Thursday, February 17, 2005

A guilty pleasure

I know it's pitiful, but I enjoy watching American Idol. Even though most of it is nothing better than glorified karaoke, there are a few standouts each season. I hold out hope that the truly best talent will win, but after last year's fiasco extraordinaire that ditched LaToya London, who by all rights should have been the winner, I stopped watching the week she was voted off. Likewise, for the second season, I didn't think Ruben Studdard was the best of the bunch. I liked Clay Aiken, but if I'd been the sole judge, the season two winner would have been Kimberly Locke. She had a lot more stage presence than either of the other two, and sang as well or better than either of them, too. The only winner so far who has deserved the number one spot is Kelly Clarkson, and the first time I heard her, I said, "that girl is going to win." And win she did. But what did it get her? Though she has had some success, it's been limited at best. Her best work was the single Miss Independence, which was flawless - and a great departure from the sickeningly bubblegum A Moment Like This which was old news by the second time it was performed.

Anyway, I have a thought or two about the final round picks. Mario Vasquez is absolutely the most talented of the bunch. Can he win? That's a tough call. He's adorable, has a great voice, and has incredible stage presence. That's usually the kiss of death for people on this show. But I really hope he does win, and not just because he's a hometown boy. He's the one contestant that really stood out through the entire audition process. Anyone who would dare tackle Bohemian Rhapsody a capella and belt it like a champ while charming you out of your seat should go a long way on this show. Another favorite of mine is Travis Tucker. Definitely "top five" material. Carrie Underwood is beautiful and has a Martina McBride-like voice...but will she be able to believably perform more than country material? The jury is out. But she is one of my top five picks. Anthony Federov is an interesting character with a nice voice, but I don't know if he has the staying power to make it all the way through. He's very Harry Connick Jr. in his delivery and definitely not mainstream, which could work for him or against him...the viewer-voters are so fickle.

I'll reserve future judgments until after Tuesday's show, when I can review the first-round female picks again.

Now as for the show itself and making "idols" out of these kids, well, I haven't seen it happen yet. Kelly Clarkson has been the most successful of all of them, and she's still just a struggling artist. I fear that as long as she's being managed by Simon, she's relegated to the same schlock stuff she's been being forced to turn out. She may never break away and shine like she has the capability to. And as I said before, she's what I consider the best of all of them. For a vocal contest, I would say that there are a lot more versatile talents out there who are becoming idols every year without the help of this show, and I hold a lot more respect for them, because they came about their success the hard way...the truly hard way.


At 11:29 PM, February 16, 2005, Blogger Crash said...

Wait. What does this have to do with the new house?

At 7:25 AM, February 17, 2005, Blogger Marc said...

Crash: you are such a bitch. :P

At 11:17 AM, February 18, 2005, Blogger Jere said...

I enjoy watching AMERICAN IDOL too, not because it's good music, which it's not, but because it's interesting television. These are two distinctly different things.

I also find it interesting to watch singers go through some approximation of what I do on a regular basis. As they say at AVENUE Q, "Schadenfreude!"


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