American Idol Season 6 begins tonight. The two-hour season premier focuses on the Minneapolis auditions. To be sure, tonight’s show will focus mainly on the painful and the clueless, with a sprinkle of good singing thrown in to whet out appetites for what I consider the real deal–the live competition that starts with the Top 24.
I won’t lie, I don’t particularly care for the audition phase of the competition, as the “bad” auditions have come to completely take over the early weeks of the show. I personally know people who only watch the auditions, and then tune out once the actual competition begins. But, not me. My own preference would be to have more of the singers who will eventually compete in the show featured during the initial rounds. Considering how wildly popular the “bad” auditions have become, I don’t think that’s going to happen any time soon.
There is a ton of pre-premier press today if you care to indulge. There is this USA Today article:
Idol’s TV dominance can be measured in many ways. Last season, the Tuesday (31 million viewers) and Wednesday (30 million) shows were No. 1 and 2. The Tuesday show has been TV’s most-watched for three seasons. Idol has powered Fox to consecutive season wins among advertiser-coveted young adults, despite the network’s dismal fall performances.
NBC Entertainment president Kevin Reilly has dubbed Idol “The Death Star” ‘ a Star Wars reference to its power to lay waste to prime time. To get out of Idol’s way, ABC is moving two hits, Lost and Dancing With the Stars, and NBC is shifting an acclaimed but struggling show, Friday Night Lights.
And, this from TV Guide:
About the auditions:
There are generally two reasons to sit through Idol’s initial auditions: to catch the drama created by those who are A) tone-deaf or B) have Lifetime-movie sob stories (such as Kellie Pickler, who revealed at her audition last year that Mom had abandoned her and Dad was in jail). The first city to get the audition treatment, Minneapolis, was chock-full of the latter, according to executive producer CÃƒÆ’ ©cile Frot-Coutaz. “We have some great stories ‘ some really sad and some inspirational, ” she promises. “You’ll see a lot of heart.” Seattle, on the other hand, was all about damaged eardrums. Host Ryan Seacrest recalls the first of two days spent in the Pacific Northwest, when he sat down for a lunch break with the three judges. “We just looked at each other, jaws dropped, like, ‘Where have these people come from?'” he says. As chronically cranky judge Simon Cowell puts it, “I hated everyone who auditioned.” Surprisingly, he did not storm out of the room, as he has in the past when frustrated by a lack of talent. But, he notes, “There were a lot of [contestants] who went nuts at me and walked out.”
And the talent pool:
In fact, Season 6 may boast the biggest talent pool yet. “America always has had the greatest singers in the world, ” Cowell proclaims. “We’ve definitely found that.” Everybody has his or her early favorites. Paula Abdul is gaga over a handful of guys, whom she describes as “edgier than the girls.” Randy Jackson favors “someone with curly hair, ” and [executive producer Ken] Warwick raves about a girl who “is gonna give Aretha Franklin a run for her money.” Still, they all agree that of those who made it through to Hollywood this year, there is no clear Fantasia-esque front-runner. This seems to suit everyone just fine. “It’s a competition, ” Warwick says. “The ‘American Idol’ is the last 35 seconds of the last show. The show is really about the journey, not the destination.”
Poor Seattle. Could it have really been that bad? And, Paula likes the boys, Ken Warwick has a favorite girl, Simon stays mum. In other words, they are going to play it again this year like they did Season 5–no clear front-runner until the competition is well under way.
Tomorrow Night: Another 2-hour show featuring the “best” of the Seattle WA auditions.
For more articles and news, check out the comments section in the Daily Chat Thread. The incomparable LisaB posts links to all the Idol news early every morning–on her lunch hour in the UK…