Singing competitions are fun and we grow attached to participants. I like formats with no age limit but of the “Idol” series, my favourite hands-down was “Canadian Idol”. This country’s talent surpasses all. We are original. How often do we hear the same songs auditioned on “American Idol”? It’s baffling that four or so are repeated to death: Rihanna’s “Umbrella”, Lady Ga-Ga’s “Bad Romance”, too much Janis Joplin…. On Hollywood week, can’t those few groups avoid duplication?
If you had the pleasure of catching “Canadian Idol”, nothing was predictable. The difference between contestants was so eclectic, the viewer was surprised. Canadian songs and music genres are broad. The U.S. overdoses on R&B, which sounds alike. In Canada, we rock! I am not tooting the nation’s horn. Literally, we prefer rock. Be it classic rock, independent, alternative; excuse the pun… it’s how we roll!
To this day we host famous acts from years gone by; in tiny intimate clubs where you can waltz right up to an artist who used to be untouchable. Just as Las Vegas boasts big names we thought had fallen off the map, I have personally seen in close quarters: Harlequin, Platinum Blonde, Air Supply, Chilliwack, Honeymoon Suite, Queen City Kids, Loverboy, Streetheart, Glass Tiger, Prism, Corey Hart….
I say “Canadian Idol” got cancelled because the last winner Theo Tams, although talented, had a mid-tempo style. Sensational singers were voted off in favour of lukewarm influences, which happens on “American Idol” too. The last time their show got it right was when polished David Cook beat teeny bopper Archuleta. A few rockers squeeze in south of the border: Alison Iraheta, Adam Lambert, and James Durbin. I grew so weary of “American Idol’s” repetitive R&B and Simon Cowell’s cold demeanour, I tuned out. I took a peek after Ellen DeGeneres joined the crew because I am her fan. Truthfully, I always felt the show would improve without Simon. When he left, I was curious.
Telling the truth about an imperfect performance is reasonable. It can be done without a cutting tone. Legend Steven Tyler and screen / recording diva Jennifer Lopez, are proving my suspicion with gusto. I heard Barbara Walters say on “The View”, that “American Idol” sounds like a love fest with no conflict to make it interesting. I disagree. I bet candidates glean more from kindly-stated pointers and are comfortable experimenting on-stage, knowing there’s no judge who will cause them to wince.
All three: Steven, Jennifer, and Randy Jackson say what needs to be said with tact ~and I daresay~ with love. Simon Cowell himself quoted that it is a better show. Creator Simon Fuller discreetly expressed on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”, as present judges are all authentic music performers (in other words, no Simon) the kids are getting a chance to develop. They aren’t being told to pack their bags if they come off as a Broadway act one night. The show is warmer and more rewarding to watch from the get-go.
I used to skip auditions because I couldn’t bear the poor ones, with Simon brandishing harsh behaviour. I’m aware he supports compassionate causes in his personal life. But a man without manners for a public job, better not do it. It wasn’t just the singing – he would tear a strip off of someone for taking this 10-second moment, to speak with their favourite celebrity. These kids wait all day, all their lives, for the chance.
“American Idol’s” producing is more appealing. You don’t sit through all auditions; merely snippets. Hollywood week shows a few performances and interviews. I also enjoy getting right to the top 10~11 finalists, rather than waiting weeks for people to step off. Perhaps the extra time goes to the personal angle. The judges have ample speaking time. No one has been cut off or even rushed. The whole tone is pleasant and it’s a treat to see what Steven and Jennifer are like off-stage, as people. I can’t wait for Jennifer’s new album, chock full of dance grooves and appropriately entitled “Love”!