TELEVISION REVIEW: American Idol Season Eight So Far.... Ish.
It’s official, being a critic requires you to be a closet masochist or is it sadist? I always get confused. Whatever the correct word is, I apparently love to punish myself by watching crap that I know is, um… Crap, that I really hate, but can’t seem to turn my eyes away from, especially if it’s free and as easy as sitting on my butt and shutting my brain down. I have tremendous will power when it comes to avoiding garbage movies because it requires a LOT of effort to actually go out to a screening or even see a film on opening day. Ok, not a LOT of effort, but it certainly costs money. But that’s not the case with television, just turn it on, and it’s there in the background while you are doing something else. This is the secret of American Idol’s success. Returning for an 8th season with a brand new fourth judge, Kara DioGuardi who adds absolutely NOTHING to the proceedings. It seems like the Producers hired her as a big F.U. to everyone’s favorite drunk, Paula Abdul.
After 7 seasons and hundreds of thousands of auditions, maybe it’s time for the Producers and fans of American Idol to come to the conclusion, that just maybe, maybe, there really is a very limited pool of talented singers that can be found and Idol has just about reached that nexus. I mean the people that they have put through this season would never have gotten through in previous years. There was the bikini girl from a few weeks ago, there’s the weird Spanish girl and the goofy guy with the hair this week, then the producers have some weird fetish for 16 year olds – girl or guy. And they always have. If you are between the age of 15 – 17, have some poise and can sing barely ok, you are almost guaranteed a spot. I think this is the first season that I’ve actually watched past the 3rd episode, generally, I watch the first 2 episodes and then lose interest until they get down to the top 15. It’s hard to get attached to any of these no-talent, no-body, wannabes. They spend way too much time on the bad singers, doing the lame profiles when you know they are going to end up blowing. Then after spending an hour watching all of these dreck singers, we find out, oh by the way “20 people got tickets to Hollywood.” Yes the bad singers are funny, in moderation, and this year the judges aren’t as cruel as they have been in the past. So if they aren’t going to be cruel, what’s the point of making the audience suffer? All four judges still come across as those annoying “hipster,” kids who think they are too cool for the room and are the gatekeepers to your entry into the cool kids table.
Again, this is when I say Kara adds nothing to the proceedings, other than Paula has been almost too quiet this year. It’s been primarily the Randy and Simon show. In the last installment Kara tried to show some personality and argue with Simon, but it seemed forced and scripted and there’s been no disagreements at all. There are four judges, so they never explained what would happen if it’s a split decision. Of course that hasn’t happened this season since all four seemed to agree on everything. I have no hope that this year’s Idol will be any good, at least talent wise, but it’s a free train wreck, and while I say I won’t watch again until they get down to the top 15. I am curious to see what exactly happens during Hollywood week.