More Idol Chatter

Having recently joined a small choir, I haven't found much time nor had especially much interest in commenting on American Idol in the past few weeks. Also I've found myself particularly annoyed with judges advising people not to take up singing -their now classic "singing's not for you dawg..." line.

Personally I can carry a tune, have good rhythm, a good ear for pitch, and an impressive range, but I don't have a voice that would be especially interesting to listen to by itself. Its a good voice just not one that would stand out among hundreds of other contestants who could also sing. I say this not because I have any interest in ever being on a show like Idol but because I come from a long line of women who are tone deaf and have no rhythm. I remember struggling to hear if I was hitting the right notes in orchestra, being whole measures ahead or behind my classmates in band, marching with a base drum in a parade and constantly getting off beat and having to get back on track by listening to the trombones... and I was playing the downbeat. 1... 2... 3.... 4....

The point is I sucked, but I got better through practice. The judges for all their experience in the music business can't seem to differentiate between someone who has a bad voice, and someone who just doesn't have a good ear. Since its not their job to differentiate the skill level of those who aren't good enough to pass to the next round this shouldn't really matter, but they keep finding the need to comment anyway.

The supposed "rudeness" of telling performers they are terrible hasn't bothered me in the slightest, but its the commenting on the future capacity of wanna-be idols in which the judges are obviously stepping well beyond their actual knowledge of the subject.

Singing is a skill, really it is a handful of skills, some of which come naturally to some, and have to be learned in others. The point is that they can be learned, and if a voice like Cher's can make millions then it is premature to discount the nasally-sounding freak voices that occasionally make their showing on idol. But then it does make for interesting television, and perhaps thats the point.

Top 24

It seems like the hollywood round was remarkably shorter this year, not for the contestants, just in how many episodes they managed to squeeze it into. Now we finally have our top 24... and thank goodness the britnum twins are gone.

Among the girls some of the early favorites are Paris Bennett, Mandisa, Kellie Pickler, and Lisa Tucker. My personal favorite among the females is Katherine McPhee. She's the one that sang "God Bless the Child" in the early auditions.

Among the guys the favorites are Ace Young, Chris Daughtry, Elliot Yamin, and my favorites Kevin Covais, and Taylor Hicks. The challenge in the next round will actually be for the under-dog contestants -those who have gotten little or no airtime in the early rounds to make themselves stand out. Last year a handful of individuals we had seen almost nothing of in the early rounds got cut. The producers seemed to have balanced the airplay a little better this year, but there are still a few new faces in the lot.

Looking at the contestants there are only a couple faces I do not recall seeing at some point in either the hollywood round or the early rounds. Here are a few of the contestants who have a tough road ahead due to their light airplay thus far:

Bobby Bennett, Heather Cox, Kinnik Sky, Melissa McGhee, Patrick Hall, and Bucky Covington. For some of them it will likely mean an early cut, for a few it won't mean anything as Bo Bice demonstrated last year. We've got three days of idol coming up this week. Girls night, guys night, and the overplayed, long-winded, mostly filler results show which I bet they will stretch into 90 minutes and maybe even 2 hours. We'll see.

And on a completely different subject-er show... (i.e. House) Do they really still call it a "lumbar puncture" if they are puncturing between the cervical vertebrae?

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It seemed that this year's

It seemed that this year's "pre-season" coverage focused more on the backstage drama/whining/cat-fighting than in previous years, and cut down on the group singing coverage. I'd prefer they focus on the karaoke, and leave the drama for the MTV Real World.

Glad the twins are gone. The producers must've thought they made for good TV, because I was floored when Simon allowed them back into the competition. Can't say I'm surprised that they are now sitting in a jail cell. IMO, they turned down the better set of twins in Chicago (who hailed from Inkster, MI... close to my hometown).

I'm also pro-Taylor Hicks. That dude has soul. I have a feeling he's going to be one of those contestents where the viewing audience will love 'em or hate 'em through the rounds. He doesn't exactly have that "Idol" image. Also on the male side, I'd say that Chris Daughtery is my other favorite. And Will Maker and Peter Brady were separated at birth.

Despite his good singing abilities, I'm guessing Kevin Covais will be one of the first ones gone.

Among the females, I'm liking Paris Bennett quite a bit. I still have to pay more attention to Kellie "Carrie Underwood II" Pickler's singing, because when she's on the screen I'm usually looking at her more than listening to her. And Brenna will be that 'Sassy To The Point of Annoying' contestant they tend to have in the Final 12 every year.

My favorites will probably shift around as the weeks go on, of course.

Telling people they suck and

Telling people they suck and "don't have what it takes" sounds like it would make for popular television. People like to watch others fail maybe?

they certainly don't have to

they certainly don't have to tell them they suck on a broadcast, but as a person who produces music and tv, i can honestly say sometimes the best thing you can do for a person is challenge them by telling the truth, no matter how potentially hurtful that may be. if they suck they'll take it 2 ways. either roll into an emotional ball and start crying and never sing/play again, or use that critisism in a serious self examination of thier abilities and personal derires. if you suck at something but its your dream then you must double or triple your efforts to get better, theres no other way. rainbough, i must tell you, i've worked with some of the best musicians and singers in the world and the biggest wipeouts are the ones who had it handed to them on a plate(fantastic natural ability) and everyone told them that. the best human interest stories are the people who had a kernal of talent, but have a MASSIVE fucking work ethic and will not quit. they ALWAYS succeed, no matter what some asshole like me or simon tells them. work ethic is the key, with a little bit of talent to start. good luck with your singing. :smitten:

Obviously, there are people

Obviously, there are people who watch this stuff....

My ranking after Tuesday's

My ranking after Tuesday's show. Big separation between the Top 5 and the rest of 'em:

1. Paris
2. Katharine
3. Ayla
4. Mandisa
5. Lisa
6-9 (mediocre, forgettable)
10. Becky
11. Stevie
12. For the love of God, please... no more Brenna.

Actually as I said I have no

Actually as I said I have no problem with simon and the judges telling people they were terrible and even finding creative if perhaps tasteless ways of doing so. I agree that they should be honest, and that its not their job to be nice to the contestants or to worry about their feelings.

To quote myself from the above post:

"The supposed “rudeness” of telling performers they are terrible hasn’t bothered me in the slightest, but its the commenting on the future capacity of wanna-be idols in which the judges are obviously stepping well beyond their actual knowledge of the subject."

so to reiterate... "that was terrible!" -> Judge doing his job.

"singing's not your thang dawg/singing's not for you/you should never sing again" -> Judge being a jackass for the sake of television interest, and doesn't know what he's talking about.

I haven't gotten a chance to watch tuesday's performances yet... so there will be more commentary to come.

Check out Chris Daughtery

Check out Chris Daughtery songs at