May 2009 Archives

Season 8: Finale!

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Y'know, I honestly have no idea which way this is going to go. Last week, all three contestants were separated by only one million votes. This week, by all accounts, all the lines were jammed, suggesting that the winner may be determined by text votes and more random factors. This may be season two all over again.

Personally, I cast a few dozen votes for Adam... but I've gotta hand it to Kris. I counted him out early on, and he really stepped up. Yes, he's benefiting from the "anybody but Adam" vote, but that in itself wouldn't come close to sufficing; he's given people legitimate cause to rally around him.

Over in my pool... whatever happens, kudos to Mo Pie for leading the pack most of the way (she's the only one of us not to go a week without scoring so far) and for sportsmanship; to Pam for sticking to her guns regarding Adam; and to TeKay for almost pulling off the gutsiest strategy of any of us. As for Jesse and I... we didn't suck, and there's always next year.

Finally (before getting to the show), Snark of the Week goes to "American Idol virgin" Ed Masley, a music critic for the Arizona Republic who's watched Idol all this season for the first time. It's been fun getting his take, and I'll be interested in seeing whether he decides to come back next year. Anyway, with regards to the single, he notes that Kris "stripped it of its roots in silly, lighter-waving, '80s power balladry and gave it some substance and soul just by virtue of not being Adam or Kara." Heh.

(All of that said, I still think Adam is way better. So there!)

Anyway. On to the finale!

Top 2: Performances

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This is it: Adam vs. Kris! And I'm thinking the performances are actually going to matter this time...

State of the Pool

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Current standings:

Mo Pie: 25.00
TeKay: 19.75
Jesse: 18.50
Shmuel: 18.50
Pam: 16.25

Spoilers after the jump!

Top 3: Results

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I've long maintained that one reason for the long string of successful artists to come out of Idol is that they essentially go through boot camp in the course of the show. USA Today has a good article about that, with this year's top three.

Meanwhile... if the top three end up being Adam, Danny, Kris -- in that order -- TeKay's gonna wipe the floor with the rest of us. I haven't run all the math, but at first glance I think Mo stands to win if it's Adam, Kris, Danny. If Danny actually wins this thing, Pam should as well. I'm not really sure what would happen if Kris pulled an upset, though I actually find that more likely than the Danny scenario; it'd probably depend on the order of the other two.

This should all be much more clear cut after we find out who leaves tonight. Read on!

Top 3: Performances

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It's episode #300! And we're down to the top three! Who will be singing... two songs apiece. Hmmph.

So, which judge doesn't get a pick? Are two going to share? This... is American Idol!

Top 4: Results

Three out of five of us have Kris going home this week, while TeKay stands to pick up five points if Allison goes instead. What will happen?

You've heard just about all of this already...

...but here's what I posted on a Project FOX forum about this season of American Idol:

I've been watching Idol since the first episode of the first season. I've run an Idol pool for years (strictly for fun; no money changes hands). You might say I'm a fan. :-)

This season is still well worth watching, but I will grant that it has not been one of the better ones. Some of this is luck of the draw, some of it isn't. Zipping through the issues...

The semifinals portion of the show has always been the weakest segment of the season, but the producers hit on an approach that worked well in seasons 4 through 7, gradually whittling down the top 12 boys and top 12 girls to 6 apiece over the course of three weeks. This had a few effects: it let us get to know the finalists better, having watched them for three weeks before the finals got underway; it let them get more practice; and perhaps most importantly, it made it possible for a more diverse group to get in. When only 3 people are selected from a group of 12 in one shot, you're probably going to get only those who are most solidly mainstream. Which helps explain why this time around we ended up with a group rather boringly dominated by white males.

(On the whole, I'd say http://blogs.usatoday.com/idolchatter/2009/03/the-real-proble.html got this right.)

The fourth judge. I have nothing against Kara. While I don't think it will happen, I would not be terribly upset if she ended up replacing the one judge she makes superfluous, by which I mean Randy. But there have been time and pacing issues all season long [including this past week's top 5 snoozefest; apparently they didn't have time for each contestant to sing 2 songs, so they dragged the hour out with only 5 total] because hearing from the whole panel takes so much time. Unless the show itself is going to be lengthened to compensate, she probably has to go.

As an aside, Paula and Simon remain the two most important judges, which has only been reinforced by the seating arrangement this year: you've got the lesser duo up against the greater one. I don't think either of them are replaceable.

The judges' save was an interesting idea, but I don't think it served the show well. I'd prefer it be jettisoned, but it's not a huge deal one way or the other.

The season itself hasn't been as interesting as those past, which I think comes down to two factors: (1) Adam Lambert is so much better than the rest of the pack that the show's really become a competition for second place. (2) The rest of the pack doesn't have anybody totally (or entertainingly) out of their league, but none of them have anything particularly setting themselves apart, either. Ultimately, I think the semifinals process helped create both of these factors. As I said above, it made for less diversity and fewer oddballs... and both serve to add texture to the show and unsettle the overall rankings.

Finally... this is a very minor point in the overall scheme of things, but that cake-fighting sequence in the top 5 results show was just horrifying. In these troubled economic times, I am not entertained by watching people waste perfectly good pastry!

Anyway, I'm still a fan of the show -- one which has produced many, many successful artists, not just Kelly and Carrie -- and I'll look forward to next season. But I do hope they restore the semifinals to the previous format.

Top 4: Performances

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It's Rock Week!

And... yow. They're doing six duets, covering every combination of contestants, instead of, say, eight solo performances. That's... that's actually kind of an interesting idea.

The mentor is Slash, and there's been no dress rehearsal due to technical problems. Funfunfun.

No, wait, I'm wrong. I guess they're doing four solo performances, followed by two duets?

(Close. Two solo performances, followed by a duet. Repeat.)

My brother's Slingbox wasn't working for some reason, but the DVR picked it up, and I'm watching it now. Will probably update with reactions afterward, but you can go ahead and post your predictions if you want.

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This page is an archive of entries from May 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

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