Change is afoot at ‘American Idol’ 5 reasons why this may or may not be the best season
We can all agree to disagree on “American Idol” and pretty much always have over the past six seasons.
Some editions have been grand, some less so. Which was which? That was strictly a matter of opinion and the maddening and unpredictable hobgoblin known as “taste.”
Then, something happened last year. It started quietly enough — maybe a sort of revulsion at the early contestant rounds, which featured a tsunami of false notes and bad hair. Then, there was Sanjaya, who became a national joke. Melinda Doolittle, the finest singer in “Idol” history, was prematurely ejected. Ratings slid slightly, teens abandoned the show by the millions, the summer tours were sparsely attended and potential buyers remain allergic to winner Jordin Sparks’ self-named CD.
In other words, there was no disagreement whatsoever on the sixth season: It stunk.
That’s why change is afoot at “Idol.” As the world’s most popular TV show started its seventh season last week on Fox, we offer five reasons why this could be the best one. Then, five reasons why seven could be its unlucky number:
Falling ‹Idol? Show debut is down from 07
When is 33 million a low number? When it the viewership for …American Idol, the show lowest opening number ever.
The show, in which hopeful singers compete in what essentially a glitzy karaoke contest to land a recording contract, has been a TV powerhouse since its 2002 debut. Until last week, its growth showed no signs of abating.
Tuesday night, it abated. …Idol season opener had always landed a viewership larger than the previous year debut, but Tuesday night Season 7 kickoff scored 33.2 million viewers, a drop of about 10 percent from last year season premiere.
Fil-Am is new William Hung
MANILA, Philippines – Pimp wizard. Modern-day Liberace. The new William Hung. Worldwide superstar.
Minutes after the airing of the …American Idol audition of 44-year-old Renaldo Lapuz, the Internet was abuzz with comments, alternately loving and livid, posted by fans.
With his feathered hat, quilted blazer and silver cape, Lapuz, dubbed …Pinoy by bloggers, charmed the three judges’ Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson and his idol Simon Cowell’ with his original composition …Were Brothers Forever.
‘Idol’s Connecticut Star (Wars)
The big star from Connecticut this year on “American Idol” may well be Christina Tolisano, 24, a self styled dork, who wore Princess Leia puffs on her hair and a Star Wars belt as she sang her way into bad audition history with a long segment on the season premiere.
The first televised candidate from Enfield, Connecticut, wasn’t even the first Princess Leia on the show (a tubby guy who had his chest hair waxed at Paula’s request was first). Still, Christina Tolisano didn’t talk up her hometown much.
“I want out of my hometown because there’s nothing to offer there unless I become a corrections officer, which has been a possibility, ” she said.
Seven stars face the “Country” challenge on reality show
The idea of bringing together strange bedfellows to entertain the masses is as old as “Gilligan’s Island” and “The Gong Show.”
More recently, the concept has been effectively demonstrated by ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars, ” among a never-ending string of reality shows.
The latest mashup is CMT’s “Gone Country, ” which brings together ’80s R&B star Bobby Brown, former “American Idol” contestant Diana DeGarmo, Latin artist Julio Iglesias Jr., “Brady Bunch” principal Maureen McCormick, R&B artist Sisqo, Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider and singer/TV personality Carnie Wilson in a contest that nets the winner a country single release.
Kellie Pickler, country at heart
Kellie Pickler says the way she lives her life and the kind of music she wants to make are the same ‘ open and honest. Sometimes she gets burned by it, such as when she went on the …Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? show on Fox and ran into a question about the city of Budapest.
The ensuing YouTube video with her lines …Hungary, is that a country? and …I thought Europe was a country? has drawn over 3 million views.
…It kind of rubs me the wrong way, the 21-year-old said recently in a phone interview with The News. …It kind of pissed me off that people made such a big deal about that.
…I was there to win money for my charities and I won 50 grand for my charities. I was there for a good cause, and none of that was publicized. …
Sharp tunes, powerful voices carry Rent at PPAC
The show broke new ground when it appeared on Broadway a dozen years ago, taking on issues of gay sex, drug abuse and the specter of AIDS. Its basic message of living for today has struck a chord with legions of fans.
It sort of like Friends on crack, a show about a band of starving artists eking out a living amid hardship.
And this touring company is terrific, a real ensemble effort. But several voices stood out, including Heinz Winckler, who plays the part of songwriter Roger Davis, lover of the fetching Mimi Marquez.
The other big talent is Anwar Robinson, the show Tom Collins, the gay philosophy professor who is infected with AIDS and falls for the cross-dressing street drummer Angel. Fans of television American Idol will recall him as the music teacher from New Jersey who, thanks to his classical training, made it to the finals of season four.