The most frequently used word to describe the American Idol 2010 finalists is ‘mediocre’. I’m seeing it written all over the web where people are debating this ninth season. Along with the phrase ‘worst season ever’.
TV critic Alan Sepinwall has denounced [[American Idol (2010 Series)|this year’s American Idol]] as ‘underwhelming’. He calls the remaining finalists a “bland collection of singers”, with the possible exception of [[Crystal Bowersox]] and [[Siobhan Magnus]]. Here’s an excerpt from Sepinwall’s article:
And this bland collection of singers (hurt by several talented people like Lilly Scott and Alex Lambert being cut at the end of the semifinals) has come at a particularly poor time for the “Idol” franchise. Simon’s leaving after this season, Ellen has replaced Paula, and the only thing that might have kept the audience from placing the judges under a microscope would be if the contestants were a whole lot better than they’ve been so far.
Sepinwall goes on to pick apart the confusing comments from the judges, most evident on the genre battle between Kara DioGuardi and Simon Cowell over what style of music [[Katie Stevens]] should sing.
Writing for Cinemablend, Doug Norrie runs with the “one of the worst seasons ever” comments, citing his lack of connection to any of the finalists as the problem.
The talent has been decidedly subpar, the performances have run toward the middle/lower end of the spectrum and the contestants exhibit very little personality. My biggest problem in this season though, is my lack of horse in the race. I have very little rooting interest. In past seasons I’ve always found myself wanting a few contestants more than others. Danny Gokey, Jason Castro, David Archuleta, Christ Daughtry, and Melinda Doolittle and Blake Lewis were just a few folks I latched on to and wanted to see each week. I can’t really say that this year, to the point that I’m not even watching all of the vote-off shows.
Here’s the thing, and I’m talking to you American readers once again. If you wanted to hear the absolute worst ever singing contest, you should have tuned into last year’s X Factor. That was a joke. Poor singers, awful judging and a deadly over-reliance on celebrity guests to compensate for the lack of talent singing for a record contract. Well, you have all this to look forward to, America. Once Simon Cowell tombstones American Idol, you’ll have to watch a pathetic, watered-down version that relies in tabloid sensationalism rather than real talent.
I’ll agree with you – not all American Idol’s contestants this year are contenders. Katie Stevens can barely hold a tune. Tim Urban is eye-candy, but he can’t back it up with a good singing voice, or interesting performances. Andrew Garcia and recent eliminee Paige Miles both sounded more interesting on paper but underwhelmed on the live shows.
However, I reject anyone who says that Casey James is a mediocre performer. He’s a fantastic guitarist, has a powerful, bluesy voice, and a distinctive look. He’s young enough to be attractive to the ladies, but old enough to know where he wants to go as an artist. And there’s a clear market for the type of music he’s making.
Likewise my other three front-runners: Crystal Bowersox, Michael Lynche and Didi Benami. Yes, I said Didi Benami. All these guys have a fantastic sense of identity. And you can depend on them to be excellent on the night. Close behind them are Lee DeWyze and Aaron Kelly. Both great singers, but lacking a certain something onstage that makes me want them to win.
Siobhan Magnus. Possibly overrated. This screaming routine has to stop. On the face of it, she’s quirky and individualistic, but her reliance on a gimmick each week has me worried. Hasn’t she deduced that it’s praiseworthy once, but not necessarily with every song she sings?
You may still be comparing Season 9 with Season 8. The Glambert, the Gokey and the Allen. Sure, nobody on this year is as flamboyant or as memorable as Adam Lambert. Should we expect them to be? No, because we’d complain every bit as much if Idol went looking for a Lambert clone.
Maybe it’s because people are lamenting the loss of Simon Cowell. Yes, you have every reason to be worried. But not about American Idol, about X Factor that might just replace it. From recent experience, if this is Idol at its worst, then it’s still better than most of the X Factor series’ that we’ve had in the UK. Count yourselves lucky.