The American Idol has now come to its climax, the Grand Finale. This was decided last Tuesday ( aired direct locally at 1800hrs (6.00pm) Wednesday night, the 19th May, via satellite ) when Casey James was eliminated.
From the thousands of hopefuls when they first auditioned early in the year, it is now whittled down to the last two finalists, Lee DeWyze and Crystal Bowersox (female) , a couple. The Final is slated for next week May 25th , same time and day.
Both Lee and Crystal are not just talented vocalists but also strum the guitar whenever the song demands. And besides that Crystal would also play the harmonica at the same time or play the piano. This make them way above the local ones.
Academi Fantasia, Mentor and a few of the new ones just push for ‘vocals’. Very few showed prowess in engaging an instrument, a guitar or piano and such like.
I am not into songs and dance as such but the American Idol presented itself with a lot of surprises, more so during auditions. It was just hilarious and at times dramatic ( when those who failed their auditions would curse and shout obscenities in front of the camera)
The hilarious ones remained and were appreciated for originality. One that remained imprinted in my mind was that of William Hung ( ?a naturalized Hongkie) from season 3, 2004. He was an electrical engineering student from Univ of California, Berkeley. He sang in a typical Chinese style and butchered , Ricky Martin’s ‘She Bangs’ that (even though he failed the audition) he was very ‘successsful’. He cut some song and dance routines later, got onto the charts and made lots of money despite a failure! ( His 2004 CD ‘Inspirations’ hit the Billboard Top 40 Charts and he swore he made US$1mil after ‘Idol’)
Another that left an impact was ‘Pants on the Ground’ from this year’s season 9 hopeful (who called himself ‘General’ Larry Platt ) a hobo looking’ 62 yr old coloured guy. Almost everyone, from high school kids, a politician, pub singers and others were shown later doing the same routine on TV – such was the impact! It was just plain funny, that’s why.
The lyrics did not do full justice ( should see the video) but here it is in any case.
Pants on the ground
Lookin’ like a fool with your pants on the ground
With the gold in your mouth, hat turned sideways
Pants hit the ground, call yourself a cool cat
Lookin’ like a fool, walkin’ to the town
With your pants on the ground!
Apparently at this juncture, after 9 seasons (nine years) the ratings are beginning to drop. ‘Judge’ Paula Abdul left earlier. The infusion of interesting replacements Cara and Ellen Degeneres did a lot to retain the ratings. Now, with the showy and ever critical Simon Cowell leaving next season, it would be bad. There were moves to change the format but it remains to be seen. This is typical of reality shows. The novelty of it wears away.
Donald Trump’s ‘The Apprentice’ was the rage about a decade ago. It had to adjust into some innovative spin-offs like ‘ Celebrity Apprentice’ to maintain viewer’s interests.
I remember decades ago too, seeing and hearing those older than me, discussing TV’s (black and white) popular serials (no reality shows back then) such as ‘Peyton Place’ many an evening with all the excitements. Then later there were ‘Dallas’ and a few others. I never followed them but maybe a few episodes here and there.
However, give me comedies, ‘Saturday Night Live, Everybody Loves Raymond even Friends’ or ‘chat shows’ such as those of David Letterman, Jay Leno, Jon Stewart (not Conan – he bores me! ) or even Oprah, I would stay on!
I remember, while on attachment in New York in mid 80’s, staying up through the nights just to see a young David Letterman and re-runs of the ‘club swinging’ Johnny Carson and Ed Sullivan’s shows. It was just hilarious, and plain witty of the highest order!