American Idol Season 8, Hollywood Week February 10th and 11th 2009

Find my latest American Idol article here.

These were easily the best two episodes of American Idol since the season began.  The first night featured solo performances by the contestants with a band and an instrument if the desired one.  I liked that fact that they devoted most of the episode to showing us good singers and performances.  In fact, they waited until half-way through the show to show anyone who had problems.

I enjoyed the second night even better.  Again, they tended to deal more in the two hours with performers who were going to make it than those who were not.  I liked the format, and I even liked the sing-off which I thought I would hate.

My favorite thing about this season is that they put 36 contestants through to the next round.  It has always seemed like Idol has forced a certain chemistry on the Idol voter which included a few pop singers, a couple of rockers, a few R&B singers, a couple of country singers, an Emo singer, and even the occasional crooner.  That is a lot of spots, and if you let through a couple of girls simply on their looks, it gets even tighter.  A pattern developed in which all of the bit-singers were quickly dispatched, and the few pop singers were forced to the top.  Even though there were 24 included in the past few years, from the beginning, it was clear that only about a half-dozen had a shot at winning.

Now, with 36 contestants broken up into three groups, it will allow more good pop singers to be part of the competition.  The three groups will keep the pop singers from drawing-off each other’s votes until the bit-singers are dispatched.  In the end, I predict a much stronger top 12.

Speaking of stronger, the guys are a very solid group this year.  There are some very refined voices with excellent stage presence.  Other than Jasmine, I have not been extremely impressed with any of the girls.  I’m not saying that none of them can sing, but they do not seem to be as far along as many of the guy contestants.

As far as the contestants went, Tatiana Del Torro (fake name) continues to be the most egocentric biped ever to walk the planet, and I include Paris Hilton in this assessment.  She can sing, but I just don’t care.  No one wants to see someone like that succeed, and that was apparent when she walked back into the room by the looks on the faces of the other contestants.  I predict that she will get one vote, and that will be from her mother, …maybe.  On another subject, I was wondering where she got the drapes that she made her dress out of Tuesday night.

In a totally different world from Tatiana on Tuesday night was Lynesha, who delivered my favorite quote ever from a contestant on Idol.  After being booted, Ryan asked her what she had learned from the show.  She said, “You have to be humble and work hard for what you want in life.”   That was so refreshing.  Maybe there is hope for the next generation after all.  I wish she were still there.

I thought Simon gave Kristen the most constructive, and perhaps the harshest criticism on the show when he commented about her dress.  If she can learn from it, that voice could do well for her.  I will give Simon one more prop for his comment to Paula regarding her pseudo-magnanimous gift to Tatiana that just so happened to promote her jewelry line to 60 million people.  Nice.

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