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May 31, 2011

Idol Chit Chat: 5 Things "American Idol" Must Do Next Season

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Scotty mccreery Quick, name this year's winner of  "American Idol." How about last year's?  The year before?

Okay, Scotty McCreery was pretty easy because he won just last week.

Last year?  A little tougher...oh yeah, Lee DeWyze.

But tell me, what does good old Lee look like?  Can't remember?  I wouldn't be surprised. 

First a little congrats to Scotty McCreery.  He seems like a nice kid and he'll sell a whole bunch of country records, so I wish him well.

I'll never listen to another thing he sings because that style of pure country just ain't my thing, but the kid's talented and good on him for winning.

Having said that, from this viewer's standpoint, this year's "Idol" was a big disappointment.  After starting out promising enough and coming up with a talented group of contenders, for some reason the show squeezed all that talent right out of them as soon as they became finalists.

During the auditions and Hollywood week, they took chances and they created memorable performances.  Once they hit the big stage, almost all of them became cookie cutter, ballad singing, nervous wrecks. 

Naima Adedapo took the most risks and was an excellent performer but her fusion of Elton John and reggae did her in.  Jacob Lusk had a fabulous, pure gospel voice, but his overtly gay mannerisms probably did him in.  James Durbin and Casey Abrams were the most entertaining performers, but Casey's evil beard and James' mix of metal and tears weren't what this year's voting public wanted.

Then there was the judging.  Or lack thereof.  Steven Tyler was a waste of time with his effusive compliments no matter how mediocre a performer was and though Randy tried to bring some honest critique to the table, too often he also got caught up in the lovefest.

Jennifer Lopez

The highlight of the season?  Jennifer Lopez.  She did herself and her career a whole lot of good by getting this gig, and with just a bit more honesty, will turn into a terrific judge.  Being treated to hubby Marc Anthony performing on the show was an added bonus.

But back to business.  Here are five things Nigel Lythgoe and his producing cohorts need to consider for next year to make this viewer happier:

  1. Give the judges a good talking to.  Remind them that if they're going to say that everyone is wonderful, there's no reason for them to exist after the auditions and they'll be fired as soon as the final twelve are picked.
  2. Limit the number of ballads.  I don't care if they have to have up-tempo nights or something, but they gotta get these kids off that ballad bandwagon and make them perform.  You listening Pia Toscano?
  3. In the same vein, have a couple of "judges choice" nights where the judges choose songs for the performers. The only limitation being that the songs have to be of similar tempo or style.
  4. Bring back more guest mentors.  Yeah, that producer guy who was mentor all season was supposed to be the "music industry expert," but viewers didn't care who he was and he added nothing to the proceedings.  On the other hand, Lady Gaga showing James Durbin how to shake his hips?  That stuff was priceless, and we need more of it.
  5. Limit text voting.  Yeah, I know I'm spitting into the wind on this one, but the bobbysoxer vote has run amok and it's time to balance the voting so that the few remaining adults viewers feel their votes will count as much as the fourteen year old Bieber-babies.

I've said my peace.  Nigel, ya' listening?

Images Courtesy FOX

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