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TWoP 10: Things We’re Dreading About This Season of <I>American Idol</I>

We were so glad to have the local audition and Hollywood Week nonsense finally behind us, but now that we're into the actual performance and voting portion of American Idol, we have to say that we've never been less inclined to pick up the phone for someone as we are this year. For all of the "most talented group ever" hype, we've yet to hear anything that remotely lives up to it. Instead, we've got a dull mess of kids, Ellen trying desperately to be relevant and Simon looking like he's just counting the minutes until X-Factor begins. It's going to be a long season, and here's what we're dreading the most:

10. Todrick Hall's R&B Versions of Everything
While we're grateful that Tyler is gone early and we aren't going to be subjected to his impressions of Jim Morrison and his floppy Sanjaya hair for the rest of the season, we'd have been happier if he took Todrick and his random R&B versions of songs along with him. There's just something about a guy who sings a song about himself and then ruins Kelly Clarkson that rubs us the wrong way.

9. The Inevitable Overruns
Four judges is clearly too many, especially when three of them are basically just little clones saying the same thing over and over in slightly different ways. With all these opinions, we're sure that the show will run long on more than one occasion this season (if not every single week). On the plus side, we're not sure we care enough about any of these contestants to be annoyed if our DVRs don't record them.

8. Old Idol Wannabes Returning
There is nothing worse than a results show, except results shows that likely will feature ex-contestants like the now tragically blonde Katharine McPhee singing. We dread seeing the former also-rans (and sometimes winners) even more than the pre-recorded performances by pop artists, though it's a close call.

7. Recurring Kara/Casey Sex Jokes
We get it that Kara thinks Casey is hot (though we're not entirely sure why) and his taking his shirt off was a cute gimmick, but this needs to stop. Not only does the entire judging panel turn into a blubbering, unintelligible mess of goo every time he opens his mouth, but they then think their jokes about Kara's obvious crush are so funny. Enough. Let it go. Especially you, Randy.

6. Michael Lynche's Baby Talk
Every season, the editors make us hate an otherwise perfectly fine contestant by jamming one fact about their personal lives down our throats so much that we basically can't help but want to see them gone as soon as possible. Last year, it was Danny Gokey and his dead wife. This year that dishonor goes to Michael Lynche and his ongoing baby story. Oh God, when they inevitably visit his hometown and we see him with the baby? We're cringing already.

5. Repeated Criticism of Song Choices
Well, it's not just Simon who's excited for X-Factor. We are, too, since those judges actually act as advisers to their contestants instead of just sitting behind a table criticizing their "song choice" after the fact (that phrase rapidly becoming our two most hated words in the English language) without giving them any real, constructive guidance on what they should do instead. Which brings us to...

4. The Bipolar Judges
"Change it up." "No, don't change it up, you ruined it!" "You need to make it yours!" "That didn't sound enough like the original." "You've got to break out of the box like David Cook!" "No, that was only cool when Adam Lambert did it." Seriously, the mixed messages are getting old. And if a song stinks because someone just can't sing very well, then say that. And while they're at it, the judges should own up to the fact that they're the ones that put these people through in the first place.

3. Justin Bieber/Jo Bro Fans Keeping Tim and Aaron Around
These two contestants are straight out of the pages of Lisa Simpson's Non-Threatening Boys Magazine. Tim Urban's got the cute backstory about getting a second shot and he tried to be polite while Simon told him he sucked, while Aaron Kelly is totally the new Archuleta and/or Chicken Little.

2. Anything at All Involving Lilly Scott.
Have we ever hated a contestant more based on sight alone? Hard to say, but she's definitely up there. There's just so much that's disingenuous about her that her purposely dyed-granny hair and comically oversized treble clef tattoo pushes her -- or rather us -- over the edge.

1. Ellen Trying to Find New Ways to Say She Doesn't Know Anything About Musical Technique
We'll give it to Ellen: she was amusing when taunting the contestants during the Hollywood Week results episodes. But now that the show is live, we're pretty much over her. The "I don't know nothin' 'bout birthin' no Billboard songs, but I know what I like" response becomes more and more useless each time she gives it. As are the comments about people having nice hair and being cute and getting votes. Those really aren't useful criticisms, and with Randy and Kara only sometimes contributing anything remotely valuable, we're now questioning the decision to hire "E" more than ever.

Honorable Mentions
We're also not looking forward to seeing Alex (not Adam!) Lambert's mullet; Haeley Vaughn's forthcoming televised meltdown after she realizes she isn't as good as she thinks she is (actually, we are sort of looking forward to that); and the gradual beautification of Crystal (complete with personality strip-mining) so she can appeal to more viewers. The teeth-whitening has already started, so you know full dreadlock removal and robotic responses during Ryan's interviews can't be far behind. Too bad.

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