Saturday, January 22, 2011

'Murican Idol Revival ?

Wasn't going to.
Swore I wouldn't.
I've sworn before.
But I watched again then.
And I did it again.

An Idol junkie, am I - that's all there is to it!

American Idol had become stale, and more obviously "fixed" than ever last season. We watched the opening shows of Season 10 on Wednesday and Thursday evenings this week in spite of reservations. It was a very pleasant surprise to find that the new judging panel changes the whole tone of the show.

Gone is the tiresome jaded sarcasm of Simon Cowell, embarrassing affectations of Kara Dio-wotnot, and the bland but well-meaning stumblings of Ellen DeGeneres who wasn't really suited for the show - good as she is elsewhere.

Enter Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler. Randy Jackson is the only judge remaining from previous seasons. He seemed a wee bit quiet this week, I thought - perhaps watching how the newcomers will tackle the job, waiting to fit in again. Ryan Seacrest is back hosting - the show would fail without HIM, of this I am absolutely certain. He makes it look easy - I'd wager that it's anything but.

One common factor among the judges - flashing white teeth! Lots of 'em: American Smiledol

Steven Tyler,(see my earlier Music Monday post) is proving to be a gem of a judge, so far, and great addition to the show. His quick wit and sense of fun has been something sorely lacking in seasons past. His experience of the music business, its demands and pitfalls will be invaluable as the show proceeds. Even now, on this brief showing he is providing insights previously missing. Something that particularly struck me as important: he pointed out to the other judges, who would have given thumbs-down to a young female singer, Broadway-styled, who said her ambition is to "bring Liza Minelli into the charts" that, as well as having a good voice, she had such boundless enthusiasm and personality:
"You won't find many people like that, that kind of enthusiasm.....I am going to personally work that into something good."
I admired Steven for that, Broadway isn't his thing, yet he was open-minded enough to see her potential - and he's so right. Cowell would have shooed the gal off with a sneer, dampened that precious drive and enthusiasm - perhaps even killed it off for her.

Trust a person like Steven Tyler, with Sun in Aries and stellium in Leo to appreciate enthusiasm. Talent without enthusiasm ain't gonna work!

Jennifer Lopez judged with fairness and grace, wary of being too negative initially, hating the first time it was necessary. She gradually began finding ways to tell contestants "No" without cruelty and with a positive remark to help sugar the pill.

They purged New Jersey and New Orleans of Idol talent this week. On to Milwaukee next week.

The new panel, and Steven Tyler in particular brought a much-needed blast of fresh air into the show. I suspect someone in "the executive" knew Steven Tyler personally, knew his personality and that he's more - much more - than a rock star whose best days are past. In fact, his best days might well be still to come. As transiting Uranus inches towards his natal Sun this summer, I'm betting there'll be some very interesting changes going on for him.

Below is the new panel with executive producer Nigel Lythgoe, who returns after a spell away from the show. I remember Nigel back in the UK, with his Nigel Lythgoe Dancers.He has "come a long way" since then. He, along with Simon Cowell are the ones to blame for Pop Idol in the UK, which later spawned American Idol. If anyone could manage to return the show to something nearer its original roots, he could....he is very familiar with its DNA.


Rossa said...

Nigel Lythgoe has been on TV in the UK again with "So you think you can dance?" I think it is based on a dance show he's done in the US but don't know what it's called.

They're advertising for dancers to compete in the second series at the moment. Due to be broadcast in the Spring.

Cowell is reportedly leaving behind X-Factor in the UK to launch the American version later this year. He was going to be doing both but it seems his sights are set on the US alone.

The media seems to think he will take Cheryl Cole, the X-Factor judge with him but her accent won't be good on US TV and her profile is too low in the States. Dermot O'Leary the presenter of X-Factor is said to want to present it in the US but same thing applies.

There are suggestions that Cowell has line up Nicole Scherzinger from Pussycat Dolls as a judge but no doubt a lot of this is speculation and teasers to get attention for the new show.

You seen anything of Piers Morgan, T? Reports here are that he has generally gone down well but again that may just be PR for the new show.

Twilight said...

Rossa ~~~~ Hi!
Yes, there have been several dance shows here, haven't watched any though - "So You Think You Can Dance" might be the Nigel one. Yes it is (according to Wikipedia).

I don't fancy X-Factor's chances here with those judges, but I used to love the show back in the UK.
It's a mistake to have too many Brits on one show here in the US - it annoys even me! And especially in a show where Americans are being judged!

We watched about half of Piers Morgan's new show on the night he had Ricky Gervais as a guest.
I wasn't impressed -his rather pompous attitude grates on me. He never seems quite relaxed, and "real" somehow.
I'm probably too prejudiced (against) to be fair to him. ;-)

Astrology Unboxed said...

I don't watch the show, but I remembered some comments made on Rolling Stone Magazine about Steven Tyler becoming a judge on American Idol. I think it want along the lines of this being a potential spectacular disaster since Tyler's capacity for focusing is non-existent. Rolling Stone Magazine comment was "his brain zooms from topic to topic, as he jabbers entire paragraphs of surrealist prose poetry, defying you to guess what the hell he’s talking about. But now the plan is for him to concentrate on the same topic for an hour at a time, two nights a week, on live TV? Gosh, what could go wrong?"
So I guess this could potentially provide some fun for the rest of the winter?

Twilight said...

Astrology Unboxed (Fabienne) ~~
Hmmmm - that doesn't match at all the impression we got of Steven Tyler. It's early days yet though.
I'm wondering if the author of that Rolling Stone article knew Tyler as a much younger guy, maybe during his druggy times.

He's 62 now, perhaps he has decided to age gracefully. ;-)

The editors are on hand to smooth things over during the "cattle-call" audition phase of course.
What we are seeing is going to be cleaned up and polished well.

It'll be interesting to see how Steven develops as the show progresses. I'd bet on him doing well. He's among a different set of companions here, different set-up altogether, different influences. :-)

R J Adams said...

Oh, you old 'Idol Obsessive', you!

'Fixed' - I'm sure it is. Not sure a new set of judges will alter that. I'd personally cheer the exit of Cowell from Heaven itself.

Twilight said...

RJ Adams ~~ Fixed it will most certainly be, El Corporatione will see to that.

The American public cannot be trusted to vote - in any election, political or even for a potential songster. Same applies in Idol as in the General Election - we think we're doing something - but.........