The talent on this year’s Idol has awed even a longtime, loyal fan like me. Usually the bottom 5 is obvious. But this year, the contestants are so gifted and varied; it was really a crapshoot, which makes it more compelling to watch. Here’s my take on the last few weeks:
—Joshua Missing the Finale. That was the toughest final 3 I can remember but I’m shocked that after all the praise and reverence (not to mention that “No More Drama” performance) he was the one to go. The only thing I can point to is maybe his home visit wasn’t as emotional as Jessica’s and Phillip’s. Idol fans are suckers for weepy reunions.
—Colton’s early exit. He was so unique in his style and talent, and teen girls—the majority of Idol voters– loved him. Did people make assumptions that he didn’t need votes that week? I hope he’s the Chris Daughtry of this season and makes it big regardless of his exit place.
—Hollie’s longevity. Although she does have an incredible voice and she’s a looker (amazing what eye makeup can do) her lack of passion or stage presence made her an easy target. Yet she stayed and stayed and actually got better each week. It will be interesting to see how she does in the cruel real world of music once the Idol halo lifts.
—Lack of Criticism. I know these kids are singing their faces off, but these last few weeks have been a puff fest. “The best ever on this stage” has been thrown around more than necessary and the standing ovations started to look like squat drills. Makes me miss Simon. Jimmy Iovine can be brutal but someone has to keep these guys hungry and striving to improve.
—Randy’s blazers!! WTF? Yo dawg, one day he’s a circus clown, the next he’s a used car salesman. And the lapel pins! Bizarre. But I’ll give him credit for owning his look.
—Joshua and Jessica were outstanding. I’ve gotten goosebumps so many times I’ve taken to wearing a sweater on performance nights. Joshua’s “This is a Man’s World” and Jessica’s “ I’m Telling You” were full of fire and heart, not to mention range. I still can’t believe Jessica’s only 16.
—Phil Phillips’ artistry. He might not have the power pipes of his competitors but I love how he Phill-ifies every song and adds that crazy squint and heel sway dance move.
—J Lo Still My Fav Judge. I officially have a girl crush. It’s not fair that she can wear her hair in 10 different ways and pull off gold sequins. I also like her emotion. Am I naïve to think she really cares about these kids and takes pride in their accomplishments? Her comments are thoughtful and intimate.
Overall, it’s been an enjoyable season. However, this 2-hour format does not work for me. Every Wednesday show dragged for 2 hours. Do we need each contestant singing multiple songs? And please, no more duets! Listen up, Nigel: I have a full plate of shows on my DVR and asking me to commit 3 hours a week is too much.
And yet….can’t wait for the four-hour finale next week!