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Thread: American Idol

  1. #81
    Junior Member Bovinity's Avatar
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    Does anyone else find the show a tad bit creepy and evil? I feel like I'm watching them turn live people into salable commodities before my eyes, and everyone is happy and entertained by it! I always feel like the contestants are talented and interesting in the beginning, but by the end they are ground out into perfect little pop stars, resembling dolls, with no personality or thought in their heads! It is highly depressing. If I had a musical talent, the last thing I would do is try out for American Idol.

  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bovinity View Post
    Does anyone else find the show a tad bit creepy and evil? I feel like I'm watching them turn live people into salable commodities before my eyes, and everyone is happy and entertained by it! I always feel like the contestants are talented and interesting in the beginning, but by the end they are ground out into perfect little pop stars, resembling dolls, with no personality or thought in their heads! It is highly depressing. If I had a musical talent, the last thing I would do is try out for American Idol.
    There are certainly no guarantees. In the music biz itself there's always some spit and polish they're trying to do to artists. They can't really sell sentences but they can sell concepts. "Oh they use guitar w/out long solos but sometimes they'll use keyboards and no drums or they'll rely on a traditional structure but slip out of that time when they go without drums and they alternate spoken word, sometimes no lyrics but..." No, they can't do that. They'll just say, "we see you as this generations' 10000 Maniacs or Sarah McLaughlin. We've got a female studio musician who's gonna sing a couple of harmony parts. Just a couple of songs.." The album comes out, tanks and they say that wasn't so good." The group says that really wasn't our style. Label says, well, we tried. Boom, you're gone.

    They'll have clean cut r & b acts get tatted up and thugged out for pub photos, add more sex to they lyrics. Alt rock bands they'll moose up the hair, add tatts to the drummer, who'll now play w/out his shirt, get in a plain white tee and eyeliner and shove them out on stage. It's such a dirty industry I don't know how anyone does it either.

    I'm not sure if every singer in general has their identity so it's not like there can't be some benefit getting people to focus or give some direction as to strength or what would be the best possible way to succeed. Part of appeal Idol has is the Cinderella factor. They want raw talent with department store clothes and mall hair cut to be transformed into the belle or captain of the ball. It can be homogenization but people want to know that a butterfly is coming out of the cocoon, not a bat or horsefly.

    There was one show that was really short lived called Next Top Band. I thought that it was so counter intuitive to the way bands break out. Grunge, krunk, freestyle, what have you start with street cred then become imitated and milked to death. Here they were trying to bypass the fascination of something new and kind of the envy process of stumbling upon something new, something that shows you're hip or connected. Dollars drive everything so there's no patience to develop or find something new.

  3. #83

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bovinity View Post
    Does anyone else find the show a tad bit creepy and evil? I feel like I'm watching them turn live people into salable commodities before my eyes, and everyone is happy and entertained by it! I always feel like the contestants are talented and interesting in the beginning, but by the end they are ground out into perfect little pop stars, resembling dolls, with no personality or thought in their heads! It is highly depressing. If I had a musical talent, the last thing I would do is try out for American Idol.
    Everyone who's ever had a job is a saleable commodity. The only difference here is that people are watching. It may not be the most dignified way to succeed, but we're talking about a career with such a minute chance of success that you don't have the luxury of picking and choosing your opportunities. It's not the same as having a dream to be a lawyer or a realtor or a policeman...there are always jobs to be had there. If there were an American Idol for writers, I'd sign up tomorrow. How you get the opportunity is the least important part of making it in a creative field. It's what you do with it that matters.
    Everybody have fun tonight. Everybody Wang Chung tonight.

    Johari
    /Nohari

  4. #84
    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
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    I think everyone on this page has it right. I guess it depends on what POV you're looking at it. A lot of singers (supposedly) refuse to go further in the audition process as you sign a 3 year exclusive contract with the producers regardless of how far you make it. Also, it depends on these shows how much of an identity as an artist you already have. By definition, pop music and especially popularity contest pop music, is dictated by the masses. I noticed there are lots of young ones on the show this year, they most likely don't care about being molded and frankly they are so young it's easier to do so.

    Is this whole reality show celebrity making process cheap and plastic and somewhat dehumanizing for the participants? Well sure. Because as soon as you enter into a show like this, it's not about you anymore, it's about ratings and good tv and what kind of persona you have.

    Having said that, what FM said on the unique nature of entertainment careers -- the kids on Idol want it bad. That also makes them more easily exploitable, with such massive competition and slim odds, it makes people do strange things as far as 'artist integrity' and 'staying true to yourself' etc. etc. etc. and much more susceptable to what succesful producers and insiders tell them.

    I think the real answer is somewhere in the middle of decrying the show for what bovinity and spartan said and looking at it more pragmatically as an aspiring artist like FM says.

    And I can't really say anything about it being trashy, because frankly I love trashy tv and I think by this point, most people know what they are getting into when they volunteer for a reality show.
    “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.” ― Oscar Wilde

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  5. #85

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    My thoughts on the guys tonight, in order of how good they were...

    1. David Hernandez - Now THAT is what this guy was missing last week. The voice was always there, the personality wasn't. He also picked one of the best songs ever to sing. He was great. The band also totally killed it on this song.

    2. Chikeze - Same here. Where was this kind of emotion last week? A forceful and soulful performance.

    ------HUGE gap between those two and the rest---------

    Lumped together:
    David Cook - Has all the intangibles, I can forgive his uneven voice.
    Michael Johns - Not his best, but still pretty decent
    Robbie Carrico - The band butchered his song, he was just okay.
    Jason Castro - This kid just irritates me to no end, but he has a good voice.

    7. David Archuleta - What were the judges smoking when they fawned all over this kid? I didn't at all like the way he slowed the song down, and his voice was monotone all the way through. My mind actually wandered during his performance.

    8. Danny Noriega - He was marginally better this week, probably because he sang a female singer's song instead of Elvis. His affectations are just so ridiculous though, I don't see how he thinks he can be taken seriously.

    9. Luke Menard - Bad move trying to match Freddie Mercury. He sang it decently enough, but he was so wooden and awkward. And all I could think of was how charismatic and charming Freddie was.

    10. Jason Yeager - Hoo boy. I like the Doobie Brothers as much as anyone, but what a terrible song choice for a singing contest. Jason looks like your uncle trying to get down at a wedding. And he's not helping himself by getting really defensive.
    Everybody have fun tonight. Everybody Wang Chung tonight.

    Johari
    /Nohari

  6. #86
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    I'm pretty much right there with you.
    Quote Originally Posted by FMWarner View Post
    My thoughts on the guys tonight, in order of how good they were...

    1. David Hernandez - Now THAT is what this guy was missing last week. The voice was always there, the personality wasn't. He also picked one of the best songs ever to sing. He was great. The band also totally killed it on this song.
    Yup. I thought he was the best of the night. He has the talent to make it to the Top 3.

    2. Chikeze - Same here. Where was this kind of emotion last week? A forceful and soulful performance.
    I don't care for that kind of music, so I'll take your word for it. Randy said he was "blazing" and Simon said he was "brilliant" so I'll take y'alls word for it.
    ------HUGE gap between those two and the rest---------

    Lumped together:
    David Cook - Has all the intangibles, I can forgive his uneven voice.
    I like "All Right Now" so I enjoyed his performance and he got good comments from the judges. Too bad Simon wasn't in the mood for any "back-talk" last night. I don't recall the contestants being criticized for their pre-video. I thought it was a "singing competition".
    Michael Johns - Not his best, but still pretty decent
    I don't think this guy sings on key. He irritates me. In my book he's a "wannabee".
    Robbie Carrico - The band butchered his song, he was just okay.
    I think he has a good solid voice. The judges said he was "okay".
    Jason Castro - This kid just irritates me to no end, but he has a good voice.
    This boy is so adorable! ISFP maybe?He has great vocal talent, so even though I hate dreadlocks, I cannot dislike him. I think the judges were right, that song did not need an acoustic guitar.

    7. David Archuleta - What were the judges smoking when they fawned all over this kid? I didn't at all like the way he slowed the song down, and his voice was monotone all the way through. My mind actually wandered during his performance.
    I know! Right?? During his performance, I was sure he was gonna get hit for starting out too strong and loud, but no. I mean, come on! Randy said it was one of the best vocals ever on that show. Come on! In 7 years, that was the best? Give me a break. It wasn't even great! It was only good, vocally. Perhaps it was his charisma they were referring to because I saw a video of him singing it when he was 13. One would hope he would be good at it by now, if you know what I mean. I'm not sure, but I think Paula cried. And Simon said "Imagine" was "very risky"?! What are there, like 6 different notes?! What's risky about that?

    8. Danny Noriega - He was marginally better this week, probably because he sang a female singer's song instead of Elvis. His affectations are just so ridiculous though, I don't see how he thinks he can be taken seriously.
    Yeah. He's Vote For The Worst's pick.

    9. Luke Menard - Bad move trying to match Freddie Mercury. He sang it decently enough, but he was so wooden and awkward. And all I could think of was how charismatic and charming Freddie was.
    Ah. I don't know Freddie. I thought he did well in choosing a song done by a lead singer who he sounds a lot like. In my book, he gets points for a hard song - "Killer Queen" - very complex and difficult to hit right on.

    10. Jason Yeager - Hoo boy. I like the Doobie Brothers as much as anyone, but what a terrible song choice for a singing contest. Jason looks like your uncle trying to get down at a wedding. And he's not helping himself by getting really defensive.
    Poor guy. I like him. He's not one of the stronger singers. I thought he made a great attempt at performing and not just standing there.

    And by the way, if it's not a singer song, then why is it being offered to the contestants in a singing competition? I think the producer of the show should be criticized for that.

  7. #87
    Junior Member Bovinity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FMWarner View Post
    Everyone who's ever had a job is a saleable commodity. The only difference here is that people are watching. It may not be the most dignified way to succeed, but we're talking about a career with such a minute chance of success that you don't have the luxury of picking and choosing your opportunities. It's not the same as having a dream to be a lawyer or a realtor or a policeman...there are always jobs to be had there. If there were an American Idol for writers, I'd sign up tomorrow. How you get the opportunity is the least important part of making it in a creative field. It's what you do with it that matters.
    I disagree that any job turns you into a commodity. Like what about a teacher or a plumber? I think the difference is between having a salable skill, and being owned mind body and soul by a corporation to profit by. When you say it's what you do with it that matters... I agree, but I don't think the winning contestants are given much freedom as to what they're going to do with their success. And anyway there's a difference between becoming famous and creating art that is genuine and fulfilling to yourself and hopefully appreciated by others. They've certainly succeeded in the fame department but as a musician I feel they've just been stunted, typecast and fit into a very limiting mold.

  8. #88

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    Quote Originally Posted by INTJMom View Post
    And by the way, if it's not a singer song, then why is it being offered to the contestants in a singing competition? I think the producer of the show should be criticized for that.
    You know, this is something I wonder about. With a theme like "The 70s" or "Country music", are they given a list of say 25 songs and told to pick one, or can they pick anything they want? If they're given a list, I agree with you. Although they would probably say "we include bad songs as an element of the competition to measure the singers' musical judgement."
    Everybody have fun tonight. Everybody Wang Chung tonight.

    Johari
    /Nohari

  9. #89

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bovinity View Post
    I disagree that any job turns you into a commodity. Like what about a teacher or a plumber? I think the difference is between having a salable skill, and being owned mind body and soul by a corporation to profit by. When you say it's what you do with it that matters... I agree, but I don't think the winning contestants are given much freedom as to what they're going to do with their success. And anyway there's a difference between becoming famous and creating art that is genuine and fulfilling to yourself and hopefully appreciated by others. They've certainly succeeded in the fame department but as a musician I feel they've just been stunted, typecast and fit into a very limiting mold.
    I see your point, I really do. I guess I'm looking at it more pragmatically. I look at it like an apprenticeship or an indentured servitude of sorts. American Idol can offer you great opportunity at the cost of individuality...for a time. Presumably they own you for three years, and if you've done well enough for yourself at that point, you can do whatever you want. Look at Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood. They won and had to sign the same contract as everyone else. But at this point they have enough success and clout to do whatever they want. That's what I meant by "It depends on what you do with it". Opportunity comes at a cost. As a writer, if you asked me "Would you write crap for three years if it would provide you enough clout to write what you want after that?" my answer would be yes every day and twice on Sunday. To me, artistic integrity is something of an affectation. In almost every area of life you have to endure some crap to get to the good stuff.
    Everybody have fun tonight. Everybody Wang Chung tonight.

    Johari
    /Nohari

  10. #90
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FMWarner View Post
    You know, this is something I wonder about. With a theme like "The 70s" or "Country music", are they given a list of say 25 songs and told to pick one, or can they pick anything they want? If they're given a list, I agree with you.
    A couple of weeks ago, they had a list of 50 songs to choose from. Not sure if it stays the same length throughout the competition.

    Although they would probably say "we include bad songs as an element of the competition to measure the singers' musical judgement."
    I considered that as a possibility also.


    About tonight... one girl sang All By Myself and was criticized because it's a "diva song", and she's not diva material. It just goes to show you how subjective judging is. I didn't know Celine had done that song. I could just hear Eric Carmen doing it. I didn't think it was a diva song at all. I thought she did a great job with it. She didn't have to sound like Celine. She had maybe the best performance of the night.

    On the opposite... Simon criticized one girl's song choice because it was a song he had never heard before. It's amazing he's in the music business at all, with all the songs he says he's never heard before. I guess he grew up in the UK, so that's probably an excuse, but really to criticize on that basis is not fair.

    The girls were not as impressive as the boys I think. I liked Carly, Alaina and Asia'h tonight.

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