American Idol: A Frustrating Season

brent johnson is frustrated with the current season of american idol, in particular, the latest, top 12 determining show

Two nights ago on American Idol, I watched this season’s oddest performer deliver something stunning: the season’s best performance.

Siobhan Magnus — a quirky woman who literally is a glass blower by profession — sang the Animals’ 1964 classic ‘The House Of The Rising Sun’ … first a capella … then with just a guitar backing … then with swirling strings and belting vocals. It was different, it was exciting.

But Simon Cowell — usually the clever voice of reason on the show — hated it. And it got me thinking: Something is off this season. ‘Idol’ just doesn’t seem right anymore.

Last night confirmed it. America voted, and out the door went the versatile Katelyn Epperly, the pleasantly husky-voiced Alex Lambert and the interesting, genre-bending Lilly Scott (a contestant I fell for because she had the balls to sing The Beatles’ ‘Fixing A Hole’ on ‘American Idol’). These were three contestants whose talent clearly stood out. Three contestants who I thought had a good shot to make the Top 5 — if not win. But America didn’t want them in the Top 12.

Some of the people they did keep around? The wooden, off-key Tim Urban (who delivered a solid acoustic rendition of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ last week, but still is the show’s worst contestant). The dull Paige Miles. The too-young Katie Stevens. The horribly cliched and way-too-young Aaron Kelly. And Casey James — a long-haired would-be heartthrob who thinks too highly of his ability to rock, or lack thereof.

The key, of course, to making it on this show is to have enough talent to sing a song well and be likable enough for teenagers and Oprah fans to like you. That explains why people like Urban and Stevens are still around. But I’ve never seen three such deserving contestants shot off the show so quickly, all in the same week.

Pathetic.

There’s still hope. Dreadlocked Crystal Bowersox has enough grit to her voice and enough coffee-house credibility — by Idol standards, at least — to become an out-there favorite. Although there is something about her I don’t like — maybe an attitude that makes her seem smirky and phony.

Big Mike isn’t bad — but I don’t think he has the stuff to go all the way.

And now that Epperly is gone, my favorite contestant is Magnus, who has a booming-yet- controlled voice that betrays her nerdiness. And her nerdiness is fun, to boot.

But maybe the weirdness of this season is another sign that Season 9 might be the last — or at least the end of the show’s glory years. Simon is on his way out, Ellen isn’t adding much comedy — and Kara is literally breaking down into tears.

I miss Taylor Hicks.

1 COMMENT

  1. but where in the world is taylor hicks these days???

    does anybody know what the “intense moments” were during the commercial break?? im dying to know.

    and i hope this is AIs last season as well. Its lost its magic.

  2. Taylor has been traveling with the musical Grease around the U.S. for almost a year. He is playing Teen Angel, a part that is perfect for him, and has gained many new fans. He also has been doing many shadow tours on the side. He has released a new CD, The Distance, and a DVD, Whomp at the Warfield. He intends to release a new album, possibly country, either late this year or next year. He has received offers from TV and the movies, but hasn’t made up his mind as to what he wants to pursue. His appearance has changed somewhat since being on Idol. He’s slimmer and more macho looking. He was the best thing about Season 5.

  3. I too, was ‘blown away’ in a negative way by the last 4 of last night’s Top 12 choices & I believe that the comment’s that this should be the “last year” for AI were brought to fruition by those last choices on last night’s show.
    Let’s face facts, it has become a ‘Voting Contest’ instead of a true talent contest! How very sad for the truly talented artist’s that didn’t make it into last night’s Top 12………and very,very SAD for those of us that have to ‘listen’ & be subjected to the undeserving contestent’s voices !!!
    I think this is one reason why Simon is leaving.
    Oh well.

  4. Lilly Scott being booted broke my heart. I thought she was excellent and finally, something different. I did think Didi did a great job with Rhiannon this week and I would like to see her stick around.

  5. I’m digging Siobhan too. The others are just boring. Kara’s morphing into Abdul does have some comedic moments, though.

    Taylor Hicks was one of my favorites because of his off the wall characterization, he brought entertainment, certainly. lol

    Hi Ange Bleu, I see you’re spreading the Taylor Hicks updates, see you on the Grey.