American Idol 2009, the bootcamp round

What series of [[American Idol (TV Series)|American Idol]] is this? I forget. In fact, despite my love of the British equivalent – [[The X Factor (UK TV Series)|The X Factor]] – I’ve never really watched American Idol with any real enthusiasm. Part of our problem is that the UK airs episodes of American Idol after they’ve been aired in the USA, so we’re very much behind our American cousins.

Well, tonight I decided that it was high time to take an interest in Idol. With the growing fervor for change in America and Obama fever still fresh in everyone’s minds, perhaps the positivity will transfer to the music scene?

The changes in the American Idol selection process are mind-boggling though. There’s a seemingly endless array of contestants at the Hollywood boot camp. Better still, they’re all pretty good singers too.

At this stage of the game though, I’m boggled by the choice. And my brain is making on-the-fly comparisons between X Factor and American Idol: oh, there are less sob stories on Idol. Far less. And at this point virtually all the morons have been weeded out, leaving mostly talented people.

With the possible exception of Nick Mitchell that is: Nick auditioned originally as a spoof character, Norman Gentle. The thing is, as [[Randy Jackson]] told him in tonight’s episode, he can actually sing. There was some question over whether Nick would resurrect his character for the boot camp audition, but when he walked on stage with geeky glasses and horrible shorts, we all knew.

The performance seemed to be a mostly ad-libbed song with lyrics about loving him and keeping him in the show. The best bit was a call to the balcony to sing along. Then he spied [[Ryan Seacrest]] who was watching from above and hailed him with a loud “Seacrest!” Brilliant.

Another priceless moment was when 19 year old Dennis Bringham got rejected with a biting comment from [[Simon Cowell]]: “The facial expressions were insane. I don’t think anybody’s going to take you seriously as a recording artist.” Bringham came back on stage to plead his case, but the judges were unresponsive, so he stormed off cursing Simon’s dress sense: “For somebody so rich your pants are very very cheap, you need to get some wardrobe.”

I wonder if he’d have been so critical if he’d been successful?

Katrina Darrell’s much touted showdown with [[Kara DioGuardi]] fizzled out pretty quickly, but no matter, because I’ve read that Katrina gets booted out in the next phase of the competition. Ah well.

The episode ended with a staggering 104 contestants remaining in the competition. That’s just too many names to remember, isn’t it? I don’t think the contestants are going to mean much to me until they get shortlisted a little bit. Looking forward to the group round, which supposedly contains some fireworks…

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