Saturday, April 16, 2011

Thats it! I'm officially done with AMERICAN IDOL

Finally got around to playing back this week’s AMERICAN IDOL. I’ve been reviewing IDOL for this blog (originally every week) for the last five years. Well, after screening this week’s episode I can categorically say “I’m done.”

What the hell were these judges watching because it sure wasn’t the show I was watching? There’s not a single contestant this year that doesn’t bore the crap out of me and yet the judges think each and every one is the second coming of Christ. There’s such an utter disconnect with reality that AMERICAN IDOL has become the O.J. murder trial with a band.

And I’ve had it.

This was “movie week”, which was a joke.  They could choose any song that’s been in any movie ever. Other than “Sweet Black P*ssy” that’s pretty much every song ever recorded. So of all the great songs that have been in feature films, one knothead girl does an inane Miley Cyrus tune (standard tripe about moving mountains and reaching for your dreams. Yawn.), and the judges were moved.

Some kid croaked a Boyz II Men song and was so overwrought I thought he was going to have a breakdown right there on stage. It was a song from that tear jerker BOOMERANG. The judges thought it was brilliant.  Huh???

The 13 year-old country crooner who sings the exact same song every week and is about as contemporary as buggy whips was hailed as a new star. On what planet?

Contestant Casey’s schtick is to do something unusual every week. This week he struck out big time.  He tried to do a jazz version of Nat King Cole's “Nature Boy”. He was a sketch, adding “yeahs!” in the middle of stanzas for no earthly reason. For this unintended parody he received a standing ovation from the judges.

One girl was so bad singing “Call Me” that even the judges were forced to admit she wasn’t brilliant. But Jennifer said to vote for her anyway because too many girls are getting booted off. That’s objective.

The kid whose only real talent is pretty teeth made a mockery of “Old Time Rock n’ Roll” and for good measure, dressed like a jester. Randy named him the next great rock entertainer. LARS AND THE REAL GIRL had a better grasp on reality.

Another kid mimicked a metal rocker while the big African-American dude, whose style went out with the Platters in 1958, slaughtered “Bridge Over Troubled Water” (a song that qualified because it just happened to be in the movie, PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS.) Paul Simon was probably making a noose but Jennifer had chills.

Over the past two seasons I’ve gone from bored, to aggravated, to downright insulted. This show has become so contrived and so bogus and if the producers seriously believe that I’d buy into this balloon juice, they must think I’m a blithering, drooling, brain dead idiot.

But they’re wrong. I’m smart enough to delete my season pass for AMERICAN IDOL. And believe me, that was the only decent performance of the entire night.

Levine, OUT.  For good.


VP81955 said...

You mean no one did "It's Hard Out Here For A Pimp"? Land sakes alive!

YEKIMI said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
YEKIMI said...

With the exception of the first couple of weeks of auditions [where all the whackos, freaks and delusional people who think they can sing are featured] I have never watched this excuse of a so-called "reality show". And now that this season they have basically got rid of all the craziness of the auditions, I haven't watched it at all.

Terrence Moss said...

I haven't bothered to watch "Idol" since Season Eight when Adam Lambert (whom I saw out and about last night) revitalized the show only to have the producers muck it up in Season Nine and then destroy it in Season Ten.

The fact that they keep lowering the qualifying age pushes them further and further into the depths of irrelevancy.

Rays profile said...

I would have done "Uncle F*cker" from the South Park movie, but that's just me.

(Proud non-watcher of American Idol since the first season)

Mr. Hollywood said...

Ken, I'm amazed you stayed with the show as long as you have. What passes for entertainment is a joke today. The bits and pieces I've seen scream out "overproduced". Talk about "polishing a turd".
They should make it simple: male singers should be required to listen to the Sinatra library ... and the incredible range of songs that man sang. And then make an attempt at doing what he did. Same for the female singers. Listen to Ella and do what she did. Or try.
Suggestion to all out there: read a good book. Watch a fine film (like the original ARTHUR). Enough wasting time on this dreck.

Andrew said...

I've always wondering why somewhat with your talent and sensibilities watches this crap.

I've been told that if I don't like reality shows, don't watch them. But, they take the place of development of shows that I otherwise might like, but never come into existence. Idol is pure overblown, manufactured garbage.

Eduardo Jencarelli said...

The Sinatra, Fitzgerald and Franklin libraries should very much be a requirement.

I guess this is the result that we get from losing Simon Cowell. I used to love his style, his cruelty, and his selectiveness. I also admit I kinda miss Paula Abdul.

Cap'n Bob said...

All we need are the Jersey housewives snging while pregnant in high heels. Toss in a home makeover and you have a winner.

Mike Botula said...

Welcome to the club. I tuned out of this genre at "Star Search." Whatever happended to Sam Harris anyway? There is more talent at the Stockton Asparagus Festival!

The verification word for today's posting sums it all up - "inucksub."
Mike Botula

BobbyG said...

Ken, I agree with you. With the judges teling every contestant "You're great, you're great, you're great", they've basically made themselves useless. The kids may as well sing the damn song and let the people vote. The judges, by not critiquing them in the SLIGHTEST, have made themselves irrelevant.

Mac said...

OK, well I read your blog every day. I thoroughly enjoy your blog, it's my favorite blog on the net (along with Earl Pomerantz) but I won't miss your reviews of "American Idol." If "American Idol" and every other fucking 'reality TV' show was sealed in lead and kicked off the deck of an aircraft carrier twenty miles off the coast of America, that would be fine by me. Looking forward to continuing enjoyment of your blog.

Unknown said...


I felt like this about Idol for about ten years now.

*Cowell voice*


Hollywoodaholic said...

No adult straight male should ever be caught watching "Idol." But if you watch with a family or a group of friends, it's as close as you can get these days to a g-rated variety show that you can all enjoy trashing together.

Anonymous said...

Good! No more wasted space on that POS!

James O'Hearn said...


Normally I'm the choir you're singing to whenever you post, but I have to say I can't quite agree with you on this one.

Sure, you're dead on about Stefano and his "End of the Road" rendition, but last week's show represented a sort of watershed moment for the show.

Did you not see both Casey and James literally tell Jimmy Iovine, the man who is positioning himself as their puppetmaster/god, to go f- himself? Then, after Jimmy pissed all over their ideas, they went out and nailed it.

Casey didn't screw up Nature Boy at all. What he did, there on the Idol stage, has literally never been done in that environment before. The call out to Ray for his solo? The tandem improv counterpoint with scatting? What about the arrangement? That was all Casey.

You're dead on about the the judges channeling the Yeah Yeah Yeahs (if in name only) this year, but there was a reason Randy basically said "There's no point getting into why this was so awesome." The audience, and the demo wouldn't have a clue, musically, what had really just happened.

Maybe you just aren't a fan of country music, which would explain your blindness regarding Scotty McCreery, but yes, he's going to sell a boatload of albums. There is a massive block of the audience who absolutely does not care that he is a one trick pony, because that trick is so well done that they're not soon going to tire of it. Close your eyes when listening to "Can I Trust You With My Heart" or "Letters from Home" and see if you can tell that the voice is coming out a seventeen year old boy.

As for the "kid" who mimicked a metal rocker? Have we been watching the same show? You must have been watching the American Idol where Judas Priest and Sammy Hagar songs were trotted out from week to week for this to be so old hat for you.

I gotta say, Levine, that's so awesome that you can pick on a young father with Tourettes and Aspergers syndrome, who yet believes enough in himself to go out on stage and launch into a genre of music that has been all but dead for over a decade, and yet bring the awesome.

I have not been much of a fan of Idol for a few years now, with the exception of a slight twinge of interest in regards to David Cook, Adam Lambert, and Crystal Bowersox, but this year I have found (ridiculous and counter-productive judging aside) to be the best I can remember since Carrie Underwood came along.

D. McEwan said...

This is the first season since Season 2 whereI've been mostly ignoring the show. Most weeks I record the performance show, and then watch the men sing (all the women this season bore me. No wonder they've been voted out is such a long string, that and the fact that the people voting and voting and voting and voting are all 13 year old girls, so of course they're voting for the guys), and fast-forward through everything else, especially the "critiques".

Now, now, "The 13 year-old country crooner who sings the exact same song every week" actually sings different songs each week; he just makes them all sound identical. It's country music; it is all identical anyway. And his worst failing, beyond his horrible taste in music, is the smarmy smirkng he does, like he's all that and a bag of gold too. The kid's probably still a virgin. I just wish his movie song had been the title song from Blazing Saddles.

You know, even done straight, Nature Boy is a damn weird song. But really kids, don't sing a Nat King Cole song unless you can sing as well as he did, and you can't. No one can. Cole was he greatest balladeer ever.

Mike Bo, as it happens, I know Sam Harris slightly. He works all the time on stage, recently on Broadway. He's doing just fine. A star? No. A working performer making a good living? Yes.

Dr. Leo Marvin said...

The embarrassment that's American Idol was a foregone conclusion as soon as Simon Cowell announced his departure. That show has as much chance of being watchable without Simon as France has of winning a war without the US. Take the bad cop of a "good cop - bad cop" scenario and what remains is a pathetic suckup.

GRayR said...

Ken, come away from the DARK side. Look away.

Cedric Hohnstadt said...

Speaking of good-byes, here's a Friday Question:

I recently stumbled upon a YouTube video showing dozens of movie phone calls ending without the characters ever saying good-bye. They just hang up the phone.

There must be a valid reason writers continually script phone calls to end this way. Not being a writer myself I would think that saying good-bye would make a scene feel more real, but maybe that innocent little phrase somehow breaks the tension or flow of a scene? (The same reason I would guess that no one in movies ever needs to stop and look up a phone number?)

I'd love to know the explanation. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Hey Ken, I found this video with you where Cheers won outstanding comedy series emmy in '83.

D. McEwan said...

Anonymous, thanks for putting up that link to Ken winning an Emmy. Good grief, that must have been Ken's hippie period! Could you believe how shaggy he looked? David didn't really look substantially different from how he looks now, but Ken's hair and beard was a shock.

And the nominees reminded me how much I used to love that short-lived but great show Buffalo Bill.

LouOCNY said...

The beginning of that clip reminds one just how GREAT a physical comedian Johnny was, and almost makes one want to see that alternate universe where HE gets what turned out to be the Dick Van Dyke Show..

blinky said...

The only time I ever saw AI was when they ran over into some show I actually wanted to watch back in the first season. I realized then that this was a show to avoid like the plague...or Oprah...or Survivor...or (add manipulative reality show name here)...

Cooper Classic mirrors said...

All the judges for American Idol had a very difficult decision of whose gonna be the next IDOL. But the 3 of them are superb.

Carol Pavliska said...

I am literally on my knees and begging you to comment on Iggy Pop's appearance.

jbryant said...

Yeah, aside from the occasional misplaced growl, I think Casey is pretty awesome, especially for a 20-year-old. He's the complete musician, and if he doesn't let the AI machine try to turn him into a generic pop star, he could have a great career.

The key is not to take this show as seriously as the 12-year-old girls do. Sure, the "judging" is practically non-existent (especially Tyler), but I can forgive a lot when I'm looking at J-Lo in HD.