Monday, January 14, 2008

and then there were seven...

Looks like it's that time of year again. It's snowing, it's cold, the post-holiday letdown is just starting to ease, football season is in its last weeks and something else.

Let me think...

Oh yeah. Season seven of the world's favorite talent show is about to begin.

Because THIS is American Idol. Seven.

Season six, arguably the worst season in the show's run, saw the ratings drop to only category 4 tornado levels from the tsunami levels of the past, and, according to Nigel Lythgoe, the producers have learned some valuable lessons from last year's snoozefest that they vow to put into place.

Fewer mentors. Thank you to the Idol Gods for this one. We've screamed for years that we watch to see the kids, not Gwen Stefani pimping her latest CD under the guise of grooming the contestants to be the next, well, Gwen Stefani. Nigel, in this week's TV Guide (on your newsstands now!) promises only a sprinkling of professionals, and only those willing to put Barry Manilow-level effort into actually coaching the kids.

Musical instruments. I'm undecided on this attraction, actually. After all, the panel of pickies is always reminding us that this is a singing competition. I'm not going to complain about keyboards and guitars on stage quite yet, except to remind the producers that there's already one America's Got Talent. I watched it. We don't need another one.

Stronger field. Paula says in the TV Guide article that she can't even remember any of the kids from last season. And, except for Sanjaya, neither can I. They promise a deep final group, reminiscent of season five.

This is the best season yet, says Randy.

Doesn't he always?

I don't know about that, but I do know this. The taste of last season is still in my mouth, despite the number of times I brush my teeth. I can deal with mentors, as long as they don't hog the show. I can deal with a guitar or two as long as there's a decent vocal to go along with it. And I can deal with the Sanjayas, just as I've lived with the Leah LaBelles and Scott Savols of the past.

But I will not deal with another season where the kids are the afterthought, playing supporting roles to "superstars" with CDs to hawk. (Unless they're Idol alumni superstars with CDs to hawk, then I'm down with that.)

One of the downsides to syndicating the seasons past on American Idol Rewind (check your local listings) is that it has reminding me what hooked me on this show in the first place. Season two is airing now, and the focus was (and was up through season five) on the contestants, who they were, why they were there, what made them tick. We got to know their families - I can still pick out Ruben's and Clay's mom from 20 yards. That's the heart of this show, making us care about these kids, care enough to be excited for them when they advance and heartbroken when they have to watch their funeral videos.

That's the show they need to return to. Maybe it would be a good idea for Nigel and company to watch Rewind and remember how they got to be the tsunami they were.

Ready to ride the wave again?


I detest the audition episodes. I will watch them. I may blog about them. But this blog will fire its guns in earnest once the semi-finals begin. I hope you'll join me.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

First post of the season!!!
Hey, Jennifer!!!
Let's hope for a really entertaining season of A.I.

4:21 PM, January 14, 2008  
Anonymous tracyintpa said...

Looking forward to Season 7 and looking forward to following along all season with this great blog. Its such a great "companion" for the show. Here's to a season that will rival season 5!!! Jennifer, so happy to see you back!!

5:56 PM, January 14, 2008  
Blogger Dori said...

Hi Jennifer, Glad your back. I missed you. I'm ready to ride the wave again. This season "has" to be better then last year.

7:50 PM, January 14, 2008  
Blogger Laura said...

Hi Jennifer! Happy Idol Season 7. I am watching Idol Rewind in all of its glory, and I am reminded how much I love and miss Season 2. With the exception of Carmen, of course. Looking forward to your blog.

8:03 PM, January 14, 2008  
Anonymous ChrisROCKS said...

*stretching, yawning, scratching, coming out of hibernation*

Hey Jennifer!

Glad to have you back! I concur with your every particular, your thoughts on leaving the cd-hawking pros to fend for themselves. They don't need AI to sell their wares.

I'm looking forward to this season (as I do every year). But I've been reading elsewhere that the voting is being taken out of the hands of the viewers. Who's going to be voting, then? Actually, I've been saying for years now that the solution to the Sanjaya-factor is to have ONLY the judges voting through contestants til they get to the final 12. If they're truly concerned with getting only the best to the end, then it behooves them to put only the best into the top 12. Then let America decide who the winner will be.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to your weekly dish. Even if AI falters, I can count on you to make things entertaining!

Seeya tomorrow!

9:38 PM, January 14, 2008  
OpenID nrlbaseball said...

Jennifer, I couldn't agree more. I was so disappointed up to & including the finals. If I want to see the established stars I'll watch MTV. The show has to be about the kids - their hopes, dreams, families, etc. and we only got snippets of that last year. Juxtapose that with season 5. I know it's a crap shoot but we got to see a lot of the top 12 as they made it through auditions. There was none of that in season 6. It was almost half way through the final show last year until we got to see Blake & Jordin sing together. I hope they learned.

6:48 AM, January 15, 2008  
Blogger DrillerAA said...

Welcome back girl!!!
Yep, time to whine and moan about all that is wrong with our favorite show while hoping that we see the birth of a super-star.
You're right about one thing, after last year, there is nowhere for this show to go, but up. So....up, up, and away. Let the games begin!

7:42 AM, January 15, 2008  
Blogger Kristi Mantoni said...

YEAH!!! It's here! I've missed your comments Jennifer. Can't wait for you to get in full swing.


9:43 AM, January 15, 2008  
Blogger Ginafish said...

Yippee! American Idol Season 7! Please oh please let them not push established stars in our face. I'd love to see some more momma's and poppa's cheering their child's dream. And if we can't vote till the final twelve, maybe that would weed out the Sanjaya's. :) Yippee!

10:01 AM, January 15, 2008  
Blogger Jax said...

Just found your blog...LOVE IT...anxiously awaiting Season 7 to start....ahhh 28 minutes anyway I will be back.

7:32 PM, January 15, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The man in the yellow jacket singing "Go Down Moses" Was hilarious - That is the hardest I have laughted during any Season


9:28 PM, January 15, 2008  
Blogger Becky said...

Woo hoo! Doin' the robot around my office... Tyler just asked me the other day, "Mommy? What happened to that bad singer show?" It's coming back, baby! Any day now!

9:36 PM, January 15, 2008  
Blogger The Daily Admin said...

Woo Hoo!!! It was brutal but its back. I almost want to not watch again until March. Lord Help Me!!!

10:15 PM, January 15, 2008  
Anonymous gavintiegirl said...

Woo Hoo!!! It was brutal but its back. I almost want to not watch again until March. Lord Help Me!!!

10:16 PM, January 15, 2008  
Anonymous Melissa in TN said...

The stalker guy, Princess Leia and the glittery girl were way over the top. Why do these people humiliate themselves on national TV?

I felt sorry for the "Go Down Moses" guy and Temptress.

10:57 PM, January 15, 2008  
Anonymous JessiJames said...

Ah, we're back, it's back, it's the best time of the year :)

Go Jen GO

I'm with Chris, they need a tweak to he voting. I would be happier, at least until the top 10, with either the Dancing With Stars method of letting the judges and audience have equal voting power, or better, the Grease way that allowed the judges to "save" the person in the bottom 2 they wanted to have stay around. I think that method is more likely to spare the unintentional low vote that sometimes gets a good person off the show.

and I LIKE Barry M weeks!! I think they need him to be the permanent coach! He actually COACHES them. I guess most of us have noticed that when he's done a week, the kids, even the bad ones, actually sound decent to great. So I'm very happy to hear there are less guests, and just hope the ones they have are, as Jen mentioned, going to actually INSTRUCT the kids and tell them what they are doing wrong etc., and how to use the proper keys etc.

And OMG the Prince Leia guy. That was simply scary. I love Star Wars, and that was DISTURBING. The stalker guy I loved. That sound was crazy at first, very freaky, but as he got all the rhymes going, I was laughing my butt off. And I couldn't help but bust a gut at the line about I broke in, got naked and put on your underwear!!! hahahaha (just hope he isn't a real stalker)

I do like the Oregon/horse/kick boxing girl, and the guy who started the show, plus 2 other guys in the middle. The girl seems to have a nice voice, and strikes as more pretty than Carrie. But I can't really explain that. It's like Carrie is the ultimate girl next door when she was on the show. Completely unassuming, very natural type of pretty. A farm girl. This girl, while having much of that, looks like she could also pull off a more sensual look, be sexier as it were. But with her horse and country lifestyle, perhaps she IS Carrie all over again. She'll be interesting to watch in Hollywood week to see if she shows up or disappears.

Oh i love these episodes, but would like more time with the people that move on so we get to know them better :)


2:45 AM, January 16, 2008  
Blogger angelof_mercy81 said...

Welcome back, all! I've missed this board...and I've missed "Idol" even more. I'm in agreement with Jennifer: it's about time they shifted the focus back to the kids. I could spot Katharine's dad or Elliott's mom a mile away, but last season I couldn't have told you whose family was whose.

And oh, my: the scarily made up rocker chick, the overage guy who wanted to sing his song, the Princess Leia wannabe, and the very scary guy in what looked like a belly dancing costume all conspired for a night of entertaining TV last night. If this was Philly, I can't wait to see some of the rest of the cities.

12:09 PM, January 16, 2008  
Anonymous Tracy in Kentucky said...

I completely agree with Melissa in TN. I know all the freaky folks make for good tv, but they could have achieved the same results by giving them about 1/2 as much screen time.

My heart truly went out to the Go Down Moses guy and Temptress...

5:06 PM, January 16, 2008  
Blogger Dori said...

How many weeks of auditions left? They may be funny at first, but get old real fast. Half the people that try out need to be medicated.

1:16 PM, January 17, 2008  
Anonymous ChrisROCKS said...

"Let my PEEPUL goooooooo..."


4:41 AM, January 18, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey! The top 16 were spotted at Pasadena City Hall today. It looks like they were filming a commercial for Ford.

8:07 PM, January 22, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

article on Perrie the widowed pony tailed dad who made it to Hollywood - Has criminal record

10:04 PM, January 23, 2008  
Blogger Dave said...

A criminal record won't necessarily get someone DQ'd. If they have a criminal record and told Fox/19E about it in advance, they'll probably be fine (ie-Bo). However, if there was an omission or you "forgot" to disclose something, they'll kick you off in a heartbeat (ie-Corey Clark).

12:45 PM, January 26, 2008  
Anonymous daughtrylover said...

I've been enjoying your blog for the past few season's....and like many other's, I'm glad your back. I agree that they should go back to showing more home footage and family stuff. And, yes, they should definetely cut out all the CD selling and highlight the kids. I would also like to see some of the past contestants like Taylor Hicks, Elliot Yamin, and of course,Daughtry!

4:19 PM, January 29, 2008  

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