Producers keep announcing changes to the format of American Idol, presumably in a desperate attempt to keep us interested in that show now that Simon is gone. The latest news is that they'll be filming the contestants living together in a house, even though they tried in some of the earlier seasons and it was really boring. Presumably, they've got a plan to Big Brother/Real World this up - perhaps with a Vegas trip -- because otherwise this isn't all that exciting. But perhaps there are some other recent reality TV trends that Idol could steal some ideas from instead. Sure these may seem extreme, but at least they would give Seacrest a challenge and would likely keep us from banging out heads against the wall during the padded intro packages.
Secret shame time. I've been watching America's Got Talent all summer. I started watching it to see how Howie Mandel fared attempting to fill David Hasselhoff's shoes. And then... I just can't explain it... I just kept tuning in. Week after week I watch people show off their various levels of talent and I hate to admit it, but I'm sort of fascinated to see what unfolds next. I'm hoping my interest will wane once they get to the Vegas semifinal rounds and people are actually talented, because frankly it is just embarrassing to admit that I watch this show... and I can't even really blame it on my job. Surprisingly though, I've actually learned a few things from this show this summer, which makes me feel slightly less ashamed. Slightly.
We sadly said goodbye to the sole remaining interesting contestant on this season's American Idol last Wednesday when Siobhan Magnus was unceremoniously voted out of the competition. She wore hideous outfits and sometimes took the screeching too far, but you can't deny the girl had talent. At the very least, you can't deny she was amazing television. In an effort to give her a proper send-off, I joined a media call with Siobhan last week to discuss how awesome it feels to be eliminated, all the letters (real letters, apparently -- like from the post office!) she received from young weird girls that she's inspired and how she's apparently this huge Andrew Lloyd Webber-head. She's weird, you guys. God love her.
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:
Well, he's been talking about it for years, but it's finally happening... Simon Cowell is leaving American Idol, which means that after the current season (which begins tonight), not one, but two of the original judges will be gone. Paula Abdul's seat has been filled by Ellen DeGeneres (how she'll fare remains to be seen), but the show has always revolved around Simon's cutting remarks and candid criticisms, so replacing him will be a much larger task. We've come up with some people who might be up for the job, or at least could be entertaining to watch while we wait for The X Factor to premiere.
While we've been hearing for months about all of the very special guest judges who are taking on the audition rounds (from Neil Patrick Harris to Katy Perry and everyone in between), the looming question has been if anyone would take over the fourth seat vacated by Paula Abdul on a permanent basis. Well, we now have an answer: Yes, Ellen DeGeneres. Hiring the popular daytime talk show host and comedian instead of any of the music industy vets we had hoped for could be a stroke of genius -- or it could spell disaster for TV's top-rated program. We've weighed the pros and cons of Idol's newest judge.
So the much buzzed-about America's Next Top Model season of the shorties is almost upon us, but after seeing the press release with the bios and photos of these vertically challenged girls, we think that "short" might be a bit of an overstatement. Sure, they aren't traditional runway height, but the smallest girl measures up at 5'3", which is at the taller end of the petite spectrum in most retail stores. And that's not the only thing that has me worried about Cycle 13: between the absence of judge Paulina Porizkova, a revolving door of guest judges and Tyra's ever-expanding ego, this season could be the biggest letdown yet.
Honestly, I didn't think it could (or should) be done, but someone finally found a way to make the most appalling season of The Amazing Race look halfway decent. So thank you, Great American Road Trip, you've fallen well below the very, very low bar I had set for competitive reality programming. Seriously, I watched Superstars AND America's Got Talent last night and this show was worse than both of them combined, and I pretty much hate both of those shows.
Yes, I complained about America's Got Talent the other day, but I decided to give the show a shot, as I reluctantly do each year. Last night's episode was filled with the usual assortment of talented kids, bad impersonators, delusional dancers/singers/pet owners/flame throwers and a few impressive acts. Add in some heartfelt stories, Nick Cannon discussing how he wants to try out different acrobatic things with his wife in the bedroom (repeatedly) and you've got yourself one of the summer's biggest hits. Still not my cup of tea.
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