‘American Idol’ Serves Up Most Boring Final Three Episode Of All Time

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Last year, when American Idol served us up Lee DeWyze, Crystal Bowersox, and Casey James, I complained about the boring state of affairs on the show, but little did I realize how much worse it could get. At least Lee, Crystal, and Casey all had strong talent to make up for their general lack of stage presence (Casey, however, did have his moments of raw power).

Fast forward one year, and we have three kids who miss notes, fall over on stage, and generally seem to be playing the part of a singer rather than actually being an performer. What’s even worse is that the judges LOVE them. I guess the panel has to praise them every week in an effort to convince us that they’ve done their job well. Truth be told though, the judges have failed enormously, and as a result, we were stuck with a two hour show that proved to be the most lackluster performance episode of all time. Yo yo, America, the judges are not IN IT TO WIN IT!!

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‘American Idol’ Final Four Sing Inspirational Songs, Fail To Inspire

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We’re down to four wannabe superstars on American Idol, and for what felt like the second time all season, the judges actually gave some harsh criticism to one of the singers. It was a move in the right direction, but unfortunately, they also praised several boring, off-key, and generally lackluster tunes as well. Who’ll go home tonight? Who cares? But for the fun of it, let’s look back at the latest performances.

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AMERICAN IDOL: Something Old, Something New, Something Atonal, Something Awful

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I think it’s time to officially stick a fork in American Idol. I never say that about TV shows. If anything, I stick by their side way longer than I ever should (read: Gossip Girl). But Idol is the pits. And contrary to what most people are saying, it’s not the singers’ faults. Sure, we could have a better group, but to be honest, the five (now four) remaining singers are ten times better than the majority of last season’s boring bunch.

No, the real problem comes from the judges, who barely seem able to offer up any worthwhile criticism. Most people think the fun of Idol is see how the singers fare from week to week, but that is only part of the equation. It’s the rush of watching someone soar and receive glorious praise. And it’s the schadenfreude of witnessing an all-out failure, followed by soul-crushing critiques. Sure, the singing is important, but it’s the judges’ responses that keep us on the edge of our seats.

This season, however, has been a total failure for judging. Steven Tyler refers to everything as a “beautiful thing,” J-Lo encourages everyone to “push harder,” and Randy Jackson merely announces that everyone is “IN IT TO WIN IT.” Why even bother watching this show if it’s the same thing every week?

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AMERICAN IDOL RECAP: Carole King Week Leaves Us Demanding a Better Voice

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The last time I wrote about American Idol, I was on a plane to NY, about to embark on a 12 day family vacation. I was going to weigh in with my thoughts on the previous night’s performance episode, but after having endured yet another week of softball critiques from the judges, I decided to place my attention on Steven, Jennifer, and Randy. I posted “10 Things the ‘American Idol’ Judges Might As Well Be Judging Instead,” and much to my surprise, the post went pretty viral. I think that’s because most viewers are getting fed up with the same useless praise week after week. Is there anything Steven Tyler doesn’t find “Beautiful. Just beautiful.” Is there any performer that Jennifer Lopez doesn’t think should loosen up on stage and keep “pushing harder?” And is there any contestant who Randy doesn’t think is “IN IT TO WIN IT!!!!”?

There was a part of me in my heart of hearts that hoped my little post would have gone viral enough to reach the producers of American Idol and perhaps inspire them to tell their judges to change it up a bit. Sadly though, when I watched last night’s episode (I missed last week entirely), I realized that things were still the same. But to make matters worse: now we had to listen to ninety minutes of Carole King songs. I might as well lock myself in a Starbuck for ninety minutes instead.

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Shocking ‘American Idol’ Results Finally Push Show Over Cliff and Into a Void of Pointlessness

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It happens every season. Well, maybe not LAST season when NOTHING happened. But every other season, there’s been someone who’s gone home way too early — perhaps most famously Jennifer Hudson, who didn’t even break the top five (or Chris Daughtry who missed the top three). Now this tenth season has been marred by a shocking, shocking elimination, and from it we’ve all learned a most valuable lesson. No, it’s not that we should always vote. It’s that the dumbass judges shouldn’t waste their save on annoying singers like Casey Abrams.

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American Idol Celebrates Rock ‘n’ Roll Without Actually Rocking

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American Idol embraced singers from The Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame this week, but if you were looking forward to some loud, energetic, and rockin’ tunes, don’t get too excited. These kids managed to squirm their way around the challenge by choosing Michael Jackson ballads (Jacob Lusk), Aretha Franklin ballads (Lauren Alaina), and Percy Sledge ballads (Stefano Langone). There were plenty of uptempo entries also (surprisingly by Pia), but very few of them actually came close to balls-to-the wall rock — the kind we’d seen James Durbin flaunt around with. Sure, there were some classic rock songs on display, but I wouldn’t say the roof was blown off the theater.

Nevertheless, check out a quick rundown of the performances after the jump…

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CASEY ABRAMS: Yea or Nay?

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As you’ve undoubtedly heard by now, American Idol ragamuffin Casey Abrams was saved by judges Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler, and Randy Jackson last Thursday after he wound up with the lowest vote tally of the final eleven. The move was something of a surprise, given how early along in the process we were; however, according to the judges, this was a no-brainer. Without even listening to Casey sing for redemption one last time, Randy Jackson et al announced that they’d be having Casey back for another week. This caused the bearded singer to tremble with shock before having a borderline breakdown.

In the wake of Casey’s reprieve, the blogosphere erupted with exultations about the twist, with many describing the hour as one of Idol’s most dramatic yet. I’m sure I would have felt the same had it all not been spoiled for me on Twitter and Facebook, but that’s neither here nor there. The point is that this was a pretty ballsy move by the judges to use their one save of the season so early, and it has me wondering: was it worth it?

Let’s look at Casey’s track record: his “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was a growly mess, but his “With A Little Help From My Friends” was pretty solid (although still indulgent with the growls). Then again, his “I Put A Spell On You” was over-the-top, and his “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” was forgettable karaoke junk (hence him receiving the lowest votes of the night).

That being said, I know there are those who love his style, love his look, love his sound, love his energy, and love his parents (well, we all love his parents). So, yea or nay: should the judges have used their one save of the season on Casey?

AMERICAN IDOL RECAP: They Were Born This Way

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Our top twelve finalists on American Idol took the stage again last night to sing tunes from their birth year, which meant an overwhelmingly large representation from 1989, which makes these kids a full decade+ younger than me. In some cases, I’m actually more than twice their ages. Not cool, Father Time. Not cool.

Anyway, I like this group as a whole, but last night was not their strongest night. Some performances were better than others, but none blew me away. A quick rundown after the jump… Continue reading

AMERICAN IDOL RECAP: Let The Fun Begin!

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Last night was the first night of finals for American Idol, and overall, the kids are alright. Once again, while some performances disappointed, we didn’t have any outright Antonella Barba / Sanjaya Malakar disasters; although, we did have one fairly grim moment courtesy of the girl who I vociferously noted yesterday shouldn’t be in the top thirteen at all.

That dud of a performance came from Karen Rodriguez, who happily butchered “I Could Fall In Love” by Selena. I never really thought of it as a particularly hard tune, but I guess when you have the self-imposed weight of representing ├é┬íLatina flavor! for the season, it can be daunting. Also daunting: doing Selena in front of the biggest faux-Selena of them all — Jennifer Lopez, who shot to fame after portraying the late musician. Poor Karen Rodriguez. She means so well, and she sings so poorly. I don’t want to say “Told you so,” but quite frankly, I did tell you so. Continue reading

Breaking Down The ‘American Idol’ Top Thirteen

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Against all odds, American Idol has turned out to be pretty awesome in its first post-Simon season. The revised and brief semifinals round proved to be one of the strongest in ages, and given all the talent that didn’t crack the top thirteen, it’s left me wondering if maybe the problem all along was… Simon? Of the top twelve guys, only one was truly, inexorably awful, and of the girls, no one was a full-on disaster.

Sadly, only thirteen could advance. Let’s take a look at the group in advance of tonight’s first week of the finals. Continue reading