little change up the producers threw us there, but the problem was that we had to listen to an hour long Seacrest monologue to figure out who did what; and the anticipation was negligent because there was so much cutting, editing and back-story-filling that viewers still didn't know who was who or who was were by the time Simon, Ellen, Randy and Karla entered the rooms to give the thumbs-up or thumbs-down.

I understand that the producers like to mix it up and a bit and keep a long-running show fresh, but as popular as Idol is, I'm not sure that it's a good idea to 'fix something that ain't broke' - and Hollywood week was broken this season.

That said, I'll be back for the Top 24.

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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Some American Idol Notes, and LOST

Hollywood Week

The much anticipated Hollywood Week began on this season's American Idol on Tuesday, and in my opinion, it disappointed.

With the one hour format there was bound to be some cutbacks, but the cutbacks this year are taking away from giving the viewer a glimpse of the talent (or lack of it).

The performances of only one or two contestants from each group was shown, and even then it was only for a few seconds - most of the episode was taken up by back stories, not the singing and performing that you'd expect from a talent competition.

Because so much time was dedicated to the back stories and viewers only heard one or two contestants per group sing, the 'elimination rounds' came about with zero suspense or anticipation. Without the anticipation of who goes through and who doesn't, the show is weak, and there was no anticipation this week.

Maybe it's the shorter format, but it looks like Hollywood Week is just going through the motions before the real fun starts; but Tuesday's episode was boring enough to lose quite a few viewers who are more interested in singing than in all the back stories.

I'd think that there is more of a happier medium that can be found between personalizing the contestants and allowing the viewer to hear them sing, but the opening act of HW wasn't even close.


It's still too early to comment on Paula Abdul's replacement, but my first thought would be to wonder how the big brass at Fox couldn't pull in someone - anyone - with experience in the music industry.

No offense against Ellen, but her critiquing contestants in a singing competition is like VFC critiquing a med student - it just doesn't fit. Ellen's comments are going to be perceived by both the audience at home and the contestants themselves as 'armchair quarterbacking'.

She'll entertain, I'm sure, but it's unfair to the contestants to not have an industry insider on the panel.

In my opinion.

The Howard Stern Rumor

I think that Stern coming to Idol is just rumor, although Howard has stated on his SiriusXM Satellite radio program that he recently turned down a significant offer that many have speculated was the Idol offer.

Howard on Idol would be a disaster - not quite for ratings because people would tune in just to hear what he'd have to say, but the integrity of the show would take a huge hit as Stern - like Ellen - has no valid experience in the music industry to justify a presence on the panel.

If the contestants were all dressed in Jell-O and were bouncing around on stage, then I'd say there's few out there that are more qualified to judge the competition than Stern, but AI has become a program that the fans and the contestants take seriously - and a move by the producers to bring in Stern would indicate that the network doesn't.

It's not that Simon is sometimes brutal in his commentary that people love, it's that he knows what he's talking about when he says it.

Howard would spell the end of AI as a talent competition; at the point he came on board it would be purely an entertaining charade.

Netflix, Inc.

VFC is a bit late to the game, but after re-watching the season premiere of LOST, I'd have to think that Jacob is back in the form of Sayid....interesting.

Especially after the real John Locke said to Jack in the airport that they haven't lost him (Jack's dad) body, they've only lost his body.

It all comes together somewhere, I hope.

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