Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Now that Sanjaya has been voted off, AMERICAN IDOL turned to another charity, the fight against poverty. It was AMERICAN IDOL GIVES BACK week. Similar to the Jerry Lewis telethon except it only lasted one hour not nineteen, and Paula had all the jewelry not Wayne Newton. It was a worthy cause and a lovely gesture but an “historic event in television?” I don't think so. That would be the night Randy had an original thought. We’re still waiting for that historic night.

And while we’re on the subject of overstatement – Ryan asking viewers to vote saying “it’s the most important call you could ever make.” Let’s see? 911 emergency or voting for Jordin so Newscorp will donate ten cents?

When I heard the theme was songs that inspire I held my breath. There’s only so much…well… “inspiration” I can handle… which is maybe one thrilling , stirring number during the opening ceremony of the Olympics. In other words, one every four years.

Nice of Rupert Murdoch to donate (up to) $5,000,000 (not even guaranteed), but that’s like you or me dropping a quarter in a tip jar.

Please please please Fox, don’t look at the huge ratings Wednesday and decide the Africa footage could be a great spin off.

It was a tough night for the judges because how do you tell someone singing a “life anthem” that he sucked?

Although I thought Blake Lewis sorta did. He has the same blank expression whether he’s singing “Imagine” or “Mack the Knife”.

Unlike the Chabad telethon, at least they didn’t have a running crawl -- Morris Fishbine, Brentwood, $18 in memory of Sophie Fishbine… Nosh n’ Lox Deli, Encino, $18, in honor of pastrami month where all sandwiches come with soup…

Melinda sang beautifully as usual. But I was not inspired. There will come a day, hope is never gone, let love be your guide, wherever you go, there you are… I GET IT.

Didn’t Paula, with all that bling . seem a little over-dressed for a mobile health clinic?

Listening to Chris Richardson sing through his nose I thought this guy could do his number while drinking a glass of water. He may have to do that next week if he even survives this one.

Laugh of the night: Paula telling LaKisha she shouldn’t attempt to sing Fantasia. Fantasia?? Fantasia shouldn’t attempt to sing Melinda.

Phil Stacey is starting to look like Casper the Friendly Ghost but without as much color.

Jordin Sparks blew everyone away. She IS the next American Idol. I was worried Paula was going to tell her she shouldn’t attempt Rodgers & Hammerstein, but she didn’t.

Considering how sincere and important the tone of Tuesday's show was, I fear that Wednesday night’s two hour ooze-a-palooza will have even Jerry Lewis switching over to JERICHO on CBS because he wants to watch something a little lighter.


Anonymous said...

At this point, Ken, the only reason I really pay attention to Idol is so I can appreciate your weekly analysis even more.

I'm convinced that when Al Gore was thinking about inventing the Internet, he foresaw your blog and knew that the world would benefit.

Time to read it again.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait for tonight's results to see who gets voted off: Ford, Coke, AT&T or News Corp....

Anonymous said...

I have a problem with using starving children to attract A-list celebrities to perform on a star-studded extravaganza so that FOX can charge 2 hours of premium advertising rates (and then pat themselves on the back for being "do-gooders").

I wrote about this at TV Squad, but a lot of people don't seem to care that FOX is hosting a fundraising drive and taking a piece of the pot for themselves.

It just seems a tad bit exploitive and self-serving to me.

Anonymous said...

If one of them sings "You'll Never Walk Alone" near the end of tonight's show, that's it for me.

(And if Fox does spin off the African kids into their own series, they'll do it on MyNetworkTV, due to the relative demographic target audiences...)

VP81955 said...

The runaway success of "American Idol" proves, once and for all, we have devolved into a nation of squealing shopgirls (and their male equivalents).

Emily Blake said...

"If I Couls Change the World," although a good song, is really about wishing you could make somebody love you, not about saving people.

Sometimes I wonder if people ever listen to lyrics anymore.

Dweeze said...

The runaway success of "American Idol" proves, once and for all, we have devolved into a nation of squealing shopgirls (and their male equivalents).

Yes, because before AI there were never pre-fabricated pop stars that far outsold more talented individualists.

Oh, wait.

Sometimes I wonder if people ever listen to lyrics anymore.

Still better than last year, when Taylor Hicks turned Stevie Wonder's "Livin For The City" into a feel-good peppy dance number. Or when he said that he liked Elton John's "Levon" because it was about family values.

Man, I still hate Taylor Hicks.

Anonymous said...

The low point for me came when Simon said, as he toured that food pantry, that he was stunned to find out that there were hungry people even in LA. Even in LA! I'm sure the windows in Simon's limo are tinted, but roll them down every once in a while, for God's sake. What'd he think, everybody drove drophead coupes and ate caviar?

? said...

lizbeth, you're damn right.

Mary Stella said...

I'm away at a convention and didn't get to watch all of Idol last night. However, even if Ryan had not informed us all of how it was an immensely important night, I would have known immediately because Simon wore something other than a T-shirt.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad some of the posters shared some of the absurd things said during the "Hungry Kids" segments last night since, not being a masochist, I hit the "Mute" button each time they switched to Noble Mode. I will be watching "Jericho" which, even though it puts Gerald McRainy in my living room in his non-stop Self-Righteous Mode, at least won't be trying to inspire me.

BTW, the last time I heard, Africa was a very large continent, not a country. Did Ryan ever say WHICH African countries they were visiting in those silent (On my TV) segments? It seemed like they just went to "Africa", a big generic place, white, with a blue stripe above the word "Africa".

I half expected to see Ryan & Simon getting off the Jungle Cruise in Adventureland, and talk to hungry kids in line for "Indiana Jones & the Temple of the Forbidden Eye". Let me tell you, a dime won't feed the hungry kids in Adventureland. The food prices at Disneyland are through the roof.

Although it was the most important call I would ever make (Ken's right. Calling paramedics when my mother was deathly ill was trivial next to a dime for "Africa"!), I kept to my Never-Vote-For-an-American-Idol-Contestant policy, and just sent them a dime in the mail.

My pick to go home tonight: Nosferatu.

Anonymous said...

I forgot to add, but I will watch the final two minutes tonight, but that's all.

Anonymous said...

They finally voted Rosie O'Donnell off...

Anonymous said...

If you really think about it American Idol is the most charitable show on TV. Simon Cowell is a hybrid mix of Bono, Angelina Jolie, and Mother Theresa all rolled up in one.

What other show would make household names out of the likes of Taylor “I is a” Hicks, Clay “Ass” Aiken, Reuben “I wish he” Studdard,and William “you know I’m not” Hung??

Okay, maybe Punk'd. If MTV still actually did music.

Anonymous said...

At the beginning of the show, they did mention going to a slum in Kenya. It wasn't clear if every time they went to Africa it was Kenya. I think one segment might have been in South Africa (the music video with Carrie Underwood?). The little Madonna clip was from Malawi.

Anonymous said...

Woah, glad i went to this link today. You are so right on about... everything. I will be interested in hearing myself (again) on this website in the future.

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean. But remember, this is Bono's effort to get this show (Idol), which reaches such a large audience, to participate in something humanitarian. My impression is that Simon was pushed into this kicking and screaming. Simon probably only agreed because he would make money.

Anonymous said...

Seems most of what I see here is negative and a lot of it very harsh. Can we never give credit to people at least trying to do something to help the world? Would you expect to be able to reach millions of people without television (who last time I checked is in business to make money like the rest of us). Too bad more people are not spending their time trying to help solve problems in the world as they do complaining about or being critical of others.

Anonymous said...

Loved the play-by-play rundown of last night's show. Particularly because I didn't have the time or energy to devote to the entire, monstrous telethon. Yes, it was for a GREAT cause but...yawn.

I have to say that I wish I understood why everyone loves Jordin quite as much as they do. I find her likeable and very talented for her age but her performances haven't moved me since week one. Melinda is it for me, dawg.

Anonymous said...

It really bothers me to read comments from so many UNCHARITABLE people. If the money raised saves the life of just one child, then the 2 hours and few minutes to vote of my time was well spent!
Don't be so critical of the "means," praise the "results."