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Not Prince Hamlet

"Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse."

IdolCritics, Top 7 (redux)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

From NPH: Leaving the unpleasantness of last week behind, we press on to second week of seven. Three things have I noted, which I will briefly expound.

First, the video intros are gone. Last week's attempt at getting the show done on time split the judging in half, so that each performer was critiqued by only two judges. That was stupid. Everyone knows that if you haven't got Cowell's reaction, you might as well not even perform. Cutting him out of half the contestants was a bad move.
So this week order is restored and all four judges get a crack at all seven contestants (and, speaking of "all four judges," I'm ready to say that the added judge experiment is an unqualified failure. Diaguardi isn't terrible, just redundant; much of what she says is a parrot of what the other judges have already said. The show simply seems too big for her. If the tabloids are to be believed that either Kara or Paula will be gone next season, then I don't think there's any question that Kara has to go; Paula may be loopy and unintelligible, but that's part of the show's appeal.).

Secondly, Lambert is ruining Idol. I think it seriously has to be asked whether or not a contestant can be too good for the show. I've already aired my suspicions about the heir apparent's devoted fan following--the judges--and last night's love-in after his very, very good version of "If I Can't Have You" only confirmed those suspicions. He is an exceptional singer and a polished, poised performer, but Idol isn't doing itself any favors when its judges slobber all over him. Honestly, the shots of misty-eyed Paula during Lambert's performance and Randy's declaration that he's "Ready right now!" gave me an eerie feeling that the reality TV heavyweight was jumping the shark. It's bad television: it squelches the sense of competition, and it diminishes the judges.

Finally, Lil Rounds is getting railroaded. For weeks now the judges have ridden her with complaints that they don't know who she is as an artist. They have gone on and on about the Memphis diva's failure to "be herself," while at the same time blasting her lack of creativity and originality. Last night even elicited a prediction from Cowell that she's done for. It's not without any warrant, this line of critique, but they've hammered it so hard for so long, and they seem incapable of saying anything good about Rounds' performances beyond "You look hot!" that it's starting to appear scripted. Her take last night on "I'm Every Woman" won't change the course of history, no, but it was a solid rehearsal of a disco classic. You get what you get when you come on Idol, and blistering criticism from the show's judges comes with the territory; but if there's demerits to be handed out for a lack of originality, then give them to Randy, Paula, Kara, and Simon--give them to Simon Fuller--for Idol's inability to say anything coherent about it's only R&B contestant.

I'll end with a version of power rankings from last night.
  1. Adam Lambert
  2. Alison Iraheta
  3. Danny Gokey
  4. Matt Giraud
  5. Kris Allen
  6. Lil Rounds
  7. Anoop Desai

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posted by Not Prince Hamlet, 9:59 AM

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