American Idol 2020 Top 20 Polls – Vote for your Favorite Performance, Pick Your Top 10
When Hollywood shuts down indefinitely, and the entire country is in quarantine due to a deadly pandemic, how does a reality television show finish its season? The circumstances that lead to American Idol producing a show featuring contestants singing from their porches, garages, bedrooms and living rooms are so serious, I can’t criticize producers too much. They had to make the best out of a tough situation, and do it quickly.
With that caveat out of the way, I will say there is no substitute for watching contestants perform live, on stage, with a backing band and backup singers, in front of a live audience. I give American Idol producers major kudos for production quality. The three take setup allowed for several camera angles. The sound wasn’t your usual muffled Zoom sound. The interaction with the judges could have been a hella lot more awkward. The editing and format were well done.
However, the performances couldn’t help but sound canned. I’ve insisted that Idol does not protool the contestants voices. But here, the quality often sounded too good to be true. There seemed to be no pitchy moments, no screachy high notes. That never happens on Idol. Also, I saw the singers wore in-ears, so I assume the band and backup singers recorded the tracks ahead, and the contestants sang to them. The lack of immediacy tamped down the excitement. The pre-fab performances just weren’t doing it for me.
But big props to the contestants, who have kept their chins up through a challenging circumstance. They put effort into those backdrops, and did the best they could under unusual conditions. However, some singers took to the setup better than others. Singing in a bedroom is way different than playing with a band, feeding off a crowd. A few singers had a hard time connecting or getting beyond a rote performance. Kimmy Gabriella, Olivia Ximines, Faith Becnel, Francisco Martin, Arthur Gunn, Jonny West, seemed most engaged in this unusual setup. I hope the Top 10 singers who perform next week are a little looser after this week’s trial run.
Despite it all, I’d rather have at home performances, than a season in perpetual limbo. Congratulations to everyone putting so much hard work into finishing the season.
VOTE For Your Favorites
Vote for your favorite PERFORMANCE
Which 10 Singers will Move on to the Top 10 (Choose 10)
Did American Idol make the best of a tough situation?
Grade the Episode